Nine Strategic Visioning Conversations

Having the following conversations may facilitate engagement in the development and execution of a shared dynamic road map to the future for units within the Institute. Each of these conversations are listed below followed by questions that could be used as discussion prompts. These conversations are provided as sugges- tions. Depending on the unit, some may not be necessary or useful, and other conversations not listed below may be more helpful.

Conversation #1 Context - The discipline and interface with IANR's six communities.

  • If we stand on the shoulders of giants in the field, what is the foundation of success (the shoulders) that they have established for us? How do we build on that success so that we reach new heights?
  • What grand challenges are we well positioned to address?
    • Grand challenges are often difficult and important problems that have scientific, societal, economic, health, etc. implications, and that typically require multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation to address.
  • If we knew we could achieve "X", what bold steps would we take?
  • What expertise currently exists within the unit for addressing current and future grand challenges? What are the gaps in our expertise that are preventing us from increasing our impact on the field? Where does that expertise currently exist, and what might we be able to do to tap into that expertise?
  • How does our expertise contribute to IANR's six communities?
  • How are we providing leadership in driving outcomes within the six communities?
  • What opportunities and risks do we see on the horizon for the discipline that we might want to anticipate?

Conversation #2 Context - Institutional and External

  • What is the context in which we reside? (e.g., university and IANR, profession/discipline, political, economic, state/regional/national/international)
  • What areas of the N2025 Strategic Plan are we best positioned to contribute to?
  • What things related to our context do we see on the horizon that we might want to anticipate? These can be opportunities or risks.
  • Who are our primary competitors? What can we learn from them?
  • What opportunities exist for collaboration with industry, commodity groups, advocacy groups, government agencies, other universities, etc.?

Conversation #3 Teaching and Learning

  • What are our top 2 or 3 priorities around smart enrollment growth?
  • How do we intend to implement the CASNR Smart Enrollment Growth Framework?
  • What are our top 2 or 3 priorities around graduate education?
  • How do we intend to implement the IANR Strategic Graduate Education Framework's vision and goals for graduate education?
  • What are our goals for promoting holistic student development (i.e., integration of curricular programming, experiential learning, co-curricular programming, and health and well-being)?
  • What does the scholarship of teaching and learning look like for us, and what can we do to increase our impact through scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • How will our diversity and inclusion goal(s) advance teaching and learning excellence?

Conversation #4 Research, Disciplined Inequity, and Creative Activity

  • What are the grand challenges being addressed by faculty members through their research and scholarship?
  • How do disciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborations help us increase our research and scholarship productivity and impact?
  • What opportunities exist for intellectual property?
  • What opportunities exist for industry partnerships, and how do (or would) these partnerships increase the scope, scale, and impact of our research?
  • How are we doing at disseminating the results of our research? What does our research scholarship portfolio say about the impact of our research?
  • What are the indicators research excellence for our discipline, and how do we measure against those indicators?
    • If we are hitting the mark, what do we need to ensure that we continue to hit or exceed the standard of excellence?
    • If we are not hitting the mark, what do we need to do to improve?
  • How will our diversity and inclusion goal(s) advance our research and research scholarship?

Conversation #5 Engagement, Outreach, and Extension

  • What is the impact of our research, teaching, and Extension/engagement on Nebraska?
  • How do we measure/assess local and state-wide impact of our expertise?
    • What indicators of impact are we not using that might help us increase our impact and or better assess it?
  • What does scholarship of Extension/engagement look like for us, and what can we do to increase our impact through scholarship of Extension/engagement?
  • How will our attention to diversity and inclusive excellence advance our Engagement, outreach, and extension, and the impact of these efforts?

Conversation #6 Mission Integration

  • How do we drive outcomes related to grand challenges through an integrated mission that includes teaching, research, and Extension/engagement?
  • What are the problems we could solve/the questions we can answer given our collective expertise?

Conversation #7 Diversity and Inclusiveness

  • How does diversity enrich the teaching and learning, research, and Extension/engagement environment within our unit?
  • How does diversity enrich and advance the science of the discipline?
  • Is the culture of our unit such that diversity is welcomed and respected?
  • What are we intentionally doing to create an inclusive work environment?
  • What about our practices, procedures and policies unwittingly preference certain individuals and disadvantage others?
  • Which groups or individuals are most likely to feel marginalized or excluded? And, what can we do to be more inclusive of all forms of human diversity?

Conversation #8 International Engagement

  • What is the global scope and/or global implications of our work and contributions?
  • How would global engagement advance our strategic vision?
    • How could it be a distraction from or negatively influence our ability to advance toward achieving impacts that really matter to us and our constituents?
  • Who, in countries other than the U.S., are our partners?
    • Are these the right partnerships?
    • If so, what are we doing to nurture those partnerships to increase impact and advance our strategic direction?
  • What opportunities exist for faculty, students, and staff to increase impact of teaching/learning, research, and engagement through international engagement either domestically or in countries other than the U.S.?
  • How do our current global engagement strategies help us to achieve our mission?
  • What opportunities for domestic international engagement currently exist or may exist in the future for us?

Conversation #9 Resource Distribution

  • Are we strategically using financial, facilities, and personnel resources to achieve goals and maximize impact?
  • What are the decision-making principles that inform resource distribution?
    • How transparent are these decision-making principles?
    • How transparent do they need to be?
  • Are there decision making indicators; things that we will want to measure good ideas against to facilitate decision-making? (Note: these should be tied to values, core expectations of academic leaders, and aspects identified in the Strategic Visioning Document.)