Welcome to The University of Arizona’s Strategic Plan. We invite you to explore and learn how we are redefining higher education through engagement, innovation, partnerships and synergy.
Imagine a university...
- Where the students are all deeply engaged in their education, integrating knowledge and application in real world experience.
- Where researchers, scholars, and artists uncover new knowledge and innovative ways of knowing and seeing.
- That revolutionizes how it connects with its community and the world, forging novel partnerships to share knowledge and enhance quality of life.
- That achieves this vision through its deep culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and its tradition of access and inclusion, while deepening its regional roots and expanding its global connections.
That university is the University of Arizona:
Watch the video to learn more about the Plan that is leading the University in a bold, new direction.
The Never Settle Manifesto
We have never settled. Never will. Because we’re thinkers and doers, always moving forward, upward. We collaborate across disciplines and partner with business and government to innovate. To make the unknown known. We’re a land-grant university that’s transforming science fiction into scientific fact, rising from the sands of the Sonoran Desert in 1885 and developing the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft that will collect dust samples from a near-Earth asteroid in 2020. For those who demand an unrelenting approach to teaching, research, and service, we say: NEVER SETTLE.
The Never Settle Mission Statement
To improve the prospects and enrich the lives of the people of Arizona and the world through education, research, creative expression, and community and business partnerships.
Through cross-cutting innovations distinctive to the University of Arizona, we will expand the student experience through engagement, advance knowledge through innovations in creative inquiry and collaboration, and forge novel partnerships to positively impact our community.
The University of Arizona in Tucson is a land-grant doctoral research university. Our research and development expenditures place us among the nation's top public universities, and we have membership in the Association of American Universities.
We offer a broad array of programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate through the doctorate. We have a total enrollment of over 40,000 full-time and part-time students. As a land-grant university, we maintain programs in production agriculture, mining, and engineering, and serve the state through our cooperative extension services, technology transfer, economic development assistance, distributed education, and cultural programming.
The University provides distinguished undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; excels in basic and applied research and creative achievement; and promotes activities that advance Arizona's economy.
- Excellence and Integrity
- Collegiality and Openness
- Interdisciplinarity and Sustainability
- Engagement and Societal Impact
- Access and Opportunity
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Shared Decision-Making
The Never Settle Strategic Plan
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Design the Arizona experience so that 100 percent of our students have the opportunity to engage in integrating and applying their knowledge through real-world experiential learning
Expand our research and creative inquiry to not only discover new knowledge and create new ideas, but also to innovate new ways of knowing and seeing that will ensure our continued leadership in interdisciplinary scholarship.
Create novel, substantive, and entrepreneurial partnerships with businesses, community groups, and governments to support and enhance our impact on the local and global community.
Build an infrastructure for change that cuts across all elements of our mission and all aspects of our plan, advancing our distinctiveness in interdisciplinarity, diversity, and sense of place while implementing business practices that are effective, efficient, and entrepreneurial.
We will design the Arizona experience so that 100 percent of our students have the opportunity to engage in integrating and applying their knowledge through real-world experiential learning.
Through a learning experience tailored to individual students’ needs, the UA will graduate future leaders who have the skills to apply their knowledge and solve the world’s grand challenges.
STRATEGIES, ACTIONS, AND INITIATIVES
1.Recruit and retain a diverse student body of undergraduate, transfer, and graduate degree-seeking students who represent the state, national and global demographic landscape.
- Leverage merit-and need-based aid.
2.Optimize student access and success.
- Enhance partnerships with high schools and community colleges nationally and internationally.
- Identify students early in their careers who can benefit from programmatic intervention and increase opportunities for academic recovery.
- Improve retention with greater support in advising, learning specialists, coordination, hardware, and software.
- Decrease graduate-level time to degree.
3.Provide students with a dynamic educational experience.
- Promote actions that help us ensure 100 percent student engagement, including the addition of targeted program coordinators, evaluations, and operational support.
- Expand study-abroad options to contribute to the 100 percent student engagement goal.
- Support online course and program development.
4.Graduate individuals who will be sought out by the best employers and postgraduate programs.
- Redesign courses incorporating workshops, new uses of information technology, specialized equipment, and facilities.
- Update classroom facilities to better support an active learning environment.
- Emphasize graduate workforce development in selected master’s programs.
5.Graduate individuals ready to engage in productive lives and personally satisfying work.
- Establish engagement credits in the areas of global, civic, and research activities.
We will expand our research and creative inquiry to not only discover new knowledge and create new ideas, but also to innovate new ways of knowing and seeing that will ensure our continued leadership in interdisciplinary scholarship.
