University Design Team

At the University of Montana today, we are beneficiaries of those who have guided UM through a remarkable 127-year history. Having inherited this stewardship responsibility, we must strategically and courageously design the characteristics that will embody UM’s distinctive future. I invite you to participate in this important work.

In May 2020, the University Design Team (UDT) began to deliberately ask how we can best position UM for long-term success and impact. They have drawn upon the expertise and ideas of our campus community, upon the thoughtful engagement and insights of previous strategic planning efforts such as those of the Strategic Planning Coordinating Council, and upon the perspectives of community leaders, business leaders, admitted students and prospective students. The UDT has been hard at work analyzing the challenges and opportunities facing institutions of higher education and seeking to identify the characteristics that will position UM as a flagship for the future.

Chaired by Dean Adrea Lawrence of our College of Education and Paul Gladen of the Blackstone LaunchPad, this group of faculty, staff and students has researched and engaged widely to identify and channel these characteristics into a draft vision and set of design principles that can shape the future of UM. The UDT is also identifying tangible actions – strategic initiatives – that reimagine the ways UM serves Montana. These strategic initiatives draw upon our history, strengths and aspirations to ensure we prepare students to graduate career ready, expand our conception of education for all learners at every stage of life, and increase UM’s local and global impact.

I invite you to become familiar with the UDT’s draft design principles and the strategic initiatives under development. Please provide your input and ideas. What resonates? What is missing? What needs refinement? This collective effort will only be strengthened through widespread, diverse input. You will find on this website various opportunities to engage with the UDT and their work.

And we are committed to not only thinking about UM’s future but also implementing the UDT’s bold ideas. To stay on our charted course and turn the UDT’s thinking and planning into action, we will use the coming academic year to transition the UDT’s work to a refreshed Strategic Planning and Assessment Cycle. The UDT will update the strategies under each of our Priorities for Action as well as inform our launch of a robust and transparent Strategic Planning and Assessment Cycle. Through this cycle, we will annually define, refine and execute on our campus wide priorities.

Strategic Planning and Assessment Cycle

Strategic Planning and Assessment Cycle

UM’s vision, mission and design principles

The University Planning Committee will refine and update
Priorities for Action and associated strategies, then

The University Budget Committee will allocate budget
in alignment for Priorities for Action, then

The University Leadership Councils and Senates will
implement Priorities for Action and associated strategies, then

The University Accreditation and Assessment Committee
will assess effectiveness of institutional strategies.

Your voice is critical in this shaping of UM – now through the UDT and in the future through our annual planning cycle. I look forward to participating in this process alongside you.

UM President Seth Bodnar