Event launches UND toward new Strategic Plan
More than 450 people bet on UND’s bright future at “sticky” strategic planning kickoff
A blizzard of sticky notes and a sunny outlook were hallmarks of a cold winter’s day as around 450 gathered in the Memorial Union and online to help chart UND’s future.
There was a sense of hope and optimism at the strategic planning kickoff event on Feb. 17, where attendees papered the walls with “brags, wonders, bets and worries” about UND. An online survey included stakeholders who were not able to attend.
Those notes will begin the formation of UND’s new strategic plan and an opportunity to do great things, said President Andy Armacost as he led the event in the small ballroom of the Memorial Union.
With an in-room audience of around 2oo and 255 online, Armacost said he hadn’t seen a line this long since the Fluff N’ Stuff build-a-bear event a few months ago.
UND’s strategic plan will Empower Action and belong to the campus, Armacost said, and there will be ample opportunities to be involved. In addition to the strategic planning committee, several working groups will be formed via nominations.
The plan will look five to 10 years ahead and be continually updated.
This is an opportunity to come together, remember our past, talk about the future of the campus, and to focus on excellence and aspiration, Armacost said, recalling the lyrics of Alma Mater, UND’s school song, which are engraved above the Memorial Union fireplace.
“The Alma Mater talks about what we are as a University, and what we mean to the region, to our students, passing a torch from hand to hand,” he said. “We raise our grateful song. I would love our campus to be known for the immense sense of gratitude that we have for one another and for everyone else in the state and across the nation.”
The plan will tie in with the UND Alumni Association & Foundation capital campaign, which will launch in the fall of 2023.
“I think it’s important to connect our fundraising efforts with the strategic plan,” he said, citing the campaign theme: “We Do. We Act. We Lead. We Empower. We are forever UND.”
Armacost recognized the work of the OneUND strategic plan, and said it’s important to take the successes from that plan, especially in student retention and online and on-campus programs, as a foundation.
“We’ve been thinking about the future and the direction we need to go, and that needs to be codified by campus,” Armacost said. “I think our plan needs to have aspiration. It should motivate all members of our campus, the proud alumni who support us, former staff and faculty members, and all those who put their heart and soul into what we do. It should focus on coming together as a community where everyone can find a sense of belonging and look out for the well-being of one another.”
Creativity and discovery, the growth of the entire campus, connecting and coming together, workforce preparation, and supporting the state of North Dakota will also be included.
Armacost thanked Anna Clark, director of communications & planning for academic affairs; Rob Carolin, chief of staff; and Taylor Hanson Wald, academic affairs coordinator, for supporting the process, as well as strategic plan co-chairs Jim Mochoruk and Lynette Krenelka.
Strategic plan process and timeline
Co-chair Jim Mochoruk, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of history, spoke about the process and timeline for the new plan, which is expected to be completed by December 2022.
“The plan for UND’s future will have a clear mission and vision, and will involve all stakeholders,” Mochoruk said.
The process will consist of four phases: planning, discovery, development/feedback, and the launch. Town halls, surveys, focus groups, and other mechanisms will include as many people as possible.
“We will let those voices tell us our pillars for the future of UND,” Mochoruk said.
“This will be a living plan with no expiration date. It will be a flexible document that is aspirational and can deal with changes into the future.”
Brag, worry, wonder, bet
“We’re going to take lots of time to listen to you,” said co-chair Lynette Krenelka as she launched the “brag, worry, wonder, bet” exercise. “Brags” focus on what UND excels at and should reinforce; “worries” cover concerns and ways UND could improve, “wonders” are concerns that should be addressed, and “bets” are where UND should move in the future, she said.
By the end of the event, the idea boards were covered with stickies as the audience bet on a bright future for UND.