University of Vermont

Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President

VISION: to be a premier small research university




February 5, 2003


Objectives and Goals

for 2003-2008


This draft is based upon the University of Vermont Strategic Action Plan of October 2000, updated by progress towards the tactical imperatives identified for FY2001 and FY2002 and informed by Presidential, Board of Trustees and Institutional priorities.


The University of Vermont is a distinguished institution with a proud history, based on a strong intellectual community and a concern for the quality of life in the communities that it serves. UVM combines the intellectual resources and breadth of opportunity of a research university with the close student-teacher interactions typical of a liberal education, and supports its mission through the effective use of technology.

Our aspirations reflect our values, which include:


  • A commitment to rigorous intellectual inquiry and critical thinking
  • An abiding concern for the environment, health, and liberal education
  • A strong commitment to diversity in the student body, the faculty and staff, and the curriculum
  • A willingness to address difficult societal issues with honesty, civility, and practicality. We are a community that values respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility
  • An appreciation of our commitment to the State of Vermont and our land grant heritage

VISION: To be known as the nation's premier small public research university, preeminent in liberal education and the study of the environment and health. As a university we are dedicated to providing students with extraordinary opportunities for learning and personal development and enhancing the cultural, social and economic life of Vermont, the nation and the world.

MISSION: To create, interpret and share knowledge, to prepare our students to lead productive, responsible, and creative lives and to apply knowledge for the benefit of Vermont and society as a whole.


Through our efforts the University of Vermont will have a superior national reputation:

  • As a university combining outstanding teaching with the research focus, faculty excellence, programmatic range and depth, and the societal mission of a research university
  • As a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually engaged community on a human scale
  • As a place that emphasizes academic excellence, and provides an exceptional student-centered experience extending beyond the classroom
  • As a leader in liberal education and in the study of the environment and of health

Strategic Goals

To fulfill the university mission and vision we will focus on seven goals, which in their totality will enrich the university, its intellectual climate and curricula:

    1. Create a diverse community
    2. Recruit and retain excellent students, faculty and staff
    3. Strengthen and focus academic programs, emphasizing liberal education, health and the environment
    4. Create an outstanding student experience that promotes personal and intellectual development
    5. Strengthen research, scholarship and the creative arts
    6. Strengthen financial resources
    7. Focus the human, fiscal, environmental, technological and physical resources of the University on institutional values and priorities

Primary action steps for each goal are outlined below.

  1. Create a diverse community
  • Develop and implement plans throughout the institution to recruit and retain faculty, staff and students from under-represented groups.
  • Strengthen international and multicultural curricula opportunities.
  • Ensure that institutional policies and expectations are consistent with and promote the climate and community enshrined in "Our Common Ground".
  • Develop institutional practices and policies that foster a culture of inclusion, openness and collaboration among administrators, faculty, staff and students.
  1. Recruit and retain excellent students, faculty and staff.
  • Reward excellent performance, enhance competitiveness of compensation for faculty and staff, and improve the quality of the professional environment.
  • Increase the quality and improve the yield of admitted students through effective enrollment management.
  • Substantially expand merit and need-based financial aid endowments and gifts for the undergraduate and graduate population.
  • Evaluate and enhance academic advising programs.
  • Improve career and academic planning services and programs and connect these services more effectively to academic units and programs.
  1. Strengthen and focus academic programs, emphasizing liberal education, health and the environment
  • Implement a university–wide honors college.
  • Through faculty processes, create greater cohesion of the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Strengthen the Academic Program Review process, emphasizing action-oriented outcomes including consolidation/elimination of programs as appropriate.
  • Continue to improve the academic qualifications of the student body.


  1. Create an outstanding student experience that promotes personal and intellectual development
  • Increase residential life housing capacity, renovate existing facilities, enhance physical attractiveness and create living/learning communities.
  • Assess the quality of the student experience and take appropriate action assuring accountability of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Foster positive changes in student culture and behavioral norms.
  • Provide undergraduate students with opportunities for rigorous and challenging experiential learning including research, volunteerism and service learning from the outset of their academic programs.


  1. Strengthen research, scholarship and the creative arts
  • Create a collaborative environment that supports and rewards faculty achievement in teaching, research/scholarship and service.
  • Identify and implement steps to support the development of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and scholarship.
  • Make appropriate and focused investments in the infrastructure and technology supporting our research mission.
  • Expand graduate student enrollments emphasizing Ph.D. programs, interdisciplinary study and the priority themes of the strategic plan.
  • Create internal incentives to substantially increase the external funds supporting graduate education.
  • Increase the competitiveness of graduate student support.


  1. Strengthen financial resources
  • Expand fiscal resources consistent with the university mission.
  • Perform rigorous and ongoing comparisons of our academic, financial and operational performance against a carefully selected and consistent set of peer and aspirant institutions.
  • Re-engineer administrative and bureaucratic policies and processes to eliminate waste and duplication.
  • Develop budget and resource allocation models that are strategic and reward progress towards established goals and priorities.
  • Successfully implement the comprehensive campaign.


  1. Focus the human, fiscal, environmental, technological and physical resources of the University on institutional values and priorities
  • Develop mechanisms for implementing and documenting differential resource allocations based upon support of institutional priorities and performance.
  • Create and implement comprehensive master plans for facilities and technology.
  • Develop and implement a plan for appropriate institutional growth related to student population and the corresponding alignment of faculty and staff.

Implementation of University Planning Goals and Objectives

The President charged the University Planning Council (UPC) under the leadership of the Provost with developing and implementing a university strategic plan. The relative responsibilities of the President, Provost, UPC and other administrators are described below.

The President is responsible for:

  • routinely informing the Board of Trustees about the progress of the university towards achieving the goals contained in the strategic plan

The Provost is responsible for:

  • reinforcing a climate of accountability for the pursuit of the plans and achievement of priorities and goals
  • ensuring that resources are allocated to institutional strategic priorities
  • communicating regularly with the campus community concerning the progress of the university towards achieving the goals contained in the strategic plan

The UPC is responsible for:

  • establishing institutional metrics to measure progress towards the goals and objectives of the strategic plan
  • designing and overseeing the annual processes by which every academic, administrative and support unit develops and updates its own plan incorporating goals and objectives and performance metrics

The Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, etc. are responsible for:

  • ensuring that unit plans are developed, implemented and updated consistent with the University Strategic Plan

The expectation is that the strategic plan will influence and shape decisions at all levels of the University and that every member of the University community plays an integral role in the successful completion of the strategic plan and the accomplishment of the goals.

Last modified February 05 2003 12:46 PM