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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette utilizes what is called a strategic plan to establish main goals and top priorities for the advancement of the university in the future. 

Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Blanca T. Bauer said “The strategic plan is an organizational management tool that is used to set a vision and set of institutional priorities that lead to institutional improvement and strengthening of the university mission.” 

A new version of the strategic plan is now being formulated after being postponed for a year due to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 have changed how students are learning and how teachers are interacting with their classes. 

Bauer said that COVID-19 would be reflected in the strategic plan with regards to technology. 

“We can think about how to better serve students by relying more on technology and innovations in teaching to develop better student outcomes and success.” 

According to UL Lafayette website, “Our strategic plan is borne out of the recognition that this is the time – a time of transition and of opportunity – in which we are ideally suited to celebrate our traditions and strengths, acknowledge our challenges, and intentionally pursue the transformation to distinction of which we are immensely capable.” 

The provost, Jaimie Hebert, oversees the development of the strategy for improving standards and implementing new goals and ideas. Building the strategic plan is a collaborative effort on the part of many faculty members at the university, including the input of students, parents, and alumni. 

“We want everyone to have a voice. We want everyone to be involved. Together, with everyone’s input, we are going to identify what the greatest overarching priorities are of our institution,” Bauer said. 

When deciding what objectives were important, the results of the previous strategic plan were taken into consideration. The school exceeded expectations in areas such as research expenditures and improving graduation rates. They also looked at other areas where the university fell short and determined how to make changes in the future. 

The strategic plan encompasses a variety of different aims and goals such as focus on athletics, student support and academic success. One of the goals for the new strategic plan is to make sure that there is a coordinated effort with all of these areas working together. 

Other ideas are centered around how to deliver curriculum in the future, how to adapt to students’ lives and how to invest in what is most important for the institution. 

The students were sent the strategic planning feedback survey to collect information that will be analyzed to understand what is most important to them. After receiving the data from the survey, the university will form focus groups and task forces to interview students to learn more about the results. 

Filling out the survey is an opportunity to directly contribute to the development of the strategic plan. 

“The most urgent goal right now is to get feedback from all constituents and proceed through the process with transparency as we develop goals and address the issues presented,” Bauer said. 

The first step that students can take in partaking in the strategic planning process is to complete the strategic planning feedback survey. Next, students can join focus committees by filling out the participation interest form. 

The strategic plan plays a key role in the future of the university and the students are given the chance to participate and voice their opinion about their own personal goals and priorities for the school. 

A link to both the strategic planning feedback survey and participation interest form can be found on the university’s website. 

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