HIGHER EXPECTATIONS: STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA - 2017-2022

Strategic Planning

 

North Carolina has long been known for a visionary approach to higher education. A sustained commitment to college access, cutting edge research, and public service has built the University of North Carolina into one of the best public higher education systems in the country.

But the state faces new challenges, from shifting economic demands to an increasingly diverse population, and the University must adapt to meet them. To continue to meet the needs of the citizens of North Carolina, we must find new ways to keep college affordable, help more students succeed, and enhance the university’s contribution to communities across the state.

The strategic planning process is designed to focus our university system on a new set of system-level goals, provide the means to measure progress toward those goals, and identify the strategies that can help us achieve them. The objective: a plan that strengthens our institutions, improves student outcomes and expands access to affordable high-quality degrees.

Access

The UNC system must continue its proud heritage of access and student diversity.

Affordability and Efficiency

Ensure a UNC education is within the financial means of all in the state.

Student Success

Increase degree attainment and ensure value and relevance for students.

Economic Impact and
Community Engagement

Deepening partnerships that strengthen local communities and the state’s economy.

Excellent and Diverse Institutions

Help institutions achieve excellence within individual missions.

 

 

Meeting Expectations Banner Image

 

System Level Dashboard

Access

Access is the opportunity for all North Carolinians who are prepared for the associated rigorous learning experiences to pursue a university education. Providing North Carolinians access and encouragement to pursue higher education is not confined solely to helping students gain admittance to college. It also includes:

  • Providing multiple access points into the University such as pathways for transfer students and availability of online courses;
  • Offering academic, financial, cultural, and other knowledge-based services to help all students — but particularly those who are underserved for any reason — aspire to, enroll in, and graduate from institutions that match their interests and capabilities.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan defines an institution’s low-income enrollment as the number of in-state, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in the fall term who received a federal Pell Grant. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan defines as low-income completions the number of in-state undergraduates who both (1) received a baccalaureate degree in the current academic year and (2) received a federal Pell Grant within the last 5 years. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan defines an institution’s rural enrollment as the number of in-state, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in the fall term who live in a county that the North Carolina Department of Commerce defined (in 2016) as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan defines as rural completions the number of in-state undergraduates who both (1) received a baccalaureate degree in the current academic year and (2) resided within the last 5 years in a county that the North Carolina Department of Commerce defined (in 2016) as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

In collaboration with the Community College System and Department of Public Instruction, the UNC System Office has convened a statewide education commission known as My Future NC. The Commission will set educational attainment goals for the state and recommend policies and strategies designed to improve readiness and the transition to postsecondary education.

 

Student Success

Student Success is a combination of positive intellectual, personal, and social development facilitated by a high-quality university education. It includes:

  • The development of competencies — critical and creative thinking, life-long learning, technological mastery, resilience, effective communication, flexibility, and collaboration, among others — for meaningful engagement in 21st-century life;
  • The timely acquisition of a degree.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC System’s 5-year graduation rate uses the number of first-time, full-time, bachelor’s degree-seeking undergraduates who received a baccalaureate degree from any accredited institution of higher education within 5 years as its numerator. The denominator is the number in the cohort for the fall in which the cohort began study at a UNC institution. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan measures undergraduate degree efficiency as an institution’s number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan measures undergraduate degree efficiency as an institution’s number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates. Further detail regarding undergraduate degree efficiency and achievement gaps according to this measure is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan measures undergraduate degree efficiency as an institution’s number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates. Further detail regarding undergraduate degree efficiency and achievement gaps according to this measure is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan measures undergraduate degree efficiency as an institution’s number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates. Further detail regarding undergraduate degree efficiency and achievement gaps according to this measure is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan measures undergraduate degree efficiency as an institution’s number of undergraduate credentials awarded per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) undergraduates. Further detail regarding undergraduate degree efficiency and achievement gaps according to this measure is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

The University will provide all students with outstanding academic and experiential learning opportunities to acquire “all useful learning” needed to be responsible citizens, productive members of the workforce, and life-long learners in a global environment. Later in 2018, the University will implement a survey of current students and alumni that will measure the degree of engagement during their academic careers and satisfaction in postgraduate life. Updates will be posted here.

 

Affordability and Efficiency

Article IX, Section 9 of the North Carolina State Constitution requires that “The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.”

That constitutional mandate encourages a working compact among the state’s elected officials, taxpayers, and UNC to deliver the University’s multifaceted mission at the highest levels of quality in a cost-effective manner without regard to a student’s ability to pay.

Article IX, Section 9 of the North Carolina State Constitution requires that “The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.”

That constitutional mandate encourages a working compact among the state’s elected officials, taxpayers, and UNC to deliver the University’s multifaceted mission at the highest levels of quality in a cost-effective manner without regard to a student’s ability to pay.

The University will pursue and utilize increased operational and financial flexibility for the benefit of the educational, research, and public service missions of the University. Updates will be posted here.

 

Economic Impact and Community Engagement

Universities have sustained impact on state and regional economies through the students they attract and teach, the research they perform, the innovation they encourage, the people they employ, the services they offer, and the partnerships they build with their communities and across the world. The University can enhance economic impact and community engagement by preparing graduates to be well-rounded citizens and lifelong learners to meet the state’s long-term needs; improving quality of life; investing in foundational research; speeding the discovery, application, and translation of research; and deepening sustained partnerships that strengthen local communities and the state’s economy.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan counts as critical workforce credentials the number of credentials earned at a UNC institution in the fields of health sciences, STEM, K-12 education, and other emerging regional workforce needs in a given academic year. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

To print, click the download icon () below the chart and select PDF.

The UNC Strategic Plan defines research productivity as the amount of revenue from research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income in a given fiscal year. Further detail is available in the UNC Strategic Plan’s technical appendix.

Later in 2018, in consultation with the UNC System office, the University’s constituent institutions will each create an implementation plan to assist a North Carolina community or region in need. Updates will be posted here.

 

Excellent and Diverse Institutions

The University’s constituent institutions are individually distinct and mission-focused and collectively comprise an inclusive and vibrant university system, committed to excellence and the fullest development of a diversity of students, faculty, and staff.

The University will strengthen its reputation and accomplishments by having each constituent institution identify mission-focused academic “areas of distinction” and achieve significant regional or national recognition within those areas by 2021-22. Each UNC institution has identified areas of distinction (including baseline data, metrics, and targets). Updates will be posted here.

The University will systematically focus on recruitment, retention, and development of the most talented and diverse workforce possible at all levels over the next five years. The UNC System office has developed an implementation plan to systematically measure—at all levels—engagement, retention, succession planning, and investment in professional development in order to promote System-wide improvements in these areas.

The UNC System Employee Engagement Survey is a five-year project to establish a baseline metric for employee engagement in concert with other human capital metrics (turnover, performance management, professional development, promotion). This will allow the leadership at each UNC constituent institution to address those areas in which employee engagement challenges may exist and to recognize those areas that are successfully fostering employee engagement. The survey results may also assist the UNC System in advocating for improvements to human resources policies at the statewide level that are generally beyond institutions’ control.

The survey questions cover key dimensions of employee engagement, including job satisfaction, institutional pride, communication, and fairness. For example: “My job makes good use of my skills and abilities,” “People in my department work well together,” and “I understand how my job contributes to this institution’s mission.”

The survey opened on January 29, after an announcement from President Spellings. In late March, preliminary data were provided to the Board of Governors and to UNC Chancellors. Final data reports will be released midsummer of 2018.

 

 

Performance Agreements and Institution Dashboards

We are excited by the recent signing of 17 Strategic Plan Performance Agreements at each of our universities.

These unique performance agreements are how and where the Strategic Plan comes to life. Through nine measurable metrics under the themes of access, student success, and economic impact, we’ve created plans that build on each institution’s distinctive strengths and priorities.

This was an iterative process, with campus leaders working with Andrew Kelly and Margaret Spellings' team to rank the 9 measures and then using existing institution-level strategic plans, historical data and future projections, to generate aggressive but realistic targets for each metric.

