ACROSS THE COMMONS > Spring 2011 issue

Provost Mike Sherman

Provost William "Mike" Sherman discusses the strategic plan during a college visit earlier this month.

Vision 2020: Strategic planning shifts to ‘strategic doing’


In May 2010, the campus community received the penultimate draft of UA’s strategic plan – Vision 2020: The New Gold Standard.

Vision 2020 reflects the collective work of our campus community — students, faculty, staff and alumni  — and our broader regional community, over a 14-month period.

Prior to and after his arrival at UA, the provost has been moving from strategic planning to strategic doing by working with the president, VPs, deans and members of the Strategic Planning Committee to develop objectives, strategies and metrics for each Vision 2020 goal.

Forming an academic roadmap

During the spring, Vision 2020 will be transformed into an academic roadmap, establishing a trajectory of academic excellence through the University’s sesquicentennial in 2020. Overarching objectives, strategies and action steps will be set, as will metrics, timeframes, responsible parties and necessary resources.

The colleges and academic support units (formerly VP units) will then adjust or create plans that accomplish and enable the academic agenda, respectively. In this manner, colleges and academic support units will, in a particular manner, support the success of Vision 2020.

Vision 2020 will not be static:

  • There will be an annual review of Vision 2020 assessing whether metrics of success for each goal are being achieved, and what actions will be needed to enable continuous improvement.
  • The academic roadmap for Vision 2020 will allow us to define a desired trajectory for the University and make adjustments over time if needed.

If we are faithful and diligent in our pursuit of Vision 2020, and if we focus annually on continuous improvement, then The University of Akron will be distinctive in Ohio and the nation.

As we move from strategic planning to strategic doing, please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions with the Office of Academic Affairs at


 Student Success is Our Success: Graduation is Job 1