While supporting our values, invite new resources into the University in support of innovative scholarship and research. Prioritize our scholarly and research activities to reflect both the grand challenges we face, and the expectations of our partners for integration and application.
STRATEGIES, ACTIONS, AND INITIATIVES
1.Promote core strengths to address grand challenges.
- Capitalize on existing and growing research and clinical strengths in the UA’s health sciences colleges in Tucson and Phoenix, other clinical entities across the state, and relevant UA colleges.
2.Expand opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Increase institutional capacity for interdisciplinary and interprofessional community-engaged scholarship addressing the most urgent needs of Arizona’s diverse citizenry and generating solutions for the public good with global applications.
- Increase large multi-investor, multi-site proposal submissions and awards.
3.Hire, nurture, and retain a diverse, outstanding faculty.
- Create diverse new faculty candidate pools that approximate the national availability of talent.
- Improve faculty retention rates, with a particular emphasis on reducing retention disparities among assistant professors from underrepresented groups.
4.Attract, educate, and engage first-rate doctoral students.
5.Diversify external sources of research support.
- Develop industry expertise to expand public-private partnerships.
- Increase research expenditures.
6.Improve support for the development of major proposals and new initiatives.
- Provide optimum shared research instrumentation infrastructure to advance our capabilities and competitiveness for external research support.
- Create a world-class informatics infrastructure and research program that will revolutionize the capability to extract useful information from massively large sets of data.
- Stabilize and increase the number of research-active faculty in key focus areas.
- Ensure that the capacity of central and college-based research support functions keeps pace with the growing volume and complexity of research, thereby ensuring high-quality grants support as well as critically important compliance with federal and other regulations.
7.Expand strategic external partnerships.
- Attract funding for and investment in start-up companies in Arizona, including University start-ups.
8.Decrease pre-award preparation time and speed post-award access to funds.
9.Improve recognition for interdisciplinary research in promotion and tenure process.
- Enhance our institutional infrastructure base to support research advancement.
We will create novel, substantive, and entrepreneurial partnerships with businesses, community groups, and governments to support and enhance our impact on the local and global community.
The University will share our knowledge, research, and creativity and become more active partner in creative enterprises and innovation to enhance the quality of life for the people of Arizona and the world.
STRATEGIES, ACTIONS, AND INITIATIVES
1.Better adapt our land-grant mission for the 21st century, including a global strategy.
- Modify promotion and tenure guidelines and criteria to recognize engagement and community-based research and knowledge application.
- Develop more and better service-learning and applied-research opportunities for students in Arizona and abroad.
- Position the UA to serve as a preferred consultant in innovating, developing, executing, and assessing critical knowledge-based and capacity development projects worldwide.
2.Expand, develop, and sustain community and industry partnerships, locally and globally, via innovative programs.
- Improve internal business processes to facilitate and leverage community and industry relationships with the University.
- Expand the roles of community and business partners in Academic Program Reviews.
- Provide more opportunities for employers, educators, and families to become more deeply engaged with the University through events, roundtables, and boards.
- Encourage and support more partnerships among internal academic programs and with key external partners.
3.Increase capacity in critical and emerging fields such as education, health sciences, STEM, and cultural competence.
- Better engage business and community partners to expand internship opportunities.
- Define and develop appropriate pathways for competency-based evaluation and credit.
- Determine the best use of technology and other modes of delivering educational and informational content to best engage with learners and communities locally and abroad.
- Significantly grow our educational offerings face-to-face, online, and hybrid, to better address growing needs in critical and emerging fields and to better define the UA’s role in connecting learners to knowledge and to each other.
4.Align output with workforce and knowledge needs, in our region and around the world.
- Expand opportunities to collaborate with schools, agencies, and industry on professional development and certificate programs statewide, nationally, and abroad.
- Coordinate with K-12 school districts to ensure that curriculum adequately prepares students for postsecondary work and that students have clear and preferred pathways to the UA.
- Work with business and community leaders to develop integrated workforce and economic development plans.
We will build an infrastructure for change that cuts across all elements of our mission and all aspects of our plan, advancing our distinctiveness in interdisciplinarity, diversity, and sense of place while implementing business practices that are effective, efficient, and entrepreneurial.
Embedded in the University’s fundamental commitment to knowledge, culture, art, and diverse interdisciplinary work, we will:
- Redesign the University to avoid isolation and specialization in ever-narrowing disciplines.
- Optimize our campus resources and virtual reach to engage students more fully.
- Create engaged University citizens who can apply our resources in pursuit of collective goals.
- Emphasize diversity as part of our institutional culture, at all levels.
- Adopt transparent practices that reward productivity, effectiveness, and entrepreneurship.
STRATEGIES, ACTIONS, AND INITIATIVES
1.Elevate interdisciplinary collaborations.