Our Strategic Plan is only as good as its implementation and this is a significant step for the system towards transformative growth and a coordinated strategy that capitalizes on each institution’s diversity and unique mission and context.

We are now developing interactive dashboards to monitor system and institution-level progress and we will be awarding up to $2 million of the President’s Strategic Initiative reserve on a competitive basis to our institutions pursuing “stretch goals” on student success.

This is an exciting step forward that will further accelerate our work. You can find the unique institutional agreements here or linked below.

 

Read the News Story

 

Signed Agreements and Institution Dashboards:

 

 

Progress

The strategic planning process was initiated with the commissioning of a report of institutional effectiveness. The Boston Consulting Group was hired to review the structure, activities, and organizational effectiveness of the General Administration of the University of North Carolina System. BCG's final report was delivered on March 28, 2016.

 

Mar 2018

Dashboards

Benchmark: System Data Dashboard Launched
System Level data dashboard launched with individual campus dashboards following shortly.

Nov 2017

Agreement

Benchmark: Performance Agreements Signed
Plans created and signed that build on each institution’s distinctive strengths and priorities.

Dec 2016

Prioritize

Benchmark: Review, Finalize, and Approve System Level Goals
The full Board of Governors will prioritize, finalize, and approve a small set of system level goals based on committee recommendations and stakeholder feedback.

Oct 2016

System Level Goals

Benchmark: Recommend System Level
The Board Committee should recommend 2-3 draft system level goals based on information gathered in the previous two benchmarks.
Topic: Affordability & Efficiency

Sept 2016

Environmental Scan

Benchmark: Evaluate National, State, and University Landscape, Strengths, and Gaps
Evaluate what is happening nationally and across the state in this strategic priority area, assess the needs of the state, and determine the University's current strengths and gaps in relation to this landscape.
Topics: Access; Student Success

July 2016

Definition

Benchmark: Define the Strategic Priority
Learn about and describe the strategic priority in detail
Topics: Economic Impact and Community Engagement; Excellent & Diverse Institutions

 

 

Public Input Sessions

The University of North Carolina (UNC) belongs to all citizens and constituencies of our state. Recognizing its obligation to all constituencies to contribute to an improved quality of life – economically and socially – UNC is in the process of developing a strategic plan for guiding decision making in the years ahead.

For any strategic plan to be meaningful and successful, it is essential to understand the perspectives of as many individuals and constituencies as possible. To that end, stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members) have had two opportunities to provide feedback on the draft definitions, goals, and metrics: 1) an online survey and 2) one of seventeen public forums held at each UNC institution.

Executive Summary of Public Input Sessions and Survey Results

An executive summary provides an overview of feedback received from both the online survey and public forums.

Online Survey

A survey soliciting feedback from stakeholders across the state was open from September 22 to November 20th. Survey results captures perspectives of over 8,500 individuals.

Public Forums

Public Forums were held at all 17 constituent institutions between October and mid-November. The feedback received during each forum was summarized by constituent institution staff and can be downloaded at the links below.

 

Presentations to the UNC Board of Governors on a range of topics informing the strategic planning process are available for viewing.

 

Kick Off Topics:

Board of Governors and Strategic Planning Process, Boston Consulting Group presentation

National Trends in Higher Education, Andrew Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy

Demographic Changes Impacting North Carolina, James H. Johnson, Jr. Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Video archive: Kick Off Topics

Economic Impact and Community Engagement Discussions:

Keynote – The Honorable Phil Bredesen, Former Governor of Tennessee | Watch video archive

Public Universities and Economic Impact  – James Woodell, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities | Watch video archive

Moving Discovery to Innovation for Economic Impact– Karen LeVert, Co-Founder and CEO, Southeast TechInventures, Inc., former NC Entrepreneur of the Year | Watch video archive

Developing Talent for Economic Impact– Fran O’Sullivan, General Manager, Global Business Services and Senior Executive for North Carolina, IBM | Watch video archive

Access and Success Presentations:

Trends in Access and Student Success: Andrew Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy, Video archive:  Andrew Kelly Presentation

EAB - Insight from Performance-Based Funding: Matthew Pellish, Senior Director of Strategic Research and Education, Education Advisory Board (EAB), Video archive:  Matthew Pellish Presentation

 

 

 

Access. Opportunity for all

In 2014, 37 percent of undergraduates across the system received Pell Grants, up from 26 percent in 2006. Additionally, the UNC system has a rich history of providing access to diverse populations, including six institutions that have historically served minorities. Currently, African-American and Hispanic students comprise 26 percent of total enrollment.

