The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

UTRGV Strategic Planning Committee

Together We Will Banner

March 22, 2017

Dear Dr. Bailey:

On behalf of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC), I am attaching the final draft of UTRGV’s Strategic Plan as well as an Executive Summary. Please know that after final approval from the UT System Board of Regents, University Marketing & Communications will be formatting and structuring the plan into a highly interactive and engaging document. As you know, this plan resulted from the ongoing commitment, active engagement, and hard work of many faculty, staff, and students that form part of this excellent institution, as well as the external community.

The Strategic Planning Committee and the SPSC met on a regular basis throughout the development of the strategic plan; we actively engaged members of the internal and external communities; we broadly disseminated, through multiple mechanisms, information about the strategic plan; and we kept our community informed regarding our progress throughout this entire process. This strategic planning document is based on the insights, ideas, recommendations, and feedback of faculty, staff, and students, as well as external community members. It is also noteworthy that the proposed core priorities and other key areas of focus in this plan are intrinsically linked to UT System’s Quantum Leaps.

I am most proud of the fact that we developed a plan that actively engaged our community and that reflects their ideas, hopes, and aspirations for a new university that will become a model for higher education throughout the country. I am also very pleased to indicate that, by far and large, we have a university community that cares about our institution; is committed to the success of our students; wants to create an environment that is welcoming and nurturing; and wants to achieve success in everything that we do, as manifested through our proposed core priorities and institutional values.

I was extremely fortunate to have the honor and privilege to Chair the Strategic Planning Committee and work with an outstanding group of colleagues that helped develop and design UTRGV’s first strategic plan, which will establish a strong foundation for what is to become “one of the nation’s leaders in higher education, its premier Hispanic-serving institution, and a highly engaged bilingual university, with exceptional educational, research, and creative opportunities that serve as catalysts for transformation in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond” (proposed UTRGV Vision).

Sincerely,

Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Provost and Chair, Strategic Planning Committee



Colleagues:

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.

Sincerely,

Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

 

Proposed Core Priorities

Proposed Core Priorities

Proposed Mission:

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.

Proposed Vision:

To be one of the nation’s leaders in higher education, its premier Hispanic-serving institution, and a highly engaged bilingual university, with exceptional educational, research, and creative opportunities that serve as catalysts for transformation in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.

Proposed Values:


  • Excellence
    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.
  • Shared Governance
    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.
  • Leadership
    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.



Colleagues:

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.

Proposed Core Priorities


Proposed Core Priorities

Proposed Mission:

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.

Proposed Vision:

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.

Proposed Values:

  • Excellence
    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.

  • Shared Governance
    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.

  • Leadership
    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.

Sincerely,

Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee



Colleagues:

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.

Dessert & Dialogue

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.

Additionally, we have continued to solicit feedback from an extensive number of stakeholder groups (e.g., Faculty Senate, Women’s Faculty Network, Academic Affairs Leadership Program, Student Government Association, and Staff).

Based on the feedback and input from these activities, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) has made numerous revisions to the proposed UTRGV Core Priorities, Mission, Vision, and Values. If you have any comments or feedback, please reach out to us via our feedback form or email.

Proposed Core Priorities

Proposed Core Priorities


Proposed Mission:

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.


Proposed Vision:

To be the nation’s premier Hispanic-serving institution, a highly engaged bilingual university, and an exceptional educational and research institution recognized as a catalyst for transformation in the Rio Grande Valley.


Proposed Values:

  • Excellence
    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.
  • Engagement and Impact
    Seeking to be a catalyst for change, the university integrates social justice, civic responsibility, innovation, and sustainable development in all of its endeavors. Such change is best approached through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches across the university and including community, government, business, and non-profit partners.
  • Shared Governance
    Participating in decision-making processes with integrity, trust, and respect is a responsibility of all UTRGV stakeholders. This requires an environment of shared governance, accountability and transparency, and open and honest communication.
  • Leadership
    Creating a sense of value and empowerment among all members of the university community to be agents of transformation means that leaders at all levels provide leadership opportunities and facilitate the work and professional, intellectual, cultural, and personal growth of students, faculty, and staff.
  • 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.

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.

Sincerely:

Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee



 UTRGV Strategic Planning Committee

Colleagues:

Since convening the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) in December, 2015, we have been conducting multiple feedback sessions with a number of stakeholder groups, including:

  • Student Focus Groups
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Staff Focus Groups
  • University Leadership Council
  • Faculty Working Group
  • Faculty Senate
  • Women’s Faculty Network
  • Academic Affairs Executive Council
  • Academic Affairs Leadership Program
  • Research Deans’ Council
  • High School Partners Leadership Council
  • College of Sciences Open Forum
We have also made extensive use of the working group reports developed by faculty, staff, and students as we transitioned to UTRGV. Over 400 participants in our legacy institutions worked in the development of 47 working group reports.

We are pleased to announce that during the abovementioned meetings, we have generated extensive and consistent feedback. Based on this feedback, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) is proposing revisions to the University Core Priorities and the Provisional Mission Statement. Please know, we are currently seeking additional feedback from the University community regarding these revisions, and the work the SPC subcommittees are conducting.

Proposed Draft Mission:

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.

Proposed Core Priorities:

  • Student Success
  • Educational Opportunity
  • Health and Medical Education (Modified)
  • Research Impacting the Rio Grande Valley and Beyond (Modified)
  • Community Engagement (Added)
Taking into consideration all the preliminary feedback we received, the SPSC assembled a list of major substantive areas for our strategic plan; subcommittees were established based on these major areas, which include all committee members (including alternates), in addition to UTRGV faculty and staff outside the committee who we believe will play a critical role in the development of these substantive areas. Our SPC website has the subcommittee list with the major areas and membership. Individuals highlighted in bold will be the conveners for each subcommittee.

We would like to engage the University community in a dialogue with members of these subcommittees. Consequently, we have scheduled two Dessert & Dialogue interactive sessions to take place on the Brownsville and the Edinburg campuses. Not only will tasty treats be available, but each subcommittee will have draft reports available to discuss with the campus community in order to obtain further feedback on their particular topics.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

Edinburg: Monday, May 2nd, 2:00 to 4:00PM, Ballroom
Brownsville: Wednesday, May 4th, 1:00 to 3:00PM, PlainsCapital El Gran Salon

The feedback we have received so far has been excellent, and it’s making a significant difference on the SPC’s work. 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. We appreciate your continued active participation.

Sincerely:

Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee



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:

  • Student Success
  • Educational Opportunity
  • Medical Education
  • Research on the Issues Impacting the Region

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 strategic-planning@utrgv.edu.

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!

Sincerely,
Guy Bailey



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 strategic-planning@utrgv.edu.

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.

Sincerely,

Havidán Rodríguez, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs