Re: Imagine 2030
To: All campus
Oct. 27, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
While we are all busy these days learning to work remotely, conduct research, teach classes and, most importantly, keep ourselves and our families healthy and safe, there is yet more that requires our shared attention.
UC Merced has certainly faced challenges in 2020, but it’s impossible to ignore the significance of this year in the history of our institution. We completed the Merced 2020 Project and celebrated the 15th anniversary of our campus opening in 2005. We celebrated our first faculty member invited to a national academy. We also moved with meteoric speed into the top 100 national universities in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. And we have welcomed the highest enrollment of students in our university’s history.
How then will we continue to build upon these accomplishments?
Our university community refuses to wait until the pandemic lifts or until we have complete fiscal clarity in order to answer this new challenge: what’s next? In fact, an academic planning exercise has been underway for months, and our schools and academic divisions are developing new plans to further support the overarching academic goals that will guide the university through its next significant evolution. Our research enterprise continues to grow and thrive, as we aim to become the youngest university to attain the Carnegie Foundation’s highest classification for research universities, R1 — which will open the doors to more research funding from federal, state and private sources.
Although we cannot predict the future, we can identify the values and principles that unite us, and we can create shared goals and targets that will help us align our work to achieve new degrees of excellence. To that end, I have asked Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield to lead the university’s first comprehensive strategic planning process to integrate the various efforts across campus to produce goals and strategies to guide UC Merced’s development over the next 10 years.
In the coming weeks, we will be engaging with the campus community through a series of stakeholder and divisional meetings to gather your input and to help you envision your own contributions to the ongoing success of our university. There will also be ample opportunities to submit input through a strategic planning website, which will be launching soon. Please watch for future messages with information about how to get involved.
Although we are facing challenges, we have done so before, and have grown through them. This is a critical time for UC Merced, and this planning effort will be a reminder of how far we’ve already come and a roadmap for where we will go next. Our past has been remarkable, and we know our future is brighter still.
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.