Ensuring that the system remained open to all was an issue raised by numerous stakeholders. Said BCG one interviewee, "The diversity of our students needs to be at the forefront of the discussion." Said another institution leader, "I wouldn’t be here today if not for the UNC system."

Definition: Access

Access is the opportunity for all North Carolinians who are prepared for the associated rigorous learning experiences to pursue a university education.

Providing North Carolinians access and encouragement to pursue higher education is not confined solely to helping students gain admittance to college. It also includes: 

  • • providing multiple access points into the University;
  • • academic, financial, cultural, and other knowledge-based services to help all students - but particularly for those who are underserved for any reason - aspire to, enroll in, and graduate from institutions that match their interests and capabilities.

Committee Materials

Benchmark I

Benchmark II

Access Presentation, September 2016 BOG Meeting

Access Presentation, October 2016 BOG Meeting

Video: Degrees of Hope

"Degrees of Hope” is a video which depicts the lives of five college students and the barriers they faced. This video was created by the Institute for Higher Education Policy.




Affordability & Efficiency

Many stakeholders referenced the state's clear constitutional mandate for affordability: that public higher education should "as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense." This is a unique aspect of the UNC system; as one interviewee noted, "We are one of the few states that has the affordability of higher education in our constitution."

Definition: Affordability and Efficiency

Article IX, Section 9 of the NC State Constitution requires that the General Assembly shall provide that “the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.”  

That constitutional mandate encourages a working compact among the state’s elected officials, taxpayers, and the University to deliver the University’s multifaceted mission at the highest levels of quality in a cost-effective manner without regard to a student’s ability to pay.

Committee Materials

Benchmark I

Benchmark II

Affordability and Efficiency Presentation, September 2016 BOG Meeting

Affordability and Efficiency Presentation, October 2016 BOG Meeting

 

Student Success

A college degree is increasingly important for career success. According to a study from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 61 percent of jobs in North Carolina will require some form of postsecondary education and training, while between 2010 and 2020 there will be an estimated 1.5 million new job openings—two-thirds of which will require higher education.

At the same time, the "attainment gap" between white and minority students in North Carolina is one of the largest in the country; while 50 percent of white students earn a postsecondary degree, only 28 percent of African-American and 24 percent of Hispanic students do so.

Ensuring students graduate ready for their career is a critical priority for the UNC system, and there was broad agreement among our interviewees that each institution must provide a clear value proposition to students. At the same time, interviewees were quick to point out that student success takes a wide variety of forms beyond graduation rates and job prospects and should also include a sense of overall well-being. As one stakeholder put it, reflecting the diverse objectives of the system, "It's about earnings somewhat…but also well-being, setting up for long-term personal and professional success, [and] citizenship." Any notion of student success must also consider the diverse student make-up of the system, including non-traditional and adult students.

Definition: Student Success

Student Success is a multifaceted construct of positive intellectual, personal, and social transformation facilitated by a high quality University education.  It includes:

  • The timely acquisition of a degree, and
  • The development of competencies – critical thinking, life-long learning, technological mastery, resilience, effective communication, flexibility, and collaboration, among others – for a meaningful engagement in 21st-century life, including, but not limited to the workforce.

Committee Materials

Benchmark I

Benchmark II

Student Success Presentation, September 2016 BOG Meeting

 

Economic Impact and Community Engagement

The UNC system contributes in myriad ways to the economic needs of North Carolina. A statewide analysis released in 2015 on the impact of higher education on the state's economy estimated that in 2013 the UNC system contributed $27.9 billion in added state income through alumni, faculty research, start-ups, and other sources, the equivalent of 426,000 new jobs.

