UT Trustees Endorse Strategic Agenda, Scorecard

NASHVILLE — University of Tennessee trustees have endorsed a strategic agenda for improving the statewide university and created a scorecard to mark the progress.

The executive committee of the UT Board of Trustees, meeting here Thursday, endorsed a draft of President John W. Shumaker’s performance goals, which are designed to position the institution as “a premier, internationally-recognized, flagship university system by the year 2010.”

“What I am laying out for you is a strategic objective for moving the university forward,” Shumaker told the trustees. “I welcome the chance to be held publicly accountable for these goals.”

Goals that will be addressed over the next eight years include:
– defining the vision and changing the structure of the UT system and including faculty, students, staff and alumni in those efforts.
– increasing research productivity, entrepreneurship and accountability.
– strengthening relationships with important constituent groups such as students, faculty, staff, alumni and state and federal officials.
– establishing benchmarks for private fundraising.
– strengthening the commitment to diversity.
– developing a communications and marketing plan.

“This is a good foundation,” Clayton McWhorter, vice chairman of the board, said. “Dr. Shumaker is doing a wonderful job of communicating with all UT stakeholders. His visits to all the campuses help to make them feel more part of the whole system.

“He is building a relationship with state legislators and has been able to communicate the importance of higher education and its overall importance to our state. I give him high marks for a great start.”

Johnnie Amonette of Memphis, who chairs the executive committee, said she would award Shumaker an “A-plus” on his performance since assuming the presidency in June.

A UT scorecard will track changes in annual or two-year increments in more than 50 categories that relate to national stature, institutional effectiveness, capital improvements and quality.

Increases in research expenditures, doctorates awarded, faculty in national academies, entrance test scores for freshmen and merit scholars will be used to measure UT’s national stature.

Under institutional effectiveness improvement are measures to increase student retention, graduation rates, diversity in student and faculty recruiting and retention, business start-ups and licenses and patents based on UT research, and nationally ranked academic programs.

To meet quality goals the university will seek membership in the Association of American Universities, National Institutes of Health Cancer Center designation for the Health Science Center in Memphis, and improve faculty and pay.

The trustees will consider benchmarking information for the strategic agenda at their October meeting.

Shumaker was president of the University of Louisville before became UT’s 20th chief executive in June. He also served as president of Central Connecticut State University.