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Strategic Optimization and Alignment Review Process
The University of North Dakota has embarked on a major institutional assessment project, initially known as "Program and Support Service Prioritization." As we have taken this process and made it our own, it has become the Strategic Optimization and Alignment Review (SOAR) process.
This effort, which aligns with our Exceptional UND roadmap, will significantly improve the way we approach the allocation of funds and other resources. It will also help us better understand our strengths and weaknesses as we position ourselves for the future.
UND is undertaking this important process now for three main reasons:
- The current budget management and allocation model is not serving the true needs of the University. The campus community has broadly agreed that we need a better budget process.
- The University will benefit greatly by having a more transparent and strategically considered allocation process, both for planning and for measuring outcomes.
- By engaging in this process now, while we are not experiencing a budget crisis, we can plan to avoid possible future resource shortfalls, and understand exactly what our direction and goals should be.
This new process, which will impact funding decisions at UND, will be designed primarily by faculty and staff members, keeping in mind the evolving realities of the financial environment in which we must operate, such as the new outcomes-based funding model adopted by the North Dakota Legislature.
Learn more about SOAR: May 9, 2014 Presentation
A Message from the Provost
I am pleased to share this summary perspective and recommendations from Dr. David Yearwood following Friday morning's SOAR overview discussion (excerpted from an email sent to us). Thank you all for your time and participation in this important project. This is precisely the type of dialogue I was hoping to generate, so I would like to thank Dr. Yearwood immensely for his willingness to share his thoughts. All ideas are welcome, so I encourage everyone to keep sharing them along the way. - Tom
From Dr. Yearwood:
The message of Exceptional UND is very clear, easily communicated, and is posted all over campus. We need to have a similarly clear and concise message for the SOAR process. With this in mind, I would like to ask you to consider the following messages regarding the SOAR process. I recommend that a communication be crafted and promoted that helps the campus community better understand our work. The key messages are:
- UND is attempting to better understand where we are as a higher education institution.
- UND wishes to determine how we wish to grow and in what direction.
- UND wants to set meaningful goals, hence the need for goal planning.
- UND wants to bring a level of transparency to all decision making.
- UND wants to be proactive in identifying where to place additional resources, what type of training and retraining we need to provide in order to attain our identified goals.
- UND wants to better communicate what we are doing to various stakeholders so they better understand UND—educating the public and others.
Just some thoughts as we take control of the message, reframe the conversation, and continue our journey towards Exceptional UND.
Thank you, again, for a productive meeting.
Please contact Vice Provost, Joshua Riedy, with any questions or concerns.
Joshua Riedy, Ed.D.
Vice Provost and Chief Strategy Officer
University of North Dakota
Twamley Hall Room 205
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8176
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8176