At UAB, we have never settled for merely finding what’s next — we have helped build the future through new ideas and initiatives in the classroom, the laboratory, the studio and the clinic.

The coming decade presents us with opportunities and challenges. How should we build on our strong foundation in order to meet them? Forging the Future, UAB's strategic plan for the next five years of growth, offers a blueprint.

Review the plan goals and objectives for UAB's four mission pillars below. Read the full plan here, and add your comments, questions or suggestions.




Strategic Goal:

sp educationOffer a world-class, socially conscious education to diverse students to prepare the next generation of citizens and leaders. 

Strategic Objective 1: Strengthen and expand innovative academic programs to enhance UAB's national and global reputation.

  • Activity 1: Deliver world-class, interdisciplinary academic programs.
  • Activity 2: Promote innovative instructional practices and provide multiple educational delivery options.
  • Activity 3: Retain, recruit and develop world-class faculty members to lead these programs.

Strategic Objective 2: Ensure student success through holistic development that addresses diverse needs.

  • Activity 1: Improve retention and four- and six-year graduation rates significantly within the next five years.
  • Activity 2: Remove barriers and provide access and relevant academic and social support structures in order for students to attend and be successful at UAB.
  • Activity 3: Retain, recruit and develop outstanding student-centered faculty and staff to support student success.

Strategic Objective 3: Create a signature core curriculum focused on modeling and developing socially conscious global citizens and leaders.

  • Activity 1: Identify competencies that are critical for a core curriculum that addresses 21st century needs (e.g., critical thinking, global perspectives, leadership, communication).
  • Activity 2: Strengthen and renew the core curriculum to provide a coherent, intellectually stimulating and transformative education.
  • Activity 3: Model successful engagement opportunities by students, faculty and staff around issues related to social consciousness, global citizenship and leadership.

Strategic Objective 4: Engage students, faculty, staff and community members in experiential learning.

  • Activity 1: Remove barriers to participation in experiential learning opportunities.
  • Activity 2: Encourage participation in experiential learning opportunities throughout campus and beyond.
  • Activity 3: Promote the unique culture of experiential learning opportunities at UAB.

Strategic Objective 5: Foster access, inclusive excellence and equity in teaching, learning and mentorship development programs.

  • Activity 1: Increase participation in current teaching, learning and mentorship programs.
  • Activity 2: Align teaching, learning and mentorship development programs across the UAB enterprise.
  • Activity 3: Foster a culture of learning that supports and encourages academic, professional and personal development for students, faculty and staff.



Research, Innovation & Economic Development

Strategic Goal:

sp researchEmpower innovative research, scholarship and creative activities that drive knowledge creation focused on improving society.

Strategic Objective 1: Enhance UAB’s institutional culture of collaboration and innovation.

  • Activity 1: Create an environment and opportunities that facilitate collaboration and foster innovation.
  • Activity 2: Promote successful interdisciplinary research collaborations internally and externally.
  • Activity 3: Expand and strengthen collaborations with external partners.

Strategic Objective 2: Drive research and innovation across the enterprise.

  • Activity 1: Grow and diversify research, scholarship and creative activities.
  • Activity 2: Retain, recruit and develop outstanding, innovation-focused faculty, staff and students.

Strategic Objective 3: Implement a campus wide effort to select and meet “grand challenges.”

  • Activity 1: Establish inclusive processes for identification of priorities.
  • Activity 2: Align resources to enable action.
  • Activity 3: Implement competitive processes to select research teams.

Strategic Objective 4: Improve society through processes and products.

  • Activity 1: Facilitate intellectual property development.
  • Activity 2: Streamline internal processes to lower barriers to realizing innovative ideas.
  • Activity 3: Support economic development in the city of Birmingham to transform and sustain a thriving local hub for innovation and creativity.



Community Engagement

Strategic Goal:

sp communityEngage with the community in meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations that contribute to the public good.

Strategic Objective 1: Expand access to community engagement resources.

  • Activity 1: Coordinate community engagement efforts among faculty, staff and students.
  • Activity 2: Collaborate with area partners in planning, assessment and evaluation of efforts.
  • Activity 3: Enhance student development as engaged learners, researchers and citizens by fostering community-based opportunities.

Strategic Objective 2: Develop mutually beneficial partnerships.

  • Activity 1: Identify, develop and maintain strategic community partners.
  • Activity 2: Intentionally connect community partners with UAB faculty, staff and student initiatives wherever appropriate.

Strategic Objective 3: Broaden scholarship in the field of community engagement.

  • Activity 1: Develop and sustain an adequate internal infrastructure to support and coordinate academic community engagement research among faculty, students and staff.
  • Activity 2: Identify new research opportunities that add value to people and communities served.
  • Activity 3: Create and support a community of scholars interested in studying community engagement topics and impacts.

Strategic Objective 4: Integrate engagement throughout the university. 

  • Activity 1: Support and promote community engagement activities in their areas.
  • Activity 2: Increase participation of a wider set of academic and administrative units to achieve community engagement strategic goals and outcomes.
  • Activity 3: Reinforce value of engagement through performance review process.



Patient Care

Strategic Goal:

sp patient careLead in the delivery of the highest-quality patient-centered integrative care that reflects our ability to translate discoveries into revolutionary therapies in one of the nation’s premier academic health care centers.

Strategic Objective 1: Improve patient access and satisfaction through integration of clinical services across UAB’s healthcare delivery entities.

  • Activity 1: Develop a phased process of integrating care.
  • Activity 2: Enhance patient experience, from appointment process to wayfinding to post-care communication.
  • Activity 3: Achieve national recognition as a place where patients experience highly satisfying healthcare services.

Strategic Objective 2: Invest in signature treatments that will be delivered through recognized flagship programs.

  • Activity 1: Identify distinctive areas of expertise that generate prestige and set UAB apart from competitors.
  • Activity 2: Retain and recruit world-class faculty and staff to develop and provide these treatments.

Strategic Objective 3: Develop infrastructure to ensure statewide access to telehealth services.

  • Activity 1: Create a centralized system to support existing and new telehealth programs at UAB.
  • Activity 2: Develop a network of partnerships across the state to enhance patient access.