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University of Iowa News Release

March 15, 2005

New UI Strategic Plan Calls For Increased Diversity, Public Engagement

A new five-year strategic plan for the University of Iowa, presented today to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, outlines five new and renewed goals designed to propel the UI toward its aspiration to become one of the 10 most distinguished public universities in the country.

The plan, which runs from 2005 to 2010, calls for strength and excellence in undergraduate education, graduate and professional education and research, diversity, vitality and engagement. The plan also includes detailed strategies and actions specifying how each goal will be achieved and measured. Final board approval is expected in the summer.

Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Hogan said the plan's title, "The Iowa Promise," will serve as a reminder of the "twin pillars on which the plan is built: We recognize our potential for greatness -- our promise -- and intend to realize it; at the same time, we recognize that we cannot achieve greatness except by fulfilling our pledge -- our promise -- to those we serve."

The plan builds on both the previous UI Strategic Plan, "New Century Iowa," which covered the period from 2000 to 2005, and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa Strategic Plan 2004-2009, which was approved in February 2004.

Hogan said the plan's two new goals, increasing diversity and strengthening partnerships with public constituencies, are crucial to supporting and enhancing the University's core values.

"For the first time in our planning, diversity is included as a top level goal, which reflects our conviction that our previous efforts haven't succeeded to the extent that we needed," he said. "We are educating a student population that is going to live and work and find its success in a much more diverse and global community. If we're going to succeed in that endeavor we need a more international, diverse campus culture."

The plan's goal of broadening the UI's public engagement reflects the University's commitment to the Regents' Partnership Plan for Transformation and Excellence with its focus on connections between the universities and statewide economic development, Hogan said.

In addition, the plan includes several references to the need to be more aggressive in reallocation of resources across the university, a significant departure from previous plans, which were written in very different economic times, Hogan said.

"The language of this plan suggests that to achieve our aspirations, we must think more strategically about how we allocate and focus the resources we already have, rather than anticipating new resources to support ambitious endeavors," he said. "The future really belongs to those universities that focus their resources on what they have to do well to become distinguished and what few things they can do to set themselves apart, making them not only distinguished but distinct in their own right."

The emphasis on strategic investment and the reallocation of resources, Hogan added, also squares with thinking on the Board of Regents, as evident in the Board's transformation plan.

Like its predecessor, "The Iowa Promise" calls for premier undergraduate and graduate education and research enterprises. The University considers excellent undergraduate education "the core of its mission" and pledges to provide "high-quality curricular and cocurricular programs that encourage intellectual and physical vitality and help students acquire the habits of mind that sustain lifetime learning."

Undergraduate education is also enhanced by operating in tandem with outstanding research and graduate education programs, another of the plan's goals. "Faculty, staff and student research produces new knowledge, innovations and creative works that improve our lives and our society," the plan notes. "Our graduate and professional programs prepare the next generation of scientists, scholars, artists, and faculty members to carry this crucial effort forward into the increasingly knowledge-intensive world of the future."

"The Iowa Promise" focuses on "vitality" in recognition of the need to address not only productivity but also physical well being and community health. In this part of the plan, the top priority is faculty vitality, particularly the need to move faculty salaries into the top third of the university's peer group.

Included in the plan are 47 "indicators of progress," which the University will use to measure its efforts to meet its goals.

A committee of 23 faculty, staff, and students drafted the plan under the leadership of Hogan and Senior Vice President and Treasurer Doug True. The committee solicited feedback from the entire University community by holding open forums at two key junctures and by sharing drafts of the plan online and inviting comments.

UI President David Skorton commended the group for its commitment to the task and to the University.

"The Strategic Planning Committee worked tirelessly to produce a focused and ambitious plan that aims to advance excellence in education, research and service as the University's highest priority," Skorton said. "On behalf of the entire University community, I thank them for their dedication to this important task. Their plan outlines a clear path and it is now up to all of us to pursue these goals and achieve our potential."

"The Iowa Promise: A Strategic Plan for The University of Iowa 2005-2010" is available online,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Steve Parrott, 319-530-6972,; Writer: Mary Geraghty Kenyon