UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

See yourself in the UND LEADS Strategic Plan

And watch for UND Today’s UND LEADS issues, say President Armacost and Strategic Plan Implementation leader Ryan Zerr

By Andy Armacost & Ryan Zerr

We are proud to write to you as another academic year begins. Our new strategic plan, UND LEADS, articulates a vision that captures the promise and excitement inherent to this time of year.  That vision – to inspire a sense of wonder, a love of discovery, and a commitment to serve – frames experiences and attitudes that we value as an institution and that we seek to cultivate as part of our work.

This special edition of UND Today serves as the first of monthly installments focused on the work of UND LEADS. Through these monthly issues, we will celebrate work done by those in the UND community, and to encourage everyone to see themselves in the strategic plan.  We all have opportunities to inspire and be inspired, to make and appreciate discoveries, and to serve those around us through our actions and attitudes. Each of us is integral to making UND a truly exceptional educational institution.

Our plan’s title, UND LEADS, conveys multiple meanings that all reflect the aspirations we have for our institution and for those who are part of the UND community. Our notion of leadership is broad-based, applying to our actions and attitudes, with a goal of inspiring others through the examples we set and the impacts we have. We seek to give our students opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and we challenge everyone at UND to show leadership through the roles they play on campus and through the service they provide to our community, state, nation, and world.

UND LEADS also articulates the five pillars of our plan – five pillars that will serve to guide our work for years to come. Upcoming issues of this newsletter will individually highlight the Learning, Equity, Affinity, Discovery, and Service pillars. You will hear more about the inspiring ways our faculty, staff and students are leaning into each of these areas. We will also share updates on how the work of the plan is evolving and help you to see all the ways you can continue to contribute to the success of our institution.

Fundamental principles that animate our work as part of UND LEADS are inclusion and collaboration.  Leadership involves listening and learning, and setting examples for how our work can elevate and educate all of us. This spirit of inclusion and collaboration were central to the plan’s development, in which hundreds of people on and off campus contributed to creating a vision for our future. Having reached the point where we will turn the plan’s concepts into reality, this spirit of inclusion and collaboration will continue to be of fundamental importance. We want you to see yourself and your work in this plan; to be engaged in helping educate, inspire, discover, and serve.

During the past few months, a dedicated group of individuals has been building a foundation for UND LEADS implementation that is intended to honor our commitment to an inclusive and collaborative process. These individuals, identified on the Strategic Plan’s Plan Implementation web page, represent faculty, staff, and students – and should be seen as resources for how you can engage directly with the work of UND LEADS. Please reach out to them with questions, ideas, suggestions or any other input you might have about the work we are engaged in together.

As you look ahead to the upcoming academic year, we humbly ask that you please consider the ways you will see yourself in the plan; the ways you are helping us – and will help us – fulfill UND’s mission, “To provide exceptional educational experiences that enrich the lives of North Dakotans and the global community through excellence in teaching, innovative research, and meaningful engagement.”

These are sentiments that we hope resonate with us as educators and students, as those who lead in many and varied ways, and as those who are committed to serving those around us. Our hope is that everyone will take up the challenge of helping UND live into its vision by inspiring a sense of wonder, a love of discovery, and a commitment to serve in those we teach and with whom we interact.

UND LEADS is meant to elevate us all, and we are excited to be commencing that work alongside everyone who is part of the UND community.

About the authors:

Andy Armacost is the president of UND. Professor of Mathematics Ryan Zerr has been appointed the University’s associate vice president for Strategy & Implementation.