Strategic Plan only a click away

UND launches one-stop online resource for One UND Strategic Plan highlights

Strategic Plan website 2018

A new One UND Strategic Plan website, launched in January, provides a one-stop, easy-to-navigate page for visitors to access everything they need to know about the Strategic Plan. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

Angelique Foster has a big job.

As the Implementation Lead of the One UND Strategic Plan, she’s constantly busy organizing meetings between goal captains and project managers, maintaining a dynamic 5-year timeline, and coordinating all of the little things that would otherwise go unnoticed.

But among her most important duties is making sure people – both within the University and beyond – are fully aware of the power of the Strategic Plan’s progress.

So she had an idea. Why not create an online resource to lay out the University’s plan and celebrate its milestones?

That idea became UND.edu/strategic-planning.

“When doing research about project management and strategic implementation, I found many universities and corporations have strategic plan websites already established,” Foster said. “If we’re going to be on the forefront of what other major universities and corporations are doing, and we’re trying to set ourselves apart, then, to me, a website is easy.”

Foster teamed up with Brandon Beyer, UND Presidential fellow for media relations, to brainstorm what the site could look like, and how it could best serve students, faculty, staff, stakeholders and supporters.

“When we went through the process of building the Strategic Plan, one of the things we talked about was that we didn’t want this to be a document that sits on a shelf,” Beyer said. “People want to see some evidence that this is moving along and have frequent updates of that happening. That’s where the website will come into play. It’s something that we can direct people to and say, look at the progress we’re making.”

Each Strategic Plan goal page offers an explanation of the goal, its recent progress and its metrics for success. They also include detailed information on the goal’s action steps, down to the very way they are measured.

Each Strategic Plan goal page offers an explanation of the goal, its recent progress and its metrics for success. They also include detailed information on the goal’s action steps, down to the very way they are measured.

Clear and clickable

The new website, launched in January, is a one-stop, easy-to-navigate page that allows visitors to access everything they need to know about the Strategic Plan.

Guests are welcomed by a message from UND President Mark Kennedy. They can then select from a sidebar of options, including a Strategic Plan overview, a dropdown menu of Goals 1-7, quarterly reports and historic information.

Each Strategic Plan goal page offers an explanation of the goal, its recent progress and its metrics for success. They also include detailed information on the goal’s action steps, down to the very way they are measured.

“People can look at the high level plan, and then they can dive deeper,” Beyer explained. “Let’s say you’re interested in research, or you’re interested in the alumni relations goal – you can look into it and dig down, getting as granular as you want to with the things that you are interested in.”

The University’s home website, UND.edu, is currently undergoing a full redesign, making it responsive, mobile-friendly, and more aesthetically pleasing – an investment of Strategic Plan Goal 3. Waves of major updates will begin this April, although smaller updates, like a new events calendar, have already been rolled out.

“Long-term, I think the Strategic Plan website will grow and reshape as the UND.edu website does over the next year,” said UND web specialist Matt Schill, who worked with Foster and Beyer to design the site. “With a responsive design and added features, it should better present the Strategic Plan in a digital form.”

Transparent and accessible

The Strategic Plan website will be an important tool for several audiences.

Angelique Foster

Angelique Foster

For example, faculty can use it assess how their departments may fit into the plan’s research Grand Challenges, staff can examine how they can use Starfish to enhance retention and graduation rates, and students can see why high-impact practices have become an essential part of their UND experience.

But the message needs to be heard beyond the Grand Forks city lines.

“The University of North Dakota is a state school, so we not only serve our students, but we also serve our broader community,” Foster said. “By making UND’s advancements clear to the larger community – to our donors, our alumni, our prospective students – our reach is growing, which is what we want.

“We don’t want to be a school that put goals forth and doesn’t execute,” she added. “So with this site, when we are out in the community, they’ll say, ‘UND – they’re Leaders in Action.’”

The website will be used in partnership with UND Today to proactively inform the campus community and beyond of the implementation and evolution of the plan.

And, although Foster has a full task list to tackle from now until 2022, she’s positive that her team will give her consistent developments to celebrate online.

“We have very hardworking people behind these goals, giving 200 percent and pushing them forward,” she said. “When you have that type of passion and drive behind it, how could you feel anything but optimistic about big things happening?”