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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Provost’s Message: Updates on our strategic planning process

Dear UConn Faculty, Staff, and Students:

What is UConn at its best? This simple question is at the heart of our strategic planning process.

Since the fall, the Provost’s Office has facilitated dozens of Visioning sessions and presentations to members and stakeholders throughout our UConn community. This question of “UConn at its best” has generated hundreds of thoughtful responses, all of which show a deep commitment and interest across our University to be a dynamic, inclusive, innovative, and entrepreneurial institution.

By now, many of you are also well-versed in the three priorities of our strategic planning efforts set forth by President Katsouleas: doubling research and scholarship; providing Life-Transformative Education to every UConn student; and becoming a more powerful engine for the State of Connecticut. Without my prompting, I hear these priorities repeated in many of my meetings and conversations, which I see as an indicator that these priorities provide value as guideposts in future planning and align with goals broadly across the University.

Our challenge now is to develop a process to identify the ideas with the greatest potential impact to realize a shared vision of “UConn at its best.” We have convened a broadly representative group of faculty, staff, and students from across our campuses and operations to serve on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. We have also tapped into the expertise of our own faculty: Greg Reilly, professor and department head of Management, is a leading expert on strategic planning and has joined our efforts as a co-chair. I encourage you to review the membership of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on the Provost’s Office website.

In the coming month, we will circulate a draft statement of UConn’s shared values that emerged from Visioning sessions. The aim of creating a statement of shared values is to capture and communicate collective beliefs about the most important facets of UConn culture. This statement helps remind us to stay true to our priorities and how we expect to work together. We will seek feedback on the draft from the full UConn community before the statement of shared values is finalized.

This semester, the steering committee’s work is focused on refining a framework for our community to develop strategic challenges and opportunities that will help focus our actions to advance UConn in our three priorities. The committee members have begun to define a range of specific challenges to be considered for inclusion in the strategic plan. Additionally, the committee is developing a process for including the ideas and opinions of the wider UConn community in defining our highest priority challenges. We expect to share next steps in this effort early in the fall.

This year has been focused, necessarily, on the immediate and the urgent. In many ways, this is the best time to be involved in strategic planning. It provides us with an opportunity to step away from day-to-day demands and look at the big picture. It also has the potential to bring us together as a community after so much time spent physically apart. And after a year of significant disruption, it’s a mechanism to help us think about where that change has been a catalyst and where it has been an obstacle.

I look forward to engaging further with the community in strategic planning and encourage you to send any questions or comments to


Carl Lejuez
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs