Setting the Stage for the Self-Study
From Spring 2014 through Spring 2015, the University of Delaware engaged in a strategic planning effort. This major planning effort was conducted by an Executive Committee and three Working Groups — Sustaining and Accelerating the Advance; Grand Challenges, Great Debates and Big Ideas; and Models for the New American Research University. During Summer 2014, the Executive Committee met every two weeks to plan and develop outreach and communications to facilitate the efforts of the Working Groups, to map out major events and activities for the fall, and to discuss the preparation of the draft plan. The Working Groups met regularly during this period to engage in extensive internal discussions pertaining to their specific goals and to prepare informational concept papers for review and reaction from the greater campus community. In Fall 2014, the Working Groups shared their concept papers and engaged in town halls with the campus community to garner feedback. In Winter 2015, the Working Groups and Executive Committee analyzed this input and developed the draft strategic plan. Midway through this process, President Patrick Harker announced that his departure from the University was imminent. Work on the strategic plan continued to the completion of a strategic plan called Delaware Will Shine.
In June 2016, Dennis Assanis became the 28th president of the University of Delaware. President Assanis took the input from the Delaware Will Shine strategic planning process and identified five key priorities for the University: (a) enhancing the success of our students; (b) fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship; (c) building an environment of inclusive excellence; (d) strengthening interdisciplinary and global programs; and (e) investing in our intellectual and physical capital.
As part of the Self-Study process, we will engage the broader University of Delaware community in discussion of these five key priorities to ensure that the University as whole understands and embraces the five priorities and together embarks on the operationalization of the priorities. Given the size and scope of our institution, we chose the standards-based approach to facilitate the development of the self-study and its evaluation. Each standard is assigned to a working group with the Steering Committee addressing Standard I.
Intended Outcomes of the Self-Study
- Through the self-study, we will demonstrate how the University meets the Middle States accreditation standards, requirements of affiliation and verification of compliance with accreditation-relevant federal regulations.
- The self-study will engage the broader university community in discussion of the five priorities and ensure that university stakeholders understand the direction of the university and their role in the advancement of the university.
- The five strategic priorities are being implemented with an eye toward optimizing resource allocation. One of the goals of the self-study is to have a clearly articulated framework for optimizing resource allocation.