How long did it take to develop the plan?

President Barchi stressed the need for a strategic plan when he arrived in September 2012 and formally launched the process in December 2012. Extensive engagement of the university community, including surveys, town meetings, and retreats, took place in spring 2013, along with research and analysis of trends in higher education and Rutgers’ performance relative to peer and aspirational peer institutions. Thirteen strategic planning committees met in fall 2013 to further develop specific strategic areas of the plan. Four retreats were held over the course of the year to help create a framework and then refine the details of the plan based on that framework and the work of the strategic planning committees. President Barchi led the creation of the draft plan submitted to the boards in December 2013 as well as the final plan approved by the Board of Governors in February 2014.

How many people were involved?

Thousands of people participated in the process through a variety of avenues: surveys, interviews, town hall meetings, information sessions, faculty forums, departmental discussions, focus groups, advisory groups, University Senate discussions, and comments sent through the website. More than 14,000 individuals completed surveys. More than 100 departmental discussions were held during the spring and fall semesters, representing nearly all schools across the three Rutgers campuses and the libraries. Nearly 150 individual interviews were conducted, as well as 46 focus groups with 361 people. More than 100 individuals served on the faculty, staff, student, and deans advisory groups and executive steering committee, and more than 400 participated in the 13 strategic planning committees. All constituencies of the Rutgers community were involved: students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators, governing board members, local and state leaders, and friends of the university.

What was the role of Boston Consulting Group? Did they write the plan?

BCG helped to organize the process, conducted extensive fact gathering and analysis, coordinated the engagement activities attended by thousands from the Rutgers community, facilitated the four retreats, staffed the 13 strategic planning committees, monitored feedback received at the town hall meetings and through the website, channeled that information to the executive steering committee, and met regularly with President Barchi to keep the process on track. BCG provided an early outline based on community feedback and fact base analysis but was not involved in writing the final strategic plan approved by the board. This is a plan written for Rutgers, by Rutgers.

What are the next steps?

President Barchi has charged the university’s four chancellors to continue the process by developing strategic plans for Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences by the end of the 2013–14 academic year. In developing these plans, they will leverage the distinctive attributes of each campus and division within the larger framework provided by the university strategic plan.

President Barchi has also announced a series of major initiatives to be launched in the first 100 days.

How will Rutgers monitor progress on the plan?

Rutgers' strategic plan includes a framework of assessment tools and metrics that will evaluate progress both qualitatively and quantitatively. Employing measurements that emphasize transparency, ease of use, and accessibility, Rutgers' academic and administrative leaders and the Board of Governors will set specific targets and completion dates and will assign accountability for improvement in each area of our plan.

How will the campus plans connect to the university plan?

Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences will use the universitywide plan as a guide in developing their plans. Rutgers’ central administration will work with the chancellors to ensure that there is broad alignment between the campus plans and the universitywide plan. The campuses will also have access to a toolbox of information and proposed initiatives gathered during the yearlong strategic planning process as they form their plans.

What are some of the major initiatives that Rutgers will launch as a result of the plan?

Here is a sampling of the dozens of initiatives proposed in the plan:

  • Expand tenure-track faculty in selected disciplines by 150 in the next five years, in part through creation of 30 endowed professorships and 20 new Presidential term chairs.
  • Establish new, or cultivate existing, signature first-year honors colleges on each campus and create other personalized learning environments such as living and learning communities.
  • Integrate into the university’s core curricula five interdisciplinary academic themes that create areas of differentiating excellence for Rutgers.
  • Explore expanding enrollments in targeted areas, including summer and winter sessions, with particular attention to expansion of overall student enrollment at Rutgers University–Camden and Rutgers University–Newark.
  • Complete a University Physical Master Plan that assesses the state of all three campuses and develops a vision of the future land use and space planning on each.
  • Create and implement a prioritized list of high-impact, short-term projects that will enhance the physical appearance of our campuses, subject to Board of Governors approval and available funding.
  • Establish a task force to assess the impact of technology on the Rutgers residential educational model and develop a plan for making changes in this area; a full report is expected within 18 months.
  • Generate the financial and business analysis needed for Board of Governors approval to implement a full refresh of Rutgers’ enterprise resource planning platform.
  • Adopt a Responsibility Center Management budgeting model to align financial incentives more closely with outcomes, increase financial transparency, improve budgeting accuracy and efficiency, and increase regional and local financial accountability.
  • Develop a streamlined contracting process for research interactions with the corporate environment, particularly relating to clinical trials research and sponsored research agreements.

How will we afford the initiatives proposed in the plan?

Increased tuition cannot be a major source of new funds. Rutgers will use marginal operating funds that result from increased efficiency and cost reduction in administrative services; generate new revenue from nontraditional education, public-private partnerships, clinical care enterprises, and other similar avenues; increase grants and contracts; seek state funds; and work actively to increase philanthropy through the Rutgers University Foundation.