Call for new strategic initiative ideas is delayed

A future call for proposals for new strategic initiatives will be delayed until the budget picture for the coming year becomes clearer.

"We are making good progress toward the aspirational statements in our strategic plan," said Sophia Magill, senior advisor to the president. "As the architecture of the plan indicates, we must be agile in our approach. Our plan was developed to be as nimble and flexible as possible, and that includes being in alignment with our budget."

This is the first university strategic plan that has made funds available to invest in strategic initiatives. Over the first two years of the 2022-2031 strategic plan, the president's office has invested $14.4 million to strategic initiatives -- $10.5 million to nine initial investments in FY23 and $3.9 million to 19 projects in the current fiscal year.

Before any decisions are made on new investments in strategic initiatives, Magill said the university must weigh the impact of key budget planning factors. Those include potential opportunities for faculty and staff salary increases next year and the years to come; current and expected future health care costs paid by the university; and being prepared to respond to upcoming budget decisions in the current legislative session.

Funding extensions are possible

Magill said that instead of a new call for proposals, the leaders of currently funded strategic initiatives will have an opportunity to request funding extensions past the end date of their projects, or to request a second year of funding if they submitted second-year budgets in their original proposals.

Last week, Magill contacted project leaders to share the process for requesting an extension or a second year of support. Applications are due March 15, and decisions on the requests received will be made before the end of the spring semester.

"We will continue to engage with faculty, staff and administrators across campus and encourage connections with our strategic plan," Magill said. "Progress toward our aspirational goals is a collective effort.

"We will continue to collaborate across campus and with stakeholders to align efforts with the university's plan. We'll work to track campuswide progress toward our goals and measure the impact of our work across teaching, research and extension and outreach programs," she said.