Message to the University Campus

Renewing the UMass Dartmouth Strategic Plan

Dear Colleagues,

We are about to begin a strategic planning process to update the 2000-2010 Strategic Plan, and I am writing to request your involvement as a member of a team that 
will conduct an environmental scan of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). The SWOT teams and your assignment, which I hope you will accept, are listed on the attached. I also have attached a description of what a SWOT analysis entails and a sample of a SWOT analysis. Please note that the SWOT teams were put together in consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

I should point out that the overall goal of the planning process is to produce an updated strategic plan that will be an operational document that drives budgetary decisions and which will be updated on a regular cycle. This plan will include implementation strategies for all its objectives, will identify the individuals or groups responsible for implementing specific objectives, and have measurable outcomes, timelines and budgets for those objectives where needed.

The SWOT areas are taken from the goals of the 2000-2010 plan. For example, Goal 1 of the plan states: 1. The University is recognized for its excellent undergraduate and graduate programs that integrate innovative teaching/learning strategies and prepare students for advancement in the twenty-first century environment.
This goal produces the the first four SWOT areas:

  1. Recognition of the University for Program Excellence;
  2. Excellence of Undergraduate Programs;
  3. Excellence of Graduate Programs and
  4. Integrating Innovative Teaching/Learning Strategies and Preparing Students for Advancement in the Twenty-first Century Environment.

The remaining SWOT areas derive from Goals 2 through 5 of the 2000-2010 plan.

Overall Planning Process and Timeline:

  1. February 5-March 5, 2007: SWOT analysis conducted and completed. SWOT teams are provided with Chancellor's report on the 2000-2010 Strategic Plan, which will be released to the University community on February 15th, and other data sets needed for their analysis.
  2. February 15, 2007: Chancellor's State of the University Address
  3. March 9 - March 11, 2007: Planning Retreat. The Retreat will include members of the administration, the SWOT team chairs and an additional member from each SWOT team. The planning group will utilize the SWOT reports, and the Chancellor's report to review the 2000-2010 plan and decide which objectives can be dropped and which need to be retained and develop new objectives.
  4. March 15 - April 30, 2007: The updated plan is brought back to a group of Implementation Teams, which will be made up of individuals who participated in the SWOT analysis and others as appropriate. The Implementation Teams will be charged with prioritizing the objectives, developing implementation strategies, identifying responsible entities for each objective, and estimating budgetary implications.
  5. May 2007: The updated plan is presented to the University community for review and comment.
  6. July 2007: Implementation begins

SWOT Team Meeting Schedule:

  1. February 5, 2007- 3:00 (Room to determined): Meeting of all SWOT team members. The overall planning process will be discussed and planning documents released. Note, an intranet site will be established and used to post all planning documents and data sets.
  2. The meeting schedule of the individual SWOT teams will be set by the team chair in consultation with the team members. Teams are encouraged to explore the use of WebCT for discussion boards and similar communications.

I am looking forward to working with you on this important exercise. If you cannot participate please notify my office by email to


Anthony J. Garro
Provost and Vice Chancellor for
Academic Affairs