- Develop promotion and tenure guidelines that ensure that collaborative efforts are identified and valued.
2.Build on and strengthen the diversity of our community.
- Improve campus infrastructure for diversity at all levels, focusing on accountability.
3.Expand global connections and deepen regional roots.
- Invest in interdisciplinary centers that address local issues with global applications.
4.Optimize our physical resources and virtual reach.
- Expand and align IT capacity to meet instructional, research, outreach, and administrative requirements.
- Enhance the UA’s reach through improved and cohesive branding and marketing.
- Develop programs for improving online teaching and course building skills.
5.Implement a business model that rewards productivity, effectiveness, and entrepreneurship.
- Align priorities with opportunities.
- Integrate RCM into the university’s budgeting model to enhance research and instructional performance.
- Align the administrative structure to better support undergraduate and master’s-level programs.
Spider Graph showing progress, all data is represented below in tabular form as well.
FY 2020 figures (outer ring) are Enterprise targets. Actual figures (inner ring) reflect the most current data available for each metric. The data rings are color-‐coded as follows: 2012-‐13 Actuals and 2008-‐2009 Actuals.
|Metric||2008-2009 Actuals||2012-2013 Actuals||2020 Goals|
|Research Expenditures||$565.292 M||$625.365 M||$1.2 B|
|Annual Bachelor's Degrees||5,914||6,494||8,100|
|Six Year Graduation||57.2%||61.3%||65%|
|Community College Transfers||1,621||1,643||3,000|
|Community College to Bachelor's||991||1,094||2,000|
Never Settle News
These stories, from across campus, highlight the UA's broad and varied efforts to realize Never Settle goals.
Never Settle in the News
Local and national media coverage of the UA's work in Never Settle's four key areas: innovating, engaging, partnering and synergy.
Never Settle in Action
Some recent accomplishments of the UA’s Never Settle Strategic Academic and Business Plan, in no particular order and as of November 24, 2014
1.Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement connects students with real-world experiences
The UA has launched the Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement to help students build their resumés and prepare them to graduate workforce-ready. With support from the Office of the Governor's Workforce Development Grant program, the institute will connect students with experiences and employers like never before, through expanded early career coaching programs, an enhanced Internship Readiness Program and more.
2.New UA degree to address critical need for Arizona
The Arizona Board of Regents has approved the UA's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program, set to launch in fall 2015. The program will help address the critical veterinarian shortage in rural Arizona communities and tribal nations and will benefit bioscience businesses and promote public health.
3.Transformative gift supports scientific and cultural studies
A transformative gift of more than $50 million from the estate of philanthropist Agnese Nelms Haury will allow the UA to establish a unique interdisciplinary program focused on environment, society and the Southwest. One of the largest gifts in University history, it pushed the $1.5 billion Arizona NOW fundraising campaign past the billion-dollar threshold.
4.Supporting campus researchers
The UA's Office of Research and Discovery, formerly the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, has been restructured to provide improved research administration services for campus researchers. A new Research Development Services unit within the office will offer centralized support for researchers, including direct communication about funding opportunities and consultation and workshops on how to find and successfully compete for external funding.
5.New opportunities for cross-border collaboration
The recently opened Arizona State Trade and Investment Office in Mexico City will help enhance partnerships between the UA and the business and science and technology communities in Mexico. The UA has maintained its own Mexico City office since 2007, focused on research and partnerships between the University and Mexico.
6.Early Recruitment unit established to support enrollment goals
An Early Recruitment unit has been established within the Office of Early Academic Outreach to help prepare students and their families to join the UA community. Early Recruitment provides middle school students, parents and educators with programming to ensure that students are aware, eligible and prepared for a college education. The unit aims to have a presence in every middle/junior high in Pima County and to eventually expand statewide.
7.Transfer students on the rise
The number of Arizona community college students who transfer to the UA increased by 9 percent between 2011 and 2014, with an increase of 2.7 percent between fall 2013 and fall 2014. Meanwhile, the UA continues to establish more bridge-to-transfer agreements with community colleges across the state. As of October 2014, the University had such agreements with 17 colleges – six of those added in the prior 12 months – with four others in discussions.
8.Workshop series touts multidisciplinarity
The University has launched a workshop series, titled "Let's Talk Multidisciplinary," that focuses on the value of, and strategies for, collaborative multidisciplinary efforts. National agencies are increasingly looking to such collaborations to address big issues. This workshop series is designed to bring together faculty members and researchers on campus to talk about the multidisciplinarity and how it can enable the campus innovate, grow and meet the challenges of Never Settle.
