Strategic Action Plan

UCR's Strategic Plan

UCR's Strategic Plan: What It is and Is Not

The vision and driver for UC Riverside’s strategic plan is excellence.  We want to be excellent both by our own standards and by those of independent, widely accepted entities such as the AAU.  The primary purpose of UCR 2020, our strategic plan, is to lay out strategies to achieve excellence along the criteria that we – and they – have developed.

UCR 2020 must be strategic, not tactical and operational.  Thus, the plan will not provide as much detail as some would like, but rather will provide a framework that will guide our decisions in the future.  As an analogy, a strategic plan tells us that Yosemite is north and west of Riverside.  A tactical plan provides turn-by-turn directions on how to get there.  UCR 2020 will provide overall direction; it will be up to us to interpret, as the time and miles go by, the best way of getting where we want to go.  This is important because the strategic plan will be a living document, flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

A strategic plan is forward-looking and forward-leaning.  It does not dwell on the past, nor does it ponder the present – except as the platform from which we will launch our future aspirations.  A strategic plan draws a line in the sand and says, “We go forward from here.”  Thus, UCR 2020 is not a place to look for mention of the successes achieved by a specific program or department; rather a program or department should use UCR 2020 to consider where it will fit in the campus’ future.

A courageous strategic plan generates anxiety, and may create backlash.  This is to be expected.  Indeed, it is welcome, as universities do not evolve in a straight line; they grow in fits and starts.  Universities in equilibrium are no longer growing.  To remain dynamic, areas of investment must change over time.  The strategic priorities identified in UCR 2020 are not intended to encompass every aspect of what we are doing in this great university, nor do they represent the sole areas in which we will invest.   Rather, they arise from existing strengths, emerging opportunities, and societal need.

Just as UCR 2020 will not tell us every road to take between here and Yosemite, it will not tell us where to invest every dollar in the future.  Investments will be both strategic and opportunistic – hence the inclusion of an “innovation incubator” among the strategic priorities, to enable new ideas and initiatives to emerge.  The beauty of a strong strategic plan is that it provides enough direction to get us where we want to go, but enough flexibility to choose an alternative route along the way if a unique opportunity presents itself. 

Decisions related to resources and tactics will be made during the implementation process, guided by both the strategic plan and the academic and administrative plans developed by other campus units.

UCR is at a watershed moment.  As an experiment station for more than a century, and a UC campus for more than 50 years, we are ready and poised for transformative change.  It will require energy.  It will require risk.  But UCR’s leadership, faculty, staff, and students are capable of a great leap if we summon the will to do so.

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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Tel: (951) 827-5201
Fax: (951) 827-3866
E-mail: ucr2020@ucr.edu