Cardinal on Louisville's campus
University of Louisville | Photo by Jeremy Chisenhall

The University of Louisville has released a draft of its strategic plan, designed to guide the university for the next three years.

In January, UofL began developing the three-year plan to make the school a better place to learn, work and invest. Workgroups spent a collective 3,500 hours creating the plan, a draft of which was released to campus earlier this week.

Generally, it aims to retain students and improve their experiences, boost faculty morale and salaries, and increase research and community engagement, beginning this fall.

A committee will also identify “grand challenges” — specific research areas in which UofL will aim to be the national leader, instead of trying to be “all things to all people.” These challenges are expected to be specifically impactful to Louisville and Kentucky residents, the draft said.

Each year of the plan has a focus, as well. Year One, which is expected to be the 2019-20 academic year, will focus on defining aspirations and building capabilities. The latter goal will continue into the second year, when UofL also will pilot changes. In the third year, 2021-22, UofL will assess the pilots and see what is scalable.

Students, faculty and the community can provide feedback on the plan until July 24. After potential revisions, trustees will review and vote on the plan in August before a projected implementation this fall.

Here are specifics on how the draft plan will tackle UofL’s three vision areas.

To make UofL a better place to learn:

  • Attract and retain a diverse student body
  • Inspire a “student-centered culture,” including revisiting different systems in the university for efficiency
  • Increase opportunities for international study, research and service
  • Consider installing an industry-approved skills certification program
  • Incentivize research
  • Boost awareness of campus resources on both the Belknap and Health Sciences Campus

On the working front:

  • Improve hiring and onboarding practices, with a focus on diversity and inclusion
  • Create an employee success center, including formal mentorship
  • Review concerns from a recent climate survey amongst faculty and staff, implementing changes as needed
  • Improve work climate and culture through bullying, implicit bias and sexual harassment trainings
  • Identify and correct inequities in hiring and promotions
  • Review compensation, which faculty have said is too low and decreases morale, and redesign the compensation process, including regularly gauging UofL’s salaries against benchmarks from other institutions

And to bring back investment:

  • With a focus on the to-be-determined grand challenges, build research networks
  • Increase scholarship, fellowship and advanced degree support
  • Create an alumni engagement network, as well as a database institutional experts for the community and media
  • Increase a focus on preschool to college education, known as P-20, to improve educational outcomes for all students
  • Boost programming, both on and off campus
  • Look into a multigenerational living community with both assisted living and student living
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Olivia Krauth
Krauth reports on education in Louisville, including JCPS, the University of Louisville and state policy. Before joining Insider Louisville, she covered technology and business as a reporter at TechRepublic. She also spent time on the data team at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas as a Dow Jones intern. Krauth graduated from UofL, where she was an award-winning editor of The Louisville Cardinal and obtained a degree in investigative journalism with a minor in Russian studies. Email Olivia at [email protected]