2017-22 Strategic Plan
We produce graduates equipped for their careers with viable skills employers seek today, and will require in the future.
As the state’s top-ranked liberal arts college, The College of Arts & Sciences enhances the lives of North Dakota’s citizens, and people across the world, through its liberal arts curriculum, research, and creative scholarship.
The purpose of this strategic plan is to outline the mission and vision of the college, and set us on a course to improve over the next five years, and into the future.
This strategic plan is the outcome of a year-long process of gathering information from internal and external stakeholders of the college. It outlines the mission and vision of the college, along with specific steps the college can take over the next five years to improve itself.
The College of Arts & Sciences is comprised of quality departments and programs, as well as dedicated and qualified students, lecturers, instructors, advisors, faculty, administrators, and staff. What follows is intended to improve upon the excellence this college has already achieved.
Outlined are a number of goals, accompanied by objectives, action steps, and assessment metrics. All of the goals are important and have been embraced by the stakeholders involved in the process of producing this document.
When listing goals and objectives, it is necessary to list them serially. The fact that some precede others is not intended to emphasize the former or undermine the importance of the latter. There has been an attempt to list action steps within each objective in order of importance. However, all of the goals, objectives, and actions steps listed are important, and the hope is that all are achieved.
It is also the case that some objectives and action steps, perhaps important and achievable ones, do not appear in the document. That occurs for a number of reasons: they may be determined by decisions made at the university level; they may fall under the scope of other units on campus; they may emerge in the course of normal activity or as a consequence of pursuing those contained in the plan; they may be part of the routine or existing activities that will continue but are too numerous to list. However, it should be noted that the strategic plan is a working document. It can, should, and will be revised as a matter of course.
It is impossible to fully incorporate into a single manageable document everyone who does, can, or will contribute to the college and its future success. It is important to reiterate that a strategic plan, particularly at the levels of objectives and action steps, does not comprehensively list all actions that are and could be taken to maintain and improve the excellence in the college. It is hoped that the goals are stated broadly enough that most of what we do and will do relates to one or more goals. Similarly, many of the objectives listed in the plan are aligned with things the college already does. As it articulates objectives and goals, it should be assumed that the plan integrates new efforts with continuing activity.
It should also be assumed that changes will follow from using the plan. The intent behind the strategic plan is to develop a new tool to help guide future decisions and actions. It also identifies some of the ways information will be collected to inform decisions and assess progress toward particular objectives or actions.
Engaging with the plan complements other operational processes and the expertise from everyone in the college. It helps identify how the multiple stakeholders of the college contribute to its success, enable the college to continue to be excellent, and can aid in making the college even better than it is at present.
The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Dakota is the state’s top-ranked liberal arts college. The College of Arts & Sciences enhances the lives of North Dakota’s citizens, and people across the world, through its liberal arts curriculum, research, and creative scholarship.
The college’s departments and programs provide students with a breadth of knowledge and applied experience ensuring they are creative problem-solvers and future leaders. Graduates of the college are team-oriented problem-solvers who appreciate global and domestic diversity; they are effective communicators who can think analytically, act ethically, and practice inclusivity.
To ensure the ability to provide students with such skills, the college offers a liberal arts education through programs in the humanities, visual and performing arts, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and a number of interdisciplinary programs.
Graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences are recruited from across the globe to enroll in one of its 15 Master’s programs and 10 doctoral programs. Integral to the college’s teaching and research mission, graduate students engage in research and creative activity under the guidance of faculty mentors. Many graduate students are also afforded opportunities to engage in undergraduate education as graduate teaching assistants.
Faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences are active scholars and creative artists. Faculty research and creative activity informs teaching and affords students research and creative-activity experiences. Faculty research and creative activity furthers disciplinary knowledge, improves our quality of life, and often transcends disciplinary boundaries.
The College of Arts & Sciences is central to the university’s mission to serve the state, country, and the workforce through teaching, research, creative activities, and service. The college provides all undergraduate students with a liberal arts education and upholds excellence in all areas and departments. Faculty and staff have been recognized for their extraordinary success in teaching, research, service, advising, and community engagement.
The College of Arts & Sciences aims to be the top-ranked destination in the state and region for students who seek an educational experience that fuels their curiosity and prepares them to make a positive and meaningful difference in the world. The college will lead the state and region in providing students with a strong liberal arts foundation and experiential learning opportunities to ensure students have the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to be effective problem-solvers and lifelong learners, particularly in a global context.
Students in the College of Arts & Sciences will experience excellent curricula, positive and creative learning spaces, and inspiring faculty. These experiences will be guided by thoughtful advisors, staff, and administrators who are committed to the students’ educational experience. Students will be encouraged to embrace the many educational opportunities designed to broaden their domestic and global knowledge, stimulate their creativity, and fuel their passion for learning. Students will have the opportunity to engage in study abroad, independent and mentored research, and service learning among many other experiential-learning opportunities. Students will graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences in a timely manner with a deep appreciation for learning, knowledge, and discovery.
The academic quality and diversity of graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences will be enhanced because of the quality of our graduate faculty, curricula, and availability of competitive student stipends. The college will offer an optimal number of graduate programs, taking into consideration student demand, societal need, and employment opportunities. Graduate students will leave with skills necessary for success in an increasingly competitive job market.
Staff members in the College of Arts & Sciences are central to students’ academic success. They will be highly regarded professionals, known for their commitment to service. Staff members will also have a deep appreciation for learning and will embrace professional-development opportunities to further their knowledge and skills.
In addition to their commitment to students’ academic success, faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences will be recognized for their contributions to research and creative activities within their academic disciplines as well as for their ability to work effectively across disciplines. The college will be a leader in interdisciplinary research at the University of North Dakota, and its faculty will be increasingly involved on collaborative and interdisciplinary projects and grants because of the knowledge and experience they bring to such efforts.
The college will be a visible, innovative, and leading organization in the community of Grand Forks, the region, and the state of North Dakota, growing and changing as needs demand. Its commitment to public scholarship and community engagement will be well regarded.
As a hub of excellence and innovation, the college will continuously examine existing programs to ensure they remain relevant and responsive to student and societal needs, which may result in organizational changes as well as new degree programs. The college will, as necessary, adapt learning, teaching, and research spaces to encourage active student engagement and interdisciplinary activities. The college will also work to provide inviting places for the academic community to gather.
Administrators, faculty, and staff in the College of Arts & Sciences will work collaboratively to create a positive working and learning environment that fuels creativity and commitment to learning. The college will continuously look to grow resources to support its strategic goals within a structure of shared governance and with a spirit of innovation.