9.UA responsibility-centered management initiative moves forward
Significant progress has been made on the UA's Responsibility Centered Management budget initiative. The RCM preliminary model has been completed with data from FY11, FY12, FY13 and FY14, been reviewed by the RCM Steering Committee and the Responsibility Unit Business Officers group, and is being developed into the preliminary RCM forecasting model. This forecasting model is expected to be completed sometime in October. Meetings to update campus stakeholders on the progress of the RCM process are taking place with a variety of audiences, and a robust schedule of meetings and open forums is planned for fall and spring semesters.
10.UA to invest in world-class online writing program
The UA's Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Office of Academic Initiatives and Student Success is partnering with the Department of English in the College of Social and Behavioral Science to develop the best online writing program in the country. This year, the Department of English will begin development of a pilot writing program and also hire an expert in online writing. This initiative, which parallels the UA's commitment to building fully-online programming that meets the high quality standards of the institution, will help propel the UA into the top tier of campuses developing cutting edge digital educational resources.
11.UA transcripts will show students’ work readiness
The UA’s 100% Student Engagement initiative, a key part of the Never Settle plan, ensures internships, research efforts, studies abroad and other work-ready opportunities are available to all UA students to gain real-world, practical experience—and beginning this fall, such experience will be notated on transcripts.
12.Tech Launch Arizona elevates UA research commercialization
Tech Launch Arizona has worked with the faculty senate to revise tenure rules to incentivize faculty commercialization and entrepreneurial activities. In the last fiscal year, Tech Launch Arizona negotiated 72 licenses, filed 167 patent applications, secured 24 patents and helped jump start 11 new companies.
13.UA’s Guaranteed Tuition program provides peace of mind
A primary goal of Never Settle is keeping the UA affordable for qualified students. UA's recently launched Guaranteed Tuition program will provide students—and their families—with a predictable budget for college and a strong incentive to graduate in four years.
14.Support for UA Native American grad students gets boost with $2.4 million grant
This grant from the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership will renew for three years, enabling the UA to realize the Never Settle goal to bolster efforts to recruit, retain and graduate Native Americans, specifically in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM disciplines.
15.UAHN and Banner agreement could represent a significant investment into Tucson and the University for healthcare and related education and research activities
The proposed transaction includes $500 million in capital commitment within five years of closing for new construction, renovation and expansion in support of the clinical enterprise; an additional $20 million in annual academic support for the clinical enterprise for at least the next 15 years, and the establishment of a $300 million endowment that would provide a guaranteed $20 million a year over the next 30 years in support of the academic endeavors and activities of the University's Colleges of Medicine.
16.New Research Gateway will help UA increase research expenditures
This online resource will serve as a one-stop shop for researchers seeking information on funding opportunities; how to put together proposals; understanding the responsible conduct of research; and more—contributing to the Never Settle goal of doubling UA research expenditures by 2023, from $600 million to over $1 billion. Researchers currently at the UA, and those yet to be hired in the coming years, will benefit from user-friendly access to the support they need in seeking external grants and contracts.
17.Digital humanities initiatives expand at the UA
In the spirit of Never Settle’s pillar—innovating—an increasing number of UA employees are engaged in the digital humanities movement, one that encourages the expansion and use of technologies like geo-tagging, informatics and augmented realities to enhance student learning and cross-discipline engagement. Advocates include: UA English professor Ken McAllister, an expert in Internet memes; Africana Studies professor Bryan Carter, who is teaching students how to harness the power of the digital world; and Malcolm Compitello, professor and head of the UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese, who has led digital humanities task force for the College of Humanities.
18.Making sense of how we do things
In its inaugural year, the Campaign for Common Sense, a quality improvement program that solicits employee recommendations, has generated more than 800 unique ideas to diversify revenue, increase efficiency, grow our research enterprise, enhance the student experience, and improve the quality of work life. Implemented improvements include an expedited approach for managing clinical trials, a more flexible course withdrawal policy, a streamlined faculty hiring process, more transparent communication about academic program fees, and a cost-saving enterprise learning management system for employees.
19.UA student retention efforts are helping students graduate
First Time, Full Time Freshman (FTFTF) Retention rates are at their highest levels ever for the University of Arizona. Retention rates have increased significantly since 2010. In 2010, first-to-second-year retention was 77.4%. For 2013, the overall student retention increased to 81.5% and retention of ethnic minority students increased to 80.9% (9% better than 2010).
20.UA Genetics Core accredited for precision health testing
The UA Genetics Core, a member of the UA BIO5 Institute, was recently accredited to provide genetic testing—placing the UA in a position to offer a number of genetic testing options to the medical community at large, advancing the emerging field of precision health that allows physicians to customize treatments for patients. Building strength in this area is a Never Settle strategic priority.