Provost & EVC Enrique Lavernia Asks for Your Input on UCI's Brilliant Future

To the Anteater Community:

During the past 12 months, more than 1,000 members of our community from all areas of the academic enterprise were generous in contributing their time, knowledge, insight and wisdom to develop a new campus strategic plan. The Academic Planning Group has carefully studied campuswide data and extensive input from all across campus – including schools' and units' reports of their challenges and aspirations and over 6,000 pages of open-ended survey responses. Four highly representative work groups comprising more than 60 faculty, administrators, staff and students worked throughout the summer to bring all the information and input together in drafts related to each of our four pillars. Since those drafts were delivered on Sept. 1, the Office of Academic Planning, the Chancellor's Advisory Council (which includes all deans), the Chancellor's Cabinet and I have worked with the chancellor to refine them into a coherent and inspiring working version of UCI's new strategic plan.

Now we're ready to share our working document with you, so that you have a chance to provide guidance on how this should be finalized.

In the strategic plan section of my website, you'll find the following information:

  • A brief overview of the strategic vision
  • The comprehensive strategic plan working document, with enumerated goals and a list of strategies
  • A shorthand summary of the pillars, goals and strategies that will provide a more focused overview of suggested areas of focus (which may come in handy when you engage in the wiki survey described below)
  • A more complete summary of the process we have undertaken during the past 12 months
  • list of all the people who have actively participated in the process

Here is what Chancellor Gillman and I are asking you to do starting today.

Please look over the goals and strategies and let us know what you think. You may weigh in anonymously by participating in the wiki survey described below or by sending comments on the strategic plan working document via a link on the website.

A wiki survey is a way to elicit feedback on the relative importance, or priority, of one idea over another. Interfacing through the website, the wiki will present you with two random strategies, each in its own box. You may click on the box you think is a higher priority, or you may add a new idea in a third (blank) box. Once you have chosen, another random pair will appear, and so on. You can choose how long to participate, one minute or an hour or more, and how many times to revisit the site – whatever you like. All feedback is captured.

We are especially interested to know if you have additional ways of thinking about the strategies you'll see in the wiki survey. Please throw your ideas into the ring. All of them will be reviewed nightly, and appropriate and implementable ones will be integrated into the randomized survey options that appear the following business day. I encourage you to participate in the wiki early on and then revisit it later to see and weigh in on the new ideas that may have emerged.

Because we want you to consider the relative importance of each strategy within each pillar, we are planning four successive one-week surveys in October. The wiki for each pillar will open at about 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday and close at 3 p.m. the following Wednesday (Pillar 1, Oct. 7-14; Pillar 2, Oct. 14-21; Pillar 3, Oct. 21-28; and Pillar 4, Oct. 28-Nov. 4). My office will send an email reminder to you when new surveys are available for your input. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community supporters may participate in all wikis, though many people will be more interested in and informed about strategies being considered for pillars most closely aligned with their roles on campus. For example, undergraduates are likely to be most interested in Pillar 2, which focuses on the student experience.

I will also host a town hall meeting in November to give everyone a chance to discuss the plan and ask questions.

Chancellor Gillman and I will take all input under advisement as the strategic plan is finalized over the next three months. As a next step, we'll work on the implementation of our plan. The work groups have already identified some metrics but will not finalize them until the goals and strategies are confirmed.

Thank you for your ongoing engagement with this process and for sharing all your ideas on how best to prepare ourselves for our more brilliant future. I want to hear your voice; I do hope you participate in this review.

Sincerely,

Enrique Lavernia
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science