University of West Florida seeks to advance research initiatives, university growth in newly-approved five year plan

by | Sep 16, 2022

  • The University of West Florida’s five-year strategic plan for university growth and academic capabilities was approved by the state Board of Governors this week, allowing the plan to be put into place
  • Initiatives within the outline include plans to increase faculty research recognition, student recruitment efforts, and facilitated business partnerships in North Florida. 
  • UWF will also attempt to increase the rate at which its students participate in the local business sector through funded partnerships and internship opportunities.

The University of West Florida’s (UWF) proposed five-year strategic plan was approved by the state Board of Governors this week. The plan utilizes a student-centered outlook seeking to advance research initiatives and bolster student and employee recruitment.

The plan aims to strengthen UWF’s commitment to research and community engagement while positioning the University as a catalyst for economic growth within the Northwest Florida region and the