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Goals | Strategic Plan Home

Strategic Plan Goal 4
Faculty and Staff Success

The School of Engineering Strategic Plan was developed to guide the School in the coming years as it transitions from a primarily education-focused school to a major research institution. Out of that process emerged six strategic goals to advance the School of Engineering mission and to strengthen its foundation.

Engineering School success depends largely on the creativity and energy of its people. Engineering faculty and staff have weathered repeated budget cuts while continuing to provide an outstanding educational experience for students and push the frontiers of knowledge. The School of Engineering will look to develop the best possible group of people to maximize their potential and advance the U.Va. Engineering mission.

Key Actions

4.1 Provide clarity of School of Engineering vision, mission and core values

A key goal for this plan is to provide a roadmap for Engineering School activities in the coming years. The School of Engineering will weave the mission, vision, values and strategies identified in this plan into the operation of the Dean’s Office and each academic department, and into individual objectives for faculty and staff. In this way, the School will align efforts to meet its goals. Engineering School leaders will make future decisions that are consistent with strategic objectives and values.

4.2 Ensure that the School of Engineering policies and incentives encourage a culture of excellence

To maximize the contributions of faculty and staff within Engineering, policies and incentives must recognize, encourage, and reward excellence. The School of Engineering will assign accountability for the review of each policy to an individual or committee, who will conduct a comprehensive review of the policies to ensure that they align with the desired outcomes. Policies that are no longer required or inconsistent with the School’s strategic objectives will be modified or eliminated (for example the School of Engineering P&T Guidelines for Non-Tenure Track Faculty).

4.3 Clarify roles and responsibilities and implement transparent decision-making processes

The lack of clear, transparent decision-making processes limits the Engineering School’s ability to act strategically. In conjunction with other Engineering School organization changes, the School will develop principles and decision-making processes that clarify roles and responsibilities and provide for effective and transparent decision-making.

4.4 Expand leadership development and professional-development programs for Engineering School faculty and staff

Changes within the University and within the School of Engineering will increasingly devolve responsibility and authority to schools and departments. Fully realizing the benefits of these changes will require current and future leaders in the Engineering School to develop effective management and leadership skills. To strengthen the School’s current leaders, and build a pipeline of future leaders, the Engineering School will develop clear expectations for the competencies required for leaders and will work with University Human Resources and the Provost’s Office, to provide leadership and professional development programs (including 360-degree feedback programs) for its faculty and staff to prepare them for evolving responsibilities.

4.5 Develop and fully utilize an integrated performance management system aligned with compensation and reward system

Faculty and staff performance is optimized when performance expectations are clear, meaningful and timely feedback is provided, and individuals are recognized and rewarded for excellence in meeting expectations. Current performance management systems are inconsistent across departments and within the Dean’s Office for faculty and administrators; and existing systems for staff are not effectively or uniformly implemented. To address this need, the School of Engineering will develop a consistent performance management process for faculty that sets clear performance expectations, provides flexibility to departments in distributing faculty efforts, and provides a more performance-based reward system. The Engineering School will increase training and educational opportunities for staff and supervisors, and will integrate incentive programs to recognize and reward top performers.

4.6 Develop effective support staff capabilities for administrative, technical and research activities

The current Engineering School staff-to-faculty ratio is significantly lower than those of its peer institutions. Insufficient staffing of administrative and technical endeavors increases the burden on current staff and faculty, reduces the teaching and scholarly productivity of faculty, and hinders the Engineering School's overall effectiveness and productivity. The Engineering School is committed to providing the human resources necessary to meet its mission. The School will examine the distribution of staff functions in order to make better use of economies of scale where appropriate, and will hire staff where necessary to support implementation of the strategic plan. The School will identify areas where better tools or training might improve staff functions and where cross training might provide improvements in efficiency.

Key Metrics

Key metrics to measure success are the following:

  • Implementation of faculty performance management system for year 2012.
  • Scholarly productivity as measured by Ph.D./faculty, publications/faculty, citations/faculty, awards/faculty, patents, invited lectures and other output metrics.
  • Improved utilization and effectiveness by staff of the Lead@UVa performance system and alignment with Rewards and Recognition Program.
  • Increased faculty/staff participation in leadership and development opportunities.
  • Staff: faculty ratio.
  • Improvement in periodic faculty/staff surveys.