The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) confronts the challenge of providing accessible education to a region long underserved by higher education by creatively blending the missions of a community college and a comprehensive regional university. This strategic plan, “Imagining More,” turns dreams into reality through creative, innovative and strategic ideas. It was developed using a dynamic, collaborative process that had broad-based participation across the campus community. The major task was to develop a plan that would be responsive to emerging issues and needs through 2012, including building a campus to accommodate 20,000 students. The plan is guided by the mission and philosophy of UTB/TSC and aligned with the strategic plan of UT System. Several other planning documents, including the Futures Commission report and Campus Compacts, were used to derive five institutional goals.
These goals are listed below, not in priority order, but to spell out the easy to remember acronym R.E.A.D.S.:
- Research: to expand knowledge through research
- Excellence: to promote excellence in teaching and learning
- Accessibility and Affordability: to provide accessible and affordable education
- Development: to advance academic and economic development for our region
- Student Success: to enhance student success
Strategic directions were specified in order to accomplish each institutional goal.
Several performance indicators were identified to yield quantifiable measures to inform progress toward achieving the strategic directions. These measures provided direction on planning appropriate activities and allocating funds for high-priority strategic directions. The intent of this process was to institutionalize strategic planning as a continuous process of planning, evaluating and improving. This strategic plan will foster a culture of evidence for research-based decision making. One of the principal ways to accomplish this will be through an annual review process. Each division will annually assess its progress toward accomplishing its goals. The overall process is dynamic, and the strategic plan will evolve as adjustments are made to address changing conditions and new opportunities.
The first section of this document describes UTB/TSC, its guiding principles and its environmental context. The environmental scans provide a profile of internal and external issues that inform the decision-making process.
The second section describes the process used to develop the plan and the process for its annual review. These plans confirm UTB/TSC’s commitment to research-based decision making and ongoing assessment for institutional effectiveness.
The third section embodies the essence of this strategic plan, including the five goals, 21 strategic directions and their performance indicators. These performance indicators are tied directly to the institutional goals and are identified through a collaborative process of constructive feedback between the divisions and the Strategic Planning Committee.
The final section includes a glossary of terms to familiarize readers with university components and initiatives.
This is an exciting time at UTB/TSC, where knowledge knows no boundaries!
The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College aspires to be recognized as the nation’s premier community university, dedicated to designing innovative processes to strengthen student learning and establish a culture of civic responsibility through community engagement.