Strategic Plan 2016-2021 - Research & Discovery

Goal: Perform high-impact research.

Strategies Critical Tasks

Create a university ecosystem that enables UI to be an international leader in confronting the grand challenges of the 21st Century.  (Aligned with BOR SP Objectives 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.3)

  • Identify and tackle the challenges that our singular and collective areas of strength are positioned to address.
  • Invest in research centers and infrastructures that make collaboration natural, sustainable, and seamless.
  • Create research partnerships with universities and institutes that complement our areas of strength.
  • Support curricular innovations that promote collaboration.
  • Enhance processes that enable students, staff, and faculty to locate collaborators and corresponding grant opportunities.

Recruit and retain faculty and staff who possess the broad diversity essential to our research mission.

  • Create dissertation fellowship and post-doc opportunities for graduate and professional students who might be future colleagues at UI, and network with diverse faculty and staff in professional societies.
  • Implement data-driven methods to improve campus inclusivity, including regular surveys of the campus climate.
  • Establish mechanisms for regular and direct communication between the president and provost and representatives of students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented groups.
  • Ensure that the service workload of faculty and staff from underrepresented groups is sustainable, in part by hiring and retaining more such faculty and staff.
  • Energize campus and increase inclusion by creating opportunities for staff, students, faculty, and deans to advise on the implementation of strategic plans over their duration.

Foster a campus culture in which UI faculty, students, and staff can maximize their research productivity.  (Aligned with BOR SP Objectives 1.3, 2.1, 3.3)

  • Provide units with significant flexibility in such areas as effort allocation, retention, staff support, reporting procedures, and infrastructure.
  • Invest in our strength as a comprehensive research university, as measured by AAU and other key metrics.
  • Work with our legislators and other public and private leaders to secure the funding that is critical to our research mission.
  • Coordinate the processes by which colleges and their units work with the UI Foundation to seek supplemental research support.
  • Recognize and credit faculty and staff—at all stages of review—for their achievements in research, collaboration, teaching, and engagement.
  • Invest in graduate and professional student research as integral to our mission as an R1 research university, and increase the number of research opportunities for undergraduate students in a way that highlights the distinctiveness of a UI education.