The UNC system brings in $1.36 billion annually in research funding as well.

Several stakeholders surfaced the need for the UNC system to contribute in many ways to the state, including educating the next generation of civic leaders, partnering with employers to shape the state's future workforce, providing leadership and innovation in health care, and supporting faculty in impactful academic research and community outreach.

Definition: Economic Impact and Community Engagement

Universities have an impact on state and regional economies through the students they attract and teach, the research they perform, the innovation they encourage, the people they employ, the services they offer, and the partnerships they build. The University of North Carolina can enhance that impact by focusing on graduates’ readiness to meet the state’s long-term needs; investing in foundational research; speeding the application and translation of discoveries; and deepening partnerships that strengthen local communities and the state’s economy.

Committee Materials

Benchmark I

Benchmark II

Economic Impact Presentation, September 2016 BOG Meeting

Economic Impact Presentation, October 2016 BOG Meeting

Strategic Planning Discussions

During a July 2016 policy session, Board members, chancellors, staff, and others heard from presenters James Woodell, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, who reviewed approaches universities across the US are taking to increase their economic impact; Karen LeVert, Co-Founder and CEO, Southeast TechInventures, Inc., who described ways universities are improving their ability to commercialize new technologies; and Fran O’Sullivan, General Manager, Global Business Services and Senior Executive for North Carolina, IBM, who highlighted the importance of “talent development” to the state’s economic future. Comments and discussion with the speakers focused on student preparation for careers, transferring technology to the market, and partnering with business and community leaders.

Presentations:

Keynote – The Honorable Phil Bredesen, Former Governor of Tennessee | Watch video archive

Public Universities and Economic Impact – James Woodell, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities |Watch video archive

Moving Discovery to Innovation for Economic Impact – Karen LeVert, Co-Founder and CEO, Southeast TechInventures, Inc., former NC Entrepreneur of the Year | Watch video archive

Developing Talent for Economic Impact – Fran O’Sullivan, General Manager, Global Business Services and Senior Executive for North Carolina, IBM | Watch video archive



Excellent & Diverse Institutions

The UNC system is comprised of a collection of highly distinct institutions, each with a unique mission and goals. Some of these institutions have a proud heritage of serving minorities, some are centers of excellence for the liberal arts, and one is a world-class arts conservatory. Some are top-tier research institutions, and some offer excellent education in technology and agriculture.

A successful model for the UNC system will acknowledge the strengths and contributions of every UNC institution. It will also be important to retain the diversity of institutions within the system, a view expressed repeatedly to the Boston Consulting Group in our conversations. Said one BCG interviewee, "We need to champion individual schools. The one size fits all mentality does not work." Said another, "Each school plays its own part in the system. And we should make sure that each school is the best at its mission."

Definition: Excellent and Diverse Institutions

Institutions that, both individually and collectively as a system, are distinct and mission-focused; high-performing; and committed to the fullest development of all students, faculty, and staff.

Committee Materials

Benchmark I

Benchmark II

Excellent and Diverse Institutions Presentation, September 2016 BOG Meeting

Excellent and Diverse Institutions Presentation, October 2016 BOG Meeting

Areas of Distinction



Strategic Plan Archive

Our Time, Our Future: Strategic Directions 2013-18

A comprehensive five-year plan developed with input from the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, consisting of business, education, and government leaders from across the state, as well as selected Board members, UNC chancellors, and faculty, staff, and student leadership; and a Strategic Directions Committee, chaired by a member of the Board of Governors and including selected General Administration staff and UNC chancellors. 
Learn more about UNC's strategic plan

Strategic Plan Progress Reports

Strategic Directions Plan Dashboard Report (October 2013)
Strategic Directions Plan Dashboard Report (January 2014)

UNC Tomorrow

UNC Tomorrow's primary focus was to ensure that the UNC System remained responsive and relevant to the state’s interests by identifying and evaluating the state’s present and projected needs. A final report served as a roadmap for the creation of policy and for the designation of resources for the system. Further, it strengthened the bond between the University and the community.
UNC Tomorrow Final Report

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