University of North Carolina Tomorrow:
Leading, Connecting, Transforming
The University of North Carolina is dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people. In order to efficiently and effectively fulfill its three-pronged mission of education, research and scholarship, and public service in the 21st century, the University should proactively anticipate and identify the needs facing our state over the next twenty years and, consistent with its mission, develop and implement responses to those needs.
Our goal is to produce a more proactively responsive University focused on meeting the challenges of the state over the next 20 years. To achieve this goal, we must answer three basic questions:
1. What challenges facing our state do North Carolinians want UNC to respond to?
2. How can UNC best respond to these challenges?
3. How can UNC sustain this focus over the long-term?
To answer the first two questions, we will identify what challenges our state faces both now and in the future, how we are currently meeting them, where there are gaps, and how we can close those gaps efficiently and affordably. We will examine issues facing our state in areas such as community and economic transformation, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship, education, health, environmental and natural resources, cultural and societal enrichment through the arts and humanities, and civic engagement. We will identify ways to meet those needs through programs and curricula, scholarship and research efforts, and public service engagement.
Recognizing that the needs of our state will evolve over time, we must do more than become more demand-driven – we must remain demand-driven. To answer the third question, we will identify systemic changes in our own processes, such as program consideration and long range planning, so that we can, in future years, identify needs proactively, respond nimbly, and assess our effectiveness.
Our work will center on the three prongs of UNC’s mission: Teaching, Research and Scholarship, and Public Service. Recommendations and responses will be identified within each of these areas.
With our partners and oversight by the UNC Board of Governors, UNC will undertake this initiative through a four-part process:
1) Preparation - February – July 2007
Work with campuses to analyze what they are currently doing to meet present and future challenges facing our state and their region and how they identify those challenges; conduct internal review of existing resources; and synthesize and update existing reports and studies.
2) Assessment - August 2007 – January 2008
Meet with business, nonprofit, community, policy, and governmental leaders in each of the state’s regions and in statewide sectors to hear from them what they need from UNC over the next twenty years; Commission issues report and recommendations to UNC BOG.
3) Response - February 2008 – May 2008
Develop a response to identified needs by UNC and each campus consistent with UNC’s mission as well as systemic changes to internal processes to ensure continued focus in future years. The UNC BOG will approve response plans.
4) Implementation - June 2008 – January 2012
Implement responses at the UNC and campus level by integrating responses into missions, programs, and curriculum, and assessing progress toward goals.
· The UNC Board of Governors will oversee the initiative, ensure that the work remains appropriately focused, and participate in campus-related work and regional public meetings. The Board has final approval of all recommendations.
· Campuses will be asked to form work groups to analyze past response to the state’s needs, determine campus capacity to respond going forward, and to follow, inform, and respond to the findings of the Commission. Campus participation includes administration, faculty, and students.
· The UNC Tomorrow Commissionmade up of business, education, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the state will be charged with learning “what the people of North Carolina need from their University over the next twenty years” and making recommendations to the Board of Governors.
· Faculty will provide both research and advice to the Commission through a Scholars Council. The Council will synthesize previous studies, research relevant issues and trends, develop focused “framing” questions for regional and sector public meetings, attend meetings, and assist the Commission in developing its recommendations.
· UNC General Administration will direct the day-to-day work of staff, campuses, the Commission and the Scholars Council throughout the initiative.
· A Response Team made up of General Administration staff and representatives from the Scholars Council, the Commission, and the Board of Governors, will develop a clear, comprehensive plan for responding to and implementing approved recommendations.