Questions & Answers
What is the university doing?
UofL is undergoing a new planning process in which the university leadership – with significant and continued input from faculty, staff, students and others – will determine the direction of the university for the foreseeable future.
Why are we doing it?
Since the passage of the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act in 1997, UofL has implemented two strategic plans – the Challenge for Excellence, which was essentially completed and declared a success in 2006, and the 2020 Plan, which is currently in place. These plans have served the university well, but the fiscal, political and educational environments have changed significantly since the 2020 Plan was implemented in 2008.
The university is at a crossroads. For more than a decade, we have made remarkable progress toward our state-mandated goal of being a preeminent metropolitan research university by 2020. That growth is primarily due to the hard work and commitment of our faculty, staff and students and to creative budgeting and use of resources by our administration. But financial realities and the changing landscape of higher education are pushing us toward a point at which we cannot continue to operate the way we have in the past. UofL needs to look toward its future and how best to serve its students and the community.
How long will this take?
The informational and planning processes will be quick, but not rushed. The review of campus started this fall, leading to the presentation to and acceptance by the Board of Trustees. Information gathering and planning will continue until spring, when the leadership team will begin to develop a proposal for the board. If the plan is approved at the board retreat in July, implementation could begin in late summer. Depending on what develops through the process, some changes could be immediate, while others could take several years.
Are we doing this alone?
No. We have hired Exelcor, a nationally recognized higher education consulting firm, to assist us. Excelcor has a unique understanding and appreciation of higher education and has been working with universities like the University of Louisville for more than a decade. They have helped other institutions, including the University at Buffalo, City College of New York, University of California at Santa Cruz and others with very similar initiatives.
Can you explain the process?
How do I have input?
The university administration is determined that the process will be inclusive, collaborative and transparent. Faculty, staff and students will be invited to an open forum to discuss the project and to voice their opinions. The executive committees of the Faculty and Staff senates and the Student Government Association will be included. Dozens of employees representing units throughout all campuses will participate through committees. Those rosters will be posted soon.
You say you want this process to be transparent. How will we know what’s going on?
The timeline roughly outlines the process. We will notify the campus through UofL Today, which is the university’s central communication source. We also will work through the senates and SGA to ensure the word is getting to their constituents. We’ll announce major milestones or issues through email messages from the president or provost.