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A dictionary of planning terms

What’s the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement What makes a goal a goal or an objective an objective?

Such questions often come up in the early stages of strategic planning activity. In the interest of clarity, a shared vocabulary for UMBC’s planning process has been developed to facilitate campus conversations.

Mission statement – a comprehensive, externally-approved description of UMBC’s role in the State.

Established mission: UMBC is a dynamic public research university integrating teaching, research and service to benefit the citizens of Maryland. As an Honors University, the campus offers academically talented students a strong undergraduate liberal arts foundation that prepares them for graduate and professional study, entry into the workforce, and community service and leadership. UMBC emphasizes science, engineering, information technology, human services and public policy at the graduate level. UMBC contributes to the economic development of the State and the region through entrepreneurial initiatives, workforce training, K-16 partnerships, and technology commercialization in collaboration with public agencies and the corporate community. UMBC is dedicated to cultural and ethnic diversity, social responsibility and lifelong learning.

Vision statement – a statement of UMBC’s aspirations providing guidance for strategic planning.

Current vision: UMBC seeks to become the best public research university of our size by combining the traditions of the liberal arts academy, the creative intensity of the research university, and the social responsibility of the public university. We will be known for integrating research, teaching and learning, and civic engagement so that each advances the others for the benefit of society.

Strategic plan – a focused and complementary set of strategies to inspire UMBC to reach for the next level of excellence.

How do we move  from good to great?

Focus areas – fundamental or distinctive elements vital for achieving UMBC’s vision.

What are the drivers of our success?

Strategic goals – bold, aspirational ideas that inspire the next level of success in focus areas.

What will make us best-in-class?

Strategic objectives – means of achieving or moving toward strategic goals.

How will we execute our strategies?

Metrics – specific performance targets and timelines providing measurable outcomes information.

How will we know we are succeeding?

Posted: July 29, 2013, 3:51 PM