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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Program Prioritization Initiative

Dear Campus Community:

I wish to share with you plans for a new Program Prioritization initiative at UMD. As we reflect on the past year and look to years ahead, I think one thing that we all expect is a first-class educational experience for UMD students combined with financial stability for our university.

Through this Program Prioritization initiative, we will closely examine the programs, courses, and services that we deliver to see how they align with our mission and how they position UMD for growth. The goal of this initiative is to use limited financial resources in ways that will best meet the needs of our students and our community, as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

This initiative is timely given lower state funding over time, a decline in last year's new student enrollment, a challenging economy, and a shrinking Minnesota high school student population. We need to be relevant, we need to be mission-driven, and we need to fiscally responsible.

To truly utilize our resources to their fullest potential, we need to review all of our programs in relation to how they support UMD's mission. This includes all programs and services on campus - academic and non-academic. Instead of moving forward without the resources to support programs to their full potential, we can provide much needed resources to our priority areas. While the budget situation underscores the need for prioritization, it is also crucial to evaluate our priorities with respect to quality, demand, reputation, and many other areas.

I will be leading UMD through this Program Prioritization initiative with the help of the Vice Chancellors, Deans, and Directors, but everyone on campus will be involved at their program level. Criteria and weights for the criteria will be developed collaboratively in alignment with UMD's strategic plan, mission, and vision, with an additional focus on financial sustainability.

We will all be in this together. This initiative will spark innovative thinking and new approaches to accomplishing our mission and vision. We will emerge from this activity with a stronger, more robust UMD.


Lendley C. Black