The University of North Florida's strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees September 23, 2017.
Mission and Vision
The University of North Florida's academically talented students receive individualized attention and opportunities to engage in transformational learning: e.g., community engagement, internships, international study, and research. Dedicated faculty and staff create a rich learning environment on a beautiful campus that provides an inspiring setting for our diverse community. Together, we enhance the economic and cultural development of our growing metropolitan region.
The University of North Florida will be an institution of choice, nationally recognized for high-caliber students, faculty, and staff. We will be known for engaging students with experiential learning grounded in critical thinking, effective communication, and analytical skills. We will expand our reach and relevance through innovative programs and research that drive the economy, build upon our extensive partnerships, and position our students for lifelong success. Students will develop the global perspectives and cultural understanding needed to address future challenges.
The University of North Florida will be known as the institution of choice for a pool of diverse and talented students. We will provide students with an advising and educational experience that will promote hands-on learning and collaboration with the faculty, staff, and the community. In doing so, students will attain the knowledge, skills, and experience to prepare them for lifelong learning, active citizenship, and career excellence. In this way, our students will contribute to their communities, both here in northeast Florida and around the globe.
Recruit and admit a talented and diverse student body.
- Utilize characteristics of successfully retained and graduated students to refine pool of students to recruit.
- Identify and publicize widely what makes UNF unique and a school of choice.
- Provide sufficient merit-based and need-based aid to competitively recruit high-quality students.
- Assess and increase the percentage of international and out-of-state students.
- Assess and increase the percentage of students from underrepresented groups to reflect state and regional demographics.
- Increase award amounts and numbers of graduate assistantships and tuition waivers to attract high-quality graduate students.
- Increase participation in recruitment initiatives for students; for example, open houses, campus tours, and other on- and off-campus events.
- Strategically target, recruit, and onboard talented transfer students.
- Enhance on-line and social media presence. Recruit academically talented student athletes.
- Fully fund athletics scholarships.
- UNF will admit 2,500 or more talented and diverse students each academic year. ii.
- There will be an increase in student diversity, as measured by ethnic/racial background and geographic origins. iii.
- There will be an increase in the percent of students who identify UNF as their school of choice, as measured by an incoming freshman survey. iv.
- There will be an increase in the competitiveness of the award amount of graduate assistantships.
Retain admitted students at a higher rate by providing opportunities for engagement, comprehensive advising, and support services.
- Develop mechanisms for assessing and increasing the percentage of students for whom UNF is their university "of choice," and determine the impact on retention, graduation, and other student success outcomes.
- Provide pre-admission and first-year introduction to UNF's programmatic opportunities and requirements to aid students in selecting their majors and career paths.
- Provide early introduction to, and encourage student use of the network of support mechanisms and services available at UNF.
- Each college, in conjunction with Institutional Research, will complete a data-based retention study for each major in the college and develop and implement a plan for improvement.
- Assess the current status and develop a plan for:
- improving the efficacy and efficiency of student placement into introductory courses,
- improving scheduling that facilitates student progression and success,
- faculty teaching assignments, especially in intro courses, that optimize student retention; first-year advising; and career planning.
- Develop comprehensive plans to assist students in successful completion of gatekeeper courses and provide the instructional support services needed to improve student success in these course offerings (e.g., supplemental instruction, in-person and on-line tutoring, peer coaching).
- Identify opportunities for career guidance and strategic academic advising.
- In collaboration with Information Technology Services and Institutional Research, develop systems for collecting and analyzing data on student engagement, campus wide.
- Encourage students to build campus connections through faculty and staff engagement, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, athletic events, clubs, and living on campus, to strengthen their educational experience.
- Engage students in their education by offering sufficient transformational learning opportunities, internships, faculty-mentored student research opportunities, community engagement, living-learning communities, honors coursework, and international study programs. (See I, 3.)
- Promote and enhance campus centers and offices focused on holistic health and well-being that engage and provide services for students.
- Engage students more extensively in professional societies, including those that are discipline-based, as well as those that promote leadership, ethics, and other widely applicable professional qualities.
- Increase availability of, and funding for research opportunities to prepare undergraduate students in STEM and related fields for advanced study or career success. (See I, 3.)
- Integrate Career Services more fully with advising and the academic colleges, beginning at orientation and freshman year. (See I, 3.)
- Identify and modify or eliminate policies or procedures at the departmental, college, and university levels that serve to hinder academic progress.
- Increase participation in retention initiatives, and develop specific initiatives for identified "at risk" groups of students.
- Market to, and communicate with, current students about the hallmarks of a UNF education, opportunities for growth at the institution, and outcomes using their UNF degree.
- Invest in data collection and dissemination to enable students, faculty, staff, and administrators to make informed decisions.
- UNF will increase the percentage of students successfully completing (C or better) select gatekeeper/gateway courses.
- Second-year retention rates for FTIC students with 2.0 or better GPAs will be 82 percent or higher.
- Third-year retention rates for students with 2.0 or better GPAs will be 73 percent or higher.
- Each office will set appropriate measurable annual goals for increasing student interaction and engagement.
- Maintain or increase student-athletes' retention rates.
Improve graduation rates with appropriate admissions, student academic support programs, policies, and resource allocations.
- Incentivize timely graduation by providing rewards for students remaining on track for four-year graduation.
- Reduce intentional delays in graduation by utilizing auto-graduation, reducing access to sanctuary majors, etc.
- Increase number of highly skilled faculty teaching, both on campus and distance learning, in lower-division level and general education courses.
- Increase library usage and services.
- UNF will increase its four-year graduation rate.
- UNF will raise its six-year graduation rate to 60 percent or higher.
- UNF's six-year graduation rate will be in the top quartile for all public, metropolitan, comprehensive universities in the nation.
Graduate students who are prepared for success through their university experience.
- Provide pre-admission and first-year introduction to UNF's programmatic opportunities and requirements to aid students in selecting their majors and career paths.
- Develop preparatory experiences and student success programs, including writing and mathematics competency programs, to introduce students to the rigors, opportunities, and options in various fields of study.
- Assess and, by expanding external partnerships, increase the availability of internships, co-ops, and similar experiences campus-wide and integrate with academic programs and curricula.
- Assess and increase discipline-appropriate career training and experiences for graduate students.
- Develop a marketing plan for potential employers, detailing the strengths of UNF students, the willingness of UNF to respond to workforce needs of surrounding businesses, and opportunities to partner with UNF in internships, preferred hiring plans, scholarships, etc.
- Duplicate the working model currently being implemented in several colleges that are working with regional employers to showcase their students' accomplishments to increase the number of students participating in internships and employed in their field after graduation.
- At least 77 percent of UNF students will be employed, or in graduate school, within one year after graduation.
- The median average full-time salary for employed UNF first-year graduates will be $37,500 (to be adjusted in accordance with the Board of Governors performance model metrics).
The University of North Florida will enhance existing programs of national quality and identify and develop innovative programs of excellence to better serve the needs of our students and align with the economic and cultural trends of the region and beyond.
Continually evaluate programs and curricula with the economic, social, and cultural needs of northeast Florida to ensure they are consistent with the region and beyond.
- Compare existing program inventory against demographic projections, Department of Labor data, and local projections such as those provided by the Chamber of Commerce Targeted Occupations list, to determine potential new programs or elimination of current programs for the University of North Florida.
- Work with college dean's councils and other community stakeholders to identify gaps in UNF academic programs.
- Examine curricula from peer and peer-aspirant institutions to determine if UNF is missing programs that could strengthen the University of North Florida.
- Before putting any program forward, a list of new resources required for the program must be included (e.g. faculty, space, library, laboratory), along with a statement on expected outcomes (FTE-generated, job placement rates for graduates, and so forth) based on national and regional data.
- Based on national and regional data, UNF will develop a five-year plan to add programs that address local employment needs.
Assess the current outcomes of flagship programs every three years, and determine whether other programs have met or are close to meeting the criteria for a flagship program - e.g., innovative, extremely high-performing faculty, national reputation.
- Conduct reviews of current flagship programs to determine their success. That is, each existing flagship program will define and utilize three or more approved metrics to assess its success, including a measure of student outcomes and the program's national reputation.
- If the University of North Florida considers other flagship programs, the programs will go through a vetting process which includes identifying resources to support the program and a strong rationale for the program.
- Any newly approved flagship program will define and utilize three or more metrics to assess its success. These will include a set of milestones of program development and measures of student success.
