In preparation for the strategic visioning process, Chancellor Plowman charged an ad hoc committee of faculty and university leaders to examine the changing landscape of higher education and analyzed the university’s prospects for the future.
The resulting document, produced in February 2020 and titled Envisioning the Future of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was structured around a SOAR analysis—an examination of the strengths on which we could build, the opportunities inherent in those strengths, what we could and should aspire to accomplish, and the results those efforts might yield. The document was intended to provoke thought and conversation.
In March 2020, the chancellor formed the executive and visioning committees to lead the drafting process. Their work was paused during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and resumed in Summer 2020. The committees published mission, vision, and values statements, and circulated drafts for input. Listening sessions were held with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external stakeholders to garner their feedback. All told, more than 800 people contributed to the process. Additional revisions took place before a final draft was delivered to the chancellor in December 2020.
The chancellor presented the vision to the Campus Advisory Board in February 2021. Revisions were made and a team of campus leaders identified key metrics for measuring success. The final strategic vision was presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2021.