VI. Assessment of Implementation and Continued Planning
- The Elements of ImplementationOpen or Close
The success of A Shared Vision, UTSA 2016 will depend on making the implementation plan operational in a dynamic fashion with regular monitoring of the university’s progress in a transparent manner. Any operational implementation of a strategic plan depends on several key elements:
- setting a work plan to carry out actions and tactics,
- allocating necessary resources, including budgetary, personnel, physical (space), and effort resources, to accomplish the tactics,
- using performance measures to assess progress and success,
- reviewing performance measures and adjusting priorities as needed to pursue strategies successfully, and
- communicating our actions and decisions broadly and transparently so that our efforts are aligned and coordinated.
An important ingredient of this process will be the flexibility to make course adjustments, revise strategies, and reallocate resources if and when necessary. Moreover, a culture of mutual accountability at all levels and effective communication will serve as the framework for achieving our goals.
The different strategies and related tactics needed to address the five overall initiatives of UTSA 2016 are clearly outlined in the implementation plan. Each tactic is mapped to responsible parties within the vice presidential divisions and their constituent units (see Appendix C). Areas requiring cross-functional strategies may be addressed by special task forces established by the President or other senior leadership.
The next step in implementing the strategic plan will be for each of the units responsible for the various tactics to establish annual work plans and goals. These concise work plans should identify and allocate the budgetary, personnel, and space resources needed to address each tactic at or near the beginning of each fiscal year (September 1). In this plan, we have identified some possible performance metrics for each of the tactics (Appendix C); however, we recommend that the responsible units review these metrics and determine a final set of measures that will be used to demonstrate progress for each tactic.
- Continual Planning and Team 2016Open or Close
While we wish to invest authority in reviewing progress toward meeting strategic goals with individual units as much as possible, many of the strategies and tactics require coordinated and collective efforts by several units. Thus, there remains a need for a central coordinating body to review progress more globally, especially for the key performance indicators at the institutional level.
As a result we recommend that some version of Team 2016 continue in an advisory role to the President, charged with the general oversight of the implementation plan. Ultimately, the President has authority and responsibility for the implementation of the plan, and he will provide leadership and all decision-making concerning that implementation in consultation with the continuing Team 2016 committee.
We suggest that the continuing Team 2016 be comprised of the following membership, chaired by the Provost:
- the vice-presidents,
- the deans,
- the Faculty Senate chair,
- the Staff Council chair,
- the Student Government Association (SGA) and Graduate Student Association (GSA) presidents, and
- a representative from the President’s office.
This group would ideally meet twice annually, once in the late summer to review progress toward meeting our strategic objectives and set work plans for the coming year, and once in mid-spring to make resource allocation recommendations to the President for the following fiscal year. These meetings might ideally be held in a retreat format as they will require a concentrated review of data and detailed planning discussions.
This suggested membership of Team 2016 includes most of the individuals responsible for carrying out the implementation tactics identified in this plan. Those same individuals will be responsible for providing proposed concise work plans and progress reports for the coming fiscal year prior to the late summer meeting, and progress reports prior to the mid-spring meeting to inform the deliberations of the committee.
The late summer discussions of Team 2016 should help optimize the effectiveness of the work plans, and indicate possible changes of course, if indicated by the review of progress through the performance measures. All performance measures, including key, secondary, and tactical, will be entered into TracDat so that they may be monitored transparently by the university.
During the Fall 2008 semester, the present Team 2016 will complete its work by helping to develop a format for measuring and reporting our key performance indicators, and a concise format for tactical work plans. The intention is not to create an overly bureaucratic approach to planning, but simply to document our efforts and the resources committed to implementing the plan. Under this rubric, the work plan formats may be adopted for the Spring 2009 semester, but will be fully utilized beginning with the 2009-10 fiscal year. The progress report formats will be adopted beginning with the Spring 2009 meeting of the newly-constituted Team 2016.
- CommunicationOpen or Close
It will be important to communicate our successes, challenges, work plans and priorities, and resource allocation decisions clearly and transparently to the university community, so that all may participate in achieving our objectives. We suggest the following pattern of regular communications. Each fall, the President should hold a major convocation at which he reviews our progress toward meeting our strategic goals, and outlines the top action priorities and resource allocations for the coming year.
During the course of the fall semester, the Provost will then visit each college and administrative division in turn, to discuss the university’s priorities, and receive feedback and suggestions from the university community. Each vice-president and dean will also conduct general meetings with their colleges/divisions to outline their specific unit’s priorities for the year and invite feedback from faculty, staff and students. Following the mid-spring meeting of Team 2016, the Provost shall prepare a report outlining our implementation progress and the resource allocation recommendations of Team 2016 that will be posted on the university’s planning web site for general review.
The implementation of the strategic plan must become an integral part of the fabric of the institution, from the highest organizational levels down to each individual employee. Thus we will hold individuals at all levels accountable through rigorous performance evaluations (including 360° evaluations). Every individual’s alignment with the strategic plan will be essential because UTSA’s rise to national research university status will require the collective commitment and efforts of all stakeholders.