- Each existing flagship program will define and utilize three or more approved metrics to assess its success, including a measure of student outcomes and the program's national reputation.
- Any newly approved flagship program will define and utilize three or more metrics to assess its success: e.g. a set of milestones of program development and measures of student success.
Pursue opportunities to strengthen existing and add to university-wide hallmarks, such as Community-Based Learning, Transformational Learning Opportunities, Hicks Honors College, and MOCA Jacksonville.
- Develop a long-range plan for the Hicks Honors College, beginning with a determination of current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities.
- Position the Hicks Honors College as a means of attracting high-achieving students to UNF.
- Examine opportunities for strengthening existing and adding to existing university-wide hallmarks (e.g., Transformational Learning Opportunities such as Community-Based Learning).
- Any newly developed university hallmarks, including cross-disciplinary programs, will define and utilize three or more metrics to assess their success, including a set of milestones of program development and measures of student success. They will also measure individual awareness of UNF and its programmatic strengths throughout the state, as compared to other universities. (See II, 2.)
- Enhance integration of cultural offerings through MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural institute of UNF.
- Any newly developed university hallmarks, including new colleges, will define and utilize three or more metrics to assess its success (e.g., a set of milestones of program development and measures of student success).
- Measure individual awareness of UNF and its programmatic strengths throughout the state, as compared to other universities.
- Increase opportunities for student, staff, and faculty involvement in activities with MOCA Jacksonville.
Ensure that existing and new programs meet or exceed national standards.
- Each UNF academic program will undergo a multi-year program review, which includes a visitation by an outside reviewer.
- Each program will use the outcomes of the multi-year review to inform its strategic plan.
- All new and existing programs will achieve or maintain appropriate national accreditation and each required year, the program's accreditation is reviewed and approved.
- Ensure all existing or new programs will foster critical thinking, strong communication, and analytic skills.
- All new and existing programs will achieve or maintain national accreditation, if available.
- Each year, the programs' strategic plans will be reviewed and approved.
Ensure that programs of strategic importance are allocated the necessary resources to achieve levels of national prominence.
- In each budgeting process, the Office of the President, the Provost, and the Vice President for Administration and Finance will establish a priority list for funding new and continuing academic programs, based on anticipated resources. Annual budgets will have clearly earmarked resources supporting strategic programs identified, such as new flagship programs or proposed hallmarks of distinction.
- Annual budgets will have clearly earmarked resources supporting strategic programs identified, such as new flagship programs or proposed hallmarks of distinction.
The University of North Florida will attract, support, and reward talented faculty and staff who promote student success through research, inquiry, the creative process, and the application of knowledge. UNF will provide an environment that recognizes the individual talents and contributions of its employees and which fosters the strategic growth of innovative programs.
Attract and retain exemplary and diverse faculty and staff through a competitive package of compensation, benefits, professional development opportunities, and work environment
- Formulate and implement a comprehensive salary and benefits plan to attract, recruit, and retain a diverse, highly qualified faculty and staff.
- Develop and deploy a set of policies, procedures, resources, and tools to assist staff, chairs, and deans in hiring and retaining diverse faculty and staff, including targeted hiring initiatives.
- Develop and implement a plan to raise faculty and staff salaries to be above the median among peer and SUS institutions by discipline and rank, within budget constraints.
- Ensure regular standard of living salary adjustment for faculty and staff.
- Monitor and assess faculty retention rate.
- Improve faculty salaries, as compared to national and SUS peers.
- Increase faculty participation in interdisciplinary and externally funded research, as well as faculty-mentored student research, as a result of increased university support.
- Increase ethnic/racial, geographic, and gender diversity among faculty and upper-level staff.
- Improve faculty retention.
Provide advancement and reward structures that promote and recognize faculty excellence in teaching, research (including scholarship/creative activity), service, and staff excellence in job performance and services.
- Implement meaningful standards for annual evaluation of faculty and staff. Implement merit pay increases, based on those evaluations.
- Establish career path programs for faculty and staff that includes short- and long-term goals, mentoring, and professional development activities and resources.
- Develop a workload and promotion system that allows flexibility in teaching/ research/service responsibilities reflective of individual talents of the faculty.
- Develop and enact a plan to increase the number of endowed professorships.
