June 26, 2014

UAB advances strategic planning through priorities

obelisk 7More than a year ago, UAB launched the most comprehensive strategic planning process in its history as President Ray Watts sought to capitalize on its momentum and invest in the programs and people that will best advance its mission and achieve the greatest good.

“I have seen the transformational power of an effective strategic plan,” Watts said, “and there is something every great strategic plan has in common — priorities.”

UAB’s 10 academic schools and colleges have presented individual plans to the executive cabinet and Council of Deans, and summaries of that work are online at www.uab.edu/plan. Planning also is underway in other units, including Athletics, Honors College, Information Technology and Research Administration.

The collaborative participation across campus to establish these priorities is inspiring, Watts says.

“Faculty, staff and students across campus deserve recognition for their many contributions,” Watts said. “Established institutional priorities, and those of individual schools, departments and health-care units, will enable us to strengthen our position as one of the nation’s most productive and dynamic universities.”

Accountability

As Alabama’s largest single-site employer, with an annual economic impact exceeding $5 billion, UAB has an expansive influence. Watts says UAB’s senior leadership understands that with that influence comes a great responsibility to maximize our resources and to be accountable to our stakeholders, faculty, staff and students.

“We are facing many challenges. To have the greatest possible impact in our world, we must thoughtfully align our resources with a robust strategic plan that draws on our diverse strengths and leads investment in the areas of excellence that best support our efforts in education, research, patient care, community service and economic development.”

Accountability measures, including progress reports, will provide leaders regular opportunities to share updates and solicit feedback in what will continue to be a dynamic and ongoing process, Watts says. “We as an institution have everything to gain though this process, and your continued input and feedback will be important.”

He notes the School of Medicine and Health System launched AMC21 three years ago as the strategic plan to evolve and position UAB to become the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century. Since then, UAB Medicine has surpassed several key milestones and is recalibrating the plan to address the rapidly changing health care environment.

Forward thinking

“We are facing many challenges. To have the greatest possible impact in our world, we must thoughtfully align our resources with a robust strategic plan that draws on our diverse strengths and leads investment in the areas of excellence that best support our efforts in education, research, patient care, community service and economic development,” Watts said.

“In the coming months and years, we will make some exciting decisions, as well as some challenging ones, for the greater good. We will remain disciplined and stay true to the process, thoughtfully consider the short- and long-term effects of our actions, and make prudent decisions necessary for UAB to continue our trajectory to be one of the nation’s leading universities of the 21st century,” he said.

For more in-depth information, read A Premium on Priorities: The UAB Strategic Planning Process and visit our Strategic Plan website at www.uab.edu/plan.

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