Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Approves Updated Strategic Plan

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

With input from a broad spectrum of the University community—including deans, faculty, staff and students—Michigan Technological University’s Board of Trustees has adopted a revised strategic plan. At its regular meeting on April 27, 2012, the Board approved the enhanced plan.  

The new plan replaces one approved in July 2009, which was in turn an update of the strategic plan passed in 2006.

“The strategic plan has served us well,” said President Glenn D. Mroz. “Our successes in recent years reflect that. We’ve made good decisions and budget allocations based on the plan, but as time moves on and circumstances change, we believe it is important to review and refresh the plan to maintain its value as a compass to steer by.”

David Reed, vice president for research, who led the strategic plan review process, is pleased with the results.  “The core objectives of Michigan Tech have not changed,” he said.  “However, this new version of the plan is the best articulation to date of what we must do to continue to achieve those objectives. I am pleased with the participation of many people across campus in the review process.”

The updated strategic plan affirms the direction set in 2006 and resembles its predecessor in many ways. Its mission and vision are the same.
• Mission: We prepare students to create the future.
• Vision: Michigan Tech will grow as a premier technological research university of international stature, delivering education, new knowledge and innovation for the needs of our world.

Its three main goals are similar.
• A world-class and diverse faculty, staff, and student population.
• A distinctive and rigorous, discovery-based learning experience grounded in science, engineering, technology, sustainability, the business of innovation, and an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of our contemporary world.
• World-class research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, innovation and creative work that promotes sustainable economic and social development in Michigan, the nation and the world.

The word “entrepreneurship” was added to the third goal, as it is an emerging aspect of Michigan Tech’s programs, and of student and faculty activity.

The updated plan focuses attention on specific actions to accomplish plan objectives. Some of the actions include:
• Develop new offerings in emerging interdisciplinary areas and encourage and value interdisciplinary activities.
• Increase residential and nonresidential offerings and enrollments.
• Expand international engagement through collaborations with universities, industry and government.

“There has been remarkable progress and success at Michigan Tech in recent years,” said Board of Trustees chair Marty Richardson. “The strategic plan has guided decisions that produced the successes.  The board is confident that the updated plan will enable even greater achievements going forward.”

In other actions, the Board:
• Elected Steve Hicks and Julie Fream as chair and vice chair for the coming year.
• Tabled approval of a fiscal year 2013 budget, citing uncertainties in state funding. The board will have a special meeting in June to approve a budget. The legislature and Governor Rick Snyder have yet to finalize the state’s budget for next year, which has implications for appropriations, tuition restraint, and how tuition is calculated and reported.
• Recognized 854 undergraduates receiving bachelor’s degrees and 199 receiving master’s degrees and PhDs at Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 28.
• Appointed Samuel W. Coates a professor emeritus in the School of Technology.
• Appointed three newly hired faculty members as professors with tenure: Terry L. Sharik, who is joining the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science as its new dean; William M. Worek, new dean of the College of Engineering; and Nancy Langston, professor in the Department of Social Sciences.
• Promoted eight associate professors with tenure to professor with tenure; one professor without tenure to professor with tenure; eight associate professors without tenure to professor with tenure; and 12 assistant professors without tenure to associate professors with tenure.
• Approved the purchase of a new campus ID card system and wireless network upgrade, the total cost not to exceed $1 million.
• Approved an increase in the student activity fee of $10 per semester from undergraduates and $5.70 per semester for graduate students.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.