Charted path

One UND Strategic Plan charter receives finishing touches, signed off on by President Mark Kennedy

Advisors of the One UND Strategic Plan ship commander and UND President Mark Kennedy – including the President’s Cabinet, Strategic Plan goal captains and student representation – were called together Sept. 25 for a final review of the full project charter. The document defines the objectives and scope of the plan and contains a framework for analysis of the plan’s costs, resources and risks.

Advisors of the One UND Strategic Plan ship commander and UND President Mark Kennedy – including the President’s Cabinet, Strategic Plan goal captains and student representation – were called together Sept. 25 for a final review of the full project charter. The document defines the objectives and scope of the plan and contains a framework for analysis of the plan’s costs, resources and risks.

One UND Strategic Plan Implementation Lead Angelique Foster sees the plan’s seven teams as seven groups of shipbuilders with a mission – constructing the Premier Flagship of the Northern Plains.

And sometimes, you have to work on the go.

“It’s been a very interesting and fun process, because we’re basically building the ship as we sail,” Foster said.

The advisors of One UND Strategic Plan ship commander and UND President Mark Kennedy – including the President’s Cabinet, Strategic Plan goal captains and student representation – were called together Sept. 25 for a final review of the full project charter. This document defines the objectives and scope of the plan and contains a framework for analysis of the plan’s costs, resources and risks.

The two-hour group discussion focused special attention on the inclusion of measurable action steps, clear wording, and ways to communicate work across goals and within the UND community.

Mark Kennedy

University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy

At this point, the details of the plan that warrant an investment will be subject to budget approval.

This week, President Kennedy reviewed his team’s final recommendations for the charter, and signed off on a roadmap he believes will have a meaningful impact on the University and its students.

“Everybody has a degree of excitement,” President Kennedy said. “It’s been a lot of information to digest in a year and a half. We appreciate the detailed input, and all the work that is going into making this plan happen.”

“The charter is very important,” Foster said. “It is our charge. Items listed in the charter are what are considered ‘in scope.’ Our focus will be on the goals within this document that we’ve created over the last two months.”

Foster notes that the charter is not “written in stone” – there is room for flexibility as needs change over the five-year lifespan of the plan.

“We will realize that maybe we didn’t budget the resources needed for a certain item – for example, a piece of technology – and that will be something we’ll have to revamp,” she said, adding that any changes proposed by each team will have to be supported with an argument of why and how to move forward with the change.

UND Provost and Strategic Plan Goal 6 (meeting the educational needs of the military) captain Tom DiLorenzo knows that the University can’t navigate the implementation process blindly.

“We can’t work through this without evaluating along the way. So if something’s not working, we have to address it,” he said.

The next step is for the goal teams to lay out their project timelines, taking what is stipulated in the charter and setting dates for every milestone.

“We’ll ask, can we achieve this over the next nine months? Can we achieve this over the next 18 months? We’ll set realistic goals,” Foster explained. “Working with their committee and captain, the teams will sit down and do a blueprint plan for how to get from now to 2022.”

But, as Foster already recognized, these campus leaders were never waiting for the ship to be completed before cruising into action. The work of the One UND Strategic Plan is well underway.

“I’m very happy, because we’ve already accomplished some of the items that have been set in the charter. That’s something that always gives you a little more of a boost of energy,” she said, beaming. “We know we’re doing the right thing and we’re headed in the right direction.”

To see the fully approved One UND Strategic Plan charter, click here.