I hope you had an enjoyable holiday break. We also want to wish you a Happy New Year. Last year (2016) was a busy, challenging, but extremely productive and successful year for UTRGV. The unprecedented support we’ve received from donors, the awards our students and faculty have received, and a first-year retention rate (80%) that is higher than the state and national averages, all show that there is strong support for UTRGV and the great things this university is doing and will continue to do. In this press release, you can read about student and faculty accomplishments in 2016, which highlights the ongoing success of our university community.
December 16-17 was a wonderful reminder as to why we work at institutions of higher education and it was certainly a special moment for our University, the communities spread throughout the Rio Grande Valley, and especially for our graduates. We graduated over 2,500 students. We wish them the very best as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
Throughout the Fall 2016, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) continued to solicit feedback and input regarding our SP process. On November 14-15, the SPC hosted another round of Dessert & Dialogue interactive sessions, and partook in meaningful discussions and tasty treats.
As we start 2017, I’m pleased to report that the draft of the strategic plan is in its final stages. The SP Steering Committee members have spent numerous hours writing and editing the plan. The proposed (and close to final) UTRGV Mission, Vision, Core Priorities, and Values are included in the following section. These should be considered together, as a holistic representation of our institution.
In the next few months, we will finalize and launch UTRGV's strategic plan. As we have been highlighting since the formation of the Strategic Planning Committee, the success of the strategic planning process depends on your active engagement and participation, which we greatly appreciate. Also, if you have additional comments or feedback, please reach out to us via our feedback form or email.
Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
I sincerely appreciate all you have done and what you will continue to do for UTRGV, and especially for our students. We had a challenging, yet exciting and very successful year, thanks to you. Thanks to all your efforts, hard work, commitment, and dedication, we have made substantial and positive progress during UTRGV’s first year. We look forward to continuing to work collectively and collaboratively with you to ensure the university's ongoing success.
On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, the Division of Academic Affairs celebrated the accomplishments of its faculty, students, and staff at its first of three Fall 2016 Convocations, which took place at the Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg. We held a second convocation on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville. We greatly appreciate all those who made the time to attend and thank you for your positive feedback.
Our final Convocation will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 29, at the Performing Arts Complex Auditorium in Edinburg. While this final Convocation will primarily be for the Offices of Student Success, Strategic Enrollment, and Information Technology, all are welcome to attend.
Throughout the summer, we continued to solicit feedback and input regarding our Strategic Planning process. As a result, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) made additional revisions to the proposed UTRGV Mission, Vision, Core Priorities, and Values, which are included in the following section. If you have additional comments or feedback, please reach out to us via our feedback form or email.
To transform the Rio Grande Valley, the Americas, and the world through an innovative and accessible educational environment that promotes student success, research, creative works, health and well-being, community engagement, and sustainable development.
To be the nation’s premier Hispanic-serving institution and a highly engaged bilingual university, with exceptional educational, research, and creative opportunities that serve as a catalyst for transformation in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.
Transforming the Rio Grande Valley, the Americas, and the world requires weaving excellence throughout the fabric of the university and into the core of everything we do.
Diversity, Access, and Inclusion
Establishing an accessible educational environment requires that we cultivate and enhance the diverse, multicultural, and linguistic assets of our university and the Rio Grande Valley. UTRGV also promotes access, inclusion, and lifelong learning to ensure that all members of the university community have opportunities to succeed.
Inquiry, Discovery, and Creativity
Igniting, illuminating, and enhancing the talents and passions for open inquiry, discovery, and creativity of the university community inspires generations of lifelong scholars and artists who impact the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.
Engagement and Impact
Seeking to be a catalyst for transformation, the university integrates social justice, civic responsibility, innovation, and sustainable development in its endeavors. Such change is best undertaken through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches across the university and with community, government, business, and non-profit partners.
Participating in decision-making processes with integrity, trust, and respect is a responsibility of all UTRGV stakeholders. This requires an environment of shared governance, academic freedom, accountability and transparency, and open and honest communication.
Instilling a sense of value and empowerment in all members of the university community is a fundamental responsibility of leaders at all levels, and involves facilitating professional, intellectual, cultural, and personal growth.
Health and Well-being
Recognizing that our success is integrally related to the condition of our community, UTRGV strives to promote the health and well-being of its students, faculty, and staff, and create a healthy, equitable, and resilient community.
At this time, the SPSC believes we are now very close to finalizing the proposed Mission, Vision, Core Priorities, and Values, as outlined above. Further, during the next few months, we expect to start finalizing UTRGV's strategic plan and will continue to provide opportunities to engage you in these conversations and obtain your feedback. As we have been highlighting since the formation of the Strategic Planning Committee in Fall 2015, the success of the strategic planning process depends on your active engagement and participation, which we greatly appreciate. For additional information on UTRGV’s strategic planning process.
Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Since convening the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) in December, 2015, we have been conducting a variety of activities with a number of stakeholder groups. We are happy to report that we have received extensive and constructive feedback and input, which has been incorporated into our discussions and working documents.
On April 26, 2016, John Tannous with the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) gave a highly informative presentation to the Strategic Planning Committee on the “State of the Union” for Higher Education and Strategic Planning 101. This presentation not only provided the Strategic Planning Committee a broad overview of trends in the national environment of higher education, student success, and the research enterprise, but also focused on potential strategic planning pitfalls, strategies for resourcing the plan, and practical advice moving forward.
More recently, in May, we conducted Dessert & Dialogue interactive sessions on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses. The participation and response from the University community was excellent. Participants learned more about the recently formed subcommittees, shared in meaningful discussions, and provided extensive feedback and input into the subcommittees’ proposed initiatives.
Again, the feedback we have received so far has been excellent, and it’s making a significant difference in the work of the Strategic Planning Committee. Next steps now include reaching out in a systematic manner to the external community. The success of the strategic planning process depends on your input and engagement in this important initiative and the engagement of our external communities. We appreciate your continued and active participation in this process.
Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Since convening the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) in December, 2015, we have been conducting multiple feedback sessions with a number of stakeholder groups, including:
As we begin our second semester, I’d like to take a quick moment to reflect upon our university’s historic and successful opening. As I’ve said many times before, what we accomplished last year is nothing short of amazing, and I thank our students, faculty, and staff for their hard work and dedication.
It’s also important to note that this is only the beginning for UTRGV.
From growing enrollment to becoming an emerging research university to welcoming our first class of medical students, we have many more goals (and accomplishments) on the horizon. This is truly an exciting time for our university, and to ensure we sustain our momentum, I am pleased to announce the formation of our founding Strategic Planning Committee.
The committee is chaired by Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and he has appointed members who represent many different areas of our university and community. I have charged the committee with developing UTRGV’s founding strategic plan based on our university’s four areas of focus:
In addition, I have asked that the strategic plan be quantifiable and measurable to help determine our success, as well as concise and to the point. This strategic planning process also will guide and work collectively with the university’s master planning process.
More importantly, we’d like this process to be inclusive. During the committee’s initial meeting in December, Dr. Rodríguez emphasized to members the importance of actively communicating with their respective constituent groups and seeking feedback. Your support and participation in this process is important to us, and you can follow the committee’s progress on this website, which will be routinely updated with meeting summaries and other pertinent information. The website also includes a list of committee members.
In addition, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email email@example.com.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Dr. Rodríguez and the committee for accepting this challenging yet substantial endeavor. Many strategic planning processes simply build off pre-existing plans, but we don’t have that luxury. Ours will be the first for the university and set the foundation for years and years to come.
Together We Will Build Our Future!
It is a pleasure and honor to have been appointed by President Guy Bailey to serve as Chair of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s (UTRGV) Strategic Planning Committee. This is truly an excellent opportunity for UTRGV and our internal and external communities. We get this one opportunity to craft a strategic plan that will define this institution for years to come. Dr. Bailey is expecting this plan will represent UTRGV’s guiding principles and our core priorities, and will help us establish one of the first new universities for the 21st Century.
As you know, there will be many challenges ahead, but also great opportunities and exciting possibilities as we move forward in creating a new, innovative, and transformative institution of higher education with student success at the forefront of what we do.
Members from the President’s Cabinet, Athletics, Academic Affairs, Faculty Senate, Staff, SGA, Women’s Faculty Network (WFN), and community representatives were appointed to serve on this important Committee. We have a rather large Committee, which is the result of a distributed university, and to ensure representation from the different campuses and constituent groups. Committee membership and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee Members are on our website.
On December 9, the Strategic Planning Committee had its first meeting. Dr. Bailey discussed the importance and significance of the strategic planning process. The meeting’s agenda and PowerPoint presentation can also be found on our website.
I strongly encouraged all committee members to return to their respective units and colleagues and provide regular updates and seek feedback regarding UTRGV’s Strategic Planning process. We will be providing regular updates and seek your feedback via our website. Additionally, if you have any recommendations, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we are currently seeking critical feedback from designated faculty (in addition to the Faculty Senate), staff, and student groups on issues/challenges that impact teaching, scholarship, and service at UTRGV.
Please know that the success of the Strategic Planning process will depend on our ability to actively engage the university and the external communities in this important initiative. Your feedback and active participation will be critical to our success. I look forward to working with all of you on this exciting and challenging journey.
I wish you an excellent, peaceful, and joyous new year.
Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs