Ryan Establishes Committee to Facilitate Strategic Plan for UVA

Aerial View of the Rotunda and lawn from Cabell hall

University of Virginia President Jim Ryan, who was officially inaugurated Friday, has formed a Strategic Planning Committee to solicit input and generate ideas for a new strategic plan for the University’s future. 

The president and University leadership will submit a draft strategic plan to the Board of Visitors in June. If approved, that plan will be operational for a minimum of five years and outline a vision for the University over 10 to 15 years.

The Strategic Planning Committee will solicit ideas from across UVA and draw upon extensive public feedback collected through the ongoing “Ours to Shape” campaign. Ryan launched the campaign when he took office in August, inviting members of the University and surrounding communities to share their thoughts and hopes for UVA’s future. It includes both public events and a website where individuals can submit comments and ideas around key themes of community, discovery and service.

“For the past year, since my announcement, my goal has been to speak to as many people as I can about their hopes for the future of UVA,” Ryan said. “On my first day in office, we also launched the ‘Ours to Shape’ website, which invited members of our community to share their ideas online. 

“The next step is to begin to turn those ideas into a strategic plan that will guide our decisions going forward, and I’m grateful to the members of this committee for helping us begin that process.”

In addition to collecting public comments from the Ours to Shape website, the committee is inviting community members to submit short essays addressing their hopes and aspirations for the University. The committee will also host a number of events, the first being a town hall-style event on Monday at 3 p.m. in Garrett Hall. More information about essay opportunities and events is available on the Ours to Shape homepage.

Margot Rogers, a special adviser to the president for strategic initiatives, and Michael Lenox, Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business administration and the senior associate dean and chief strategy officer at UVA’s Darden School of Business, will co-chair the committee, which includes 14 additional members and five ex-officio members, listed below.

Committee members come from across the University and include faculty members, administrators and a student representative, Rambert Tyree, who will work with Dean of Students Allen Groves to solicit student input.

“We wanted to include a number of different voices from around the University, while still remaining relatively small and nimble,” Lenox said. “Each person on the committee, as President Ryan has emphasized, will be focused on the entire University, not just their particular school or area.”

The committee has two primary goals: gathering ideas and input from across the University and using that input to identify specific initiatives for the president and senior University leadership to consider.

“We will be reaching out to the many stakeholders within the University community and beyond to listen and get input around the themes President Ryan has already laid out – community, discovery and service,” Rogers said. “We want to hear both people’s vision for the University over the next decade and their specific ideas for how we can collectively achieve it.”

After gathering extensive input, the committee will help identify specific initiatives and options for implementing them, including an analysis of the financial resources needed to make a new strategic plan a reality. University leaders will use those findings to draft a strategic plan for the Board of Visitors in June.

“We want this plan to be operational, with funding sources and financial considerations accounted for,” Rogers said. “We hope that this will be a living document that University leaders can continue to reference and build on.”

Members of the Strategic Planning Committee include:

  • Ruth Bernheim, Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences; Professor of Public Health Sciences, Medicine and Family Medicine at the School of Medicine; Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life.
  • Philip Bourne, Stephenson Chair of Data Science; Director of the Data Science Institute; Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Catherine Bradshaw, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the Curry School of Education and Human Development.
  • Gregory Fairchild, Isidore Horween Research Professor of Business Administration; Associate Dean for Washington, D.C.-Area Initiatives and Academic Director of Public Policy and Entrepreneurship in the Darden School of Business.
  • Allen Groves, Associate Vice President and University Dean of Students.
  • Kelsey Johnson, Associate Professor of Astronomy in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
  • Christine Kennedy, Associate Dean for Academic Programs; Madeline Higginbotham Sly Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing; Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine.
  • John Lach, Professor in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Director of Cross-Cutting Initiatives in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 
  • Coleen McNamara, Edward W. and Betty Knight Scripps Professor of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine.
  • Stephen Mull, Vice Provost for Global Affairs. 
  • Jahan Ramazani, University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
  • Margaret Foster Riley, Professor of Law; Director of Animal Law in the School of Law; Professor of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine; Professor of Public Policy in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors.
  • Bethany Teachman, Professor of Psychology; Director of Clinical Training; Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Psychology in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. 
  • Rambert Tyree, fourth-year student in the McIntire School of Commerce.

Ex officio members are:

  • UVA Rector Frank M. “Rusty” Conner III.
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer-elect Jennifer “J.J.” Wagner Davis, represented by Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff Megan Lowe.
  • Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas, represented by Vice Provost for Administration and Chief of Staff Anda Webb.
  • Executive Vice President and Provost-elect M. Elizabeth “Liz” Magill, also represented by Webb.
  • Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Richard P. Shannon.