UM 2020 – Strategic Plan

The University of Mississippi


Planning Background

Where did the Priorities of Excellence come from?

The Strategic Planning Council chose the seven Priorities of Excellence based on the results of the UM 2020 Vision Survey of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. The Priorities are broad, thematic areas that cover nearly all the activities of the University.

What is the relationship between the Flagship 2020 goals and the UM 2020 Strategic Plan?

The Flagship 2020 goals were developed after the UM 2020 Strategic Plan and reflect the fact that we need a few bold, ambitious ideas to motivate everyone and generate enthusiasm among our supporters.

How was the plan developed? Who was involved?

The plan was developed over the past year and a half by the Strategic Planning Council and the Office of Strategic Planning. The SPC is made up of faculty, senior administrators, staff and student representatives. In addition, more faculty, staff and students served on Strategic Working Groups that generated reports on each of the seven Priorities of Excellence. Rosters of the people on the Strategic Planning Council and the Strategic Working groups are available on this site.

Where is diversity covered in the plan?

Diversity and Inclusion is one of the most important Planning Principles that are included in every aspect of the UM 2020 Strategic Plan. As a fundamental value, diversity is woven into the fabric of the plan and is addressed within each Priority of Excellence.

Progress Reports

What parts of the plan will be implemented first?

The university-wide initiatives have been divided into two categories, immediate and long-term. Many of the immediate initiatives are already underway. The Strategic Planning Council will monitor the progress of implementation and, as initiatives are completed, will make recommendations for which parts of the plan will move from being long-term to immediate priorities.

What has been accomplished so far?

Many initiatives in the UM 2020 Strategic Plan are already underway.

 Priority of Excellence  Total number of initiatives  Number in progress  Number completed
 Undergraduate Education and Student Success  33  27  4
 Graduate and Professional Education  21  11  6
 Research, Scholarship, Innovation, and Creativity  11  6  5
 The Collegiate Experience  12  6  5
 Faculty  5  3  2
 Staff  9  6  3
 Transformation through Service  4  1  3
 Total  95  60  28
 Updated May 26, 2015


  • Undergraduate Education and Student Success
    The Provost’s Office has taken the lead on studying the University’s capacity to handle the record undergraduate enrollment growth that the University has experienced in the last two years. The Capacity Task Force has already implemented a new admissions process designed to limit the number of out-of-state students for the class of 2016.
  • Graduate and Professional Education
    The UM STEM Education Task Force had a public kick-off event in January of 2012 to outline the ways in which the University will promote careers in STEM fields and will support more graduate students in STEM.
  • Research, Scholarship, Innovation, and Creativity
    The University of Mississippi recently switched to the Mississippi Optical Network (MissiON) broadband network. This new network dramatically increases the university’s bandwidth, with capabilities 10 times faster than the previous network. This new network enhances the University’s capacity for research by allowing researchers to share data with each other and utilize complex computer systems.
  • The Collegiate Experience
    IHL has approved the University’s plan to renovate the Student Union to make more room for our expanding student population and to bring the facilities up to date.
  • Faculty
    The Provost and Chancellor announced in the Fall Faculty Meeting in 2011 that faculty raises will be made available in the next fiscal year. This plan supports the on-going initiative to raise faculty salaries to be more competitive with our peer institutions.
  • Staff
    The Staff Council has announced a new Staff Mentoring Program, called COMPASS, which began in January of 2012. Staff professional development is a key component of the Staff Priority of Excellence.
  • Transformation through Service
    There are countless individual service projects being pursued by faculty, staff, and students all over campus. In addition to all this activity, the University is in the planning stages of creating a center on campus that will be the home for service.

Unit-level Planning

Why do units have to create plans? Doesn’t the UM 2020 plan cover everything?

The UM 2020 Strategic Plan contains the framework that defines the University’s overarching priorities for the next ten years and a set of university-wide initiatives. However, this does not cover everything that will be necessary to do for our future success. Each unit and department has been asked to create its own strategic plan, based on the principles and priorities of the overall UM 2020 Strategic Plan, that will guide its individual actions as well.

Who is responsible for implementing unit-level plans?

The directors and department chairs will work with their Deans and Vice Chancellors to ensure that the unit-level plans are implemented and evaluated.


How can we undertake strategic initiatives without new money?

Strategic action is sometimes about doing something new, but it can also be about the things one stops doing. We anticipate that new resources will become available, as our stakeholders begin to invest in our vision for the future, but each academic and administrative unit should prepare their unit-level plan with the assumption of no new dollars. We encourage departments to be creative about reprioritizing and finding cost-savings in order to implement their plans.


Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have questions related to UM 2020, please do not hesitate to email us at