- Enhance teaching through empowerment of existing support offices and a reward system that values innovative course delivery and effective pedagogical methods.
- Develop promotion tiers or career ladders for staff that recognize the individual talents of individual staff members.
- Provide opportunities to employees who complete certification and continuing education credit programs.
- Implement a plan (including tuition reimbursement or tuition waivers where capacity exists) to ensure that employees have an opportunity to attain a college degree, if desired.
- Provide appropriate incentives for athletic coaches who have championship seasons.
- Develop clearer paths for promotions among professional and other staff members.
- Improve student performance in gateway courses and follow-up courses.
- Increase the number of tenure-track faculty on differentiated workloads.
- Increase staff participation in professional development activities.
Engage faculty and staff in the meaningful governance and administration of the university.
- Develop and publish on the university's webpages a clear statement of the role of the administration, faculty, and staff in shared governance.
- Provide professional development and leadership opportunities for faculty and staff.
- Review and revise all university and faculty association committee charges, membership, etc. with the goal of increasing faculty and staff input on university governance.
- Institute open and transparent hiring practices for all university administrators at the director/chair level and above.
- Develop a method to meaningfully reward faculty and staff for participation in service and university governance.
- Improve satisfaction reported on these issues via Faculty Association campus climate survey, as well as other climate surveys.
Encourage and support innovative and strategic areas for growth in teaching and research (including scholarship/creative activity) across the campus.
- Have faculty identify targeted research and teaching areas for growth and expansion.
- Develop a plan tied to benchmarked standards for enhancement of research across the disciplines.
- Develop a plan for enhancement of teaching, including distance learning, across the disciplines, including mechanisms and resources for interdisciplinary and co-teaching and other high-impact practices.
- Develop a comprehensive strategy for accrual and allocation of resources, including faculty positions, for enhancement of research and teaching in targeted areas.
- Provide faculty and staff with updated infrastructure (physical space, library support and resources, training, technology, research infrastructure) to effectively carry out the research and learning/teaching mission of the university.
- Increase number of interdisciplinary courses.
- Increase funded and non-funded research productivity: external research funding, number of citations, number of high-achieving faculty.
- Increase number of co-taught courses.
- Increase number of faculty lines added to targeted and burgeoning research areas.
The University of North Florida will enhance our relationships and increase our engagement with partners, both local and global. These relationships benefit both the university and our partners and stakeholders in meaningful and transformative ways.
Actively engage UNF students, alumni, donors, and friends to create a culture of engagement, service, and philanthropy.
- Create and implement an early engagement strategy to strengthen the bond between UNF and its current students, as well as UNF and its young alumni.
- Strengthen ongoing relationships with students, donors, alumni, and friends through improved volunteer engagement that is meaningful.
- Increase opportunities for elected officials to engage with the UNF community.
- Connect students, alumni, donors, and friends with advocacy opportunities in the local, state, and federal arenas.
- Work in partnership with students, alumni, donors, and friends to increase philanthropic engagement and support for UNF and the greater community.
- Increase use of UNF faculty and staff experts on community boards and in related activities.
- Increase credit and non-credit course offerings at relevant locations, providing regional professional development.
Create new opportunities and deepen existing ties with regional business and industry leaders, the military, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and civic organizations to enrich student learning and contribute to the economic and cultural prosperity of the region.
- Link UNF expertise to larger community needs.
- Convene meetings with UNF leadership and regional industry leaders and stakeholders to explore new areas of engagement and collaboration.
- Inventory, regularly update, and disseminate information on the nonprofit and charitable contributions of UNF students, faculty, and staff; update and disseminate the economic value and contributions of UNF to the region.
- Create curricular and co-curricular programmatic opportunities to engage students in community-based learning and participation in MOCA Jacksonville and OneJax events.
- Develop innovative ways to address the needs of military personnel and their families, both on and off campus.
- Building on UNF's collaborative environment, regularly convene meetings of UNF administrators who work with the external community to share information and strategies for promoting UNF and its assets.
- Provide opportunities for individuals throughout the region to participate in professional development and lifelong learning courses, enriching their career opportunities and the quality of life.
- Garner support of industry and business leaders for UNF's funding priorities.
- Increase number of memberships in area chambers of commerce.
- Increase external partnership agreements.
- Increase student off-campus involvement, including internships and other university-sanctioned activities.