May 18-20, 2005


ITEM 127-122-R0505����������������� Approval of Proposal to develop a 5-year strategic plan for the Montana University System.


THAT:�������������������������������������� The Board of Regents directs the Commissioner to implement and support a planning process by which the Board will develop a 2006-2010 strategic plan for final review and approval at the January 2006 Board meeting.


EXPLANATION:����������������������� The Board of Regents last approved a strategic plan in October 2001.� The current plan is almost five years old, and the Commissioner and five of the current seven Regents had no involvement in the development of this plan.� With the significant changes that either have occurred or are expected to occur in Montana and our university system, it is important to have a current vision of how our system should evolve over the next five years.


Most other university systems and state governments in this country have 5-10 year plans and goals for their respective systems of postsecondary education.� Some of these documents are well done and will provide a good starting point for our own plan development.� The Montana strategic plan should clearly communicate the Board�s vision of what our university system should accomplish by the year 2010 and generally how we will reach that vision during the next five year.


Among other things, the Board can consider setting objectives and priorities in the following areas:

        Postsecondary enrollment targets across all public institutions of higher education

        Performance targets (e.g. graduation rates, time to degree)

        Measuring student success and improved data systems

        Statewide and regional economic development

        Academic program quality

        Allocation of funding among various institutions

        Degrees and programs supporting high-demand fields

        Tuition rates and policies

        Student assistance and overall affordability

        Diversity and outreach to various demographic and geographic populations

        Non-traditional student programs and participation

        Intra-system transferability

        Research and technology transfer

        System efficiency and identification of areas needing centralized management

        Use of technology in changing traditional delivery of postsecondary education