Campus launches strategic academic planning process

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp

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I am delighted to announce that we are launching a strategic academic planning process for UC Santa Cruz. This is your chance to help shape the future of our campus. This process will enable us to describe the university’s unique strengths—and to identify our unique opportunities. Articulating our character and our goals for the future will not only help UC Santa Cruz advance, but can leverage our strengths to take a leadership role in shaping the future of higher education.

This effort will be different from Envision, completed nearly three years ago. Great work went into Envision, which was a strategic campus plan, not an academic one. We now need to identify, and then highlight and energize, academic areas that will strengthen the university as a whole, allowing us to build stronger programs for students, create new research opportunities for faculty, and strengthen our global impact.

Together, we will identify the major themes that make UC Santa Cruz the truly remarkable place that it is. We have developed pathbreaking programs on this campus. We have one of the most cited and powerhouse faculties in the world. We are ranked in the top 50 of thousands of universities. Identifying and building upon those things that make us uniquely who we are will improve our capacity to recruit faculty and students, capture extramural funding, and find donors who want to invest in our programs, our faculty, our students, and our future. We might, for example, decide to highlight global health, the coastal environment and climate, or social justice. Our community will identify the areas. Investing strategically will allow us to utilize our resources in the most meaningful ways and will enable UC Santa Cruz to grow its impact.

This week, we finalized a contract with a consulting group that will help guide us. The group specializes in seeing the process through to goal setting and execution. I have pulled together a small group of leaders who will shepherd the process. Please be prepared, in the months that follow, to respond to our call to campus constituents. Your input will be vital to making the academic plan reflective of the true depth and excitement of UC Santa Cruz, and I want all of your voices engaged. We will develop a five-year plan that sets a clear vision for the future of academics at UC Santa Cruz and outlines concrete steps to move the campus forward.

Our timeline is ambitious but achievable. We will spend this academic year drafting the plan, and the 2018-19 academic year launching its implementation.

I am genuinely excited to learn how our community will set a course. Through interviews and scoping sessions with faculty, staff and students, we will identify our existing strengths, the needs of our students and of our state, and unmet opportunities. Then together we will set clear priorities.

This is important work that has the power to set UC Santa Cruz on a powerful upward trajectory, and I hope you all will join me in it.

For more information on the strategic academic plan process, please visit cpevc.ucsc.edu/academic-plan.