University strategy – UCD

It is always good to see a university launch its strategic plan – and this week University College Dublin has published its new strategy for the period 2010-2014: Forming Global Minds. The launch itself may have been low-key, or at any rate I wasn’t invited (mental note: make sure to invite UCD President Hugh Brady to DCU’s strategic plan launch on May 10!). But UCD’s plan is a substantial one, and I hope nobody will take offence if I say that it has strong echoes of ┬áDCU’s strategic plan launched in 2001, Leading Change. The latter plan first introduced the idea of academic themes to inform research and teaching priorities, and highlighted the importance of innovation as a key objective of the university. Both of these strategic perspectives are contained in UCD’s new plan, and they work well there also.

What the strategy now published by University College Dublin has in common with DCU’s last two plans, and our new plan to be launched shortly, is a concern to ensure that the university’s priorities reflect its desire and its capacity to enhance national economic, social and cultural regeneration. DCU in its new plan will emphasise the importance of the ‘translational’ impact of its research and teaching, and UCD refers to the significance of making an impact.

The times we are in also influence the content of UCD’s strategy, with references to the need to adapt the profile of the student body to maximise revenue. And of course there are passages on the TCD-UCD ‘Innovation Alliance’, the strategic partnership between these two institutions intended to support the potential to create an economic impact.

It has always been DCU’s intention to have the best possible relations with our friends and colleagues in Dublin (and of course throughout the state), and I personally wish UCD well as they develop this new strategy for the next five years.

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2 Comments on “University strategy – UCD”

  1. kevin denny Says:

    I’m not a connoisseur of strategic plans but a little while back I found myself comparing that of UCD’s [that is, the one preceding the one just announced] and that of the University of Kentucky. What I particularly liked about the latter was the fairly precise set of metrics that it gave such that one could easily judge whether it was a success or not: being able to admit that you haven’t succeeded in some respects is a sign of strength [more details below, should you feel so inclined].
    Many plans lack this: I think UCD has made some progress in this direction. Its commitment to expanding the number of non-traditional entrants is laudable. Bumping up the number of foreign students also makes sense ($$$).
    A detail in UCD’s new plan that I especially liked was a commitment for all professors to be involved in first year teaching. I think this is a great idea though I am sure it will not be welcomed universally. Some professors, sadly, regard teaching as an occupational hazard to be avoided, delegated to the “little people” much as Leona Helmsley thought that only such people paid taxes.

    http://gearybehaviourcenter.blogspot.com/2010/02/on-university-strategy-or-tale-of-two.html

  2. John Says:

    There’s a lot to be said for forming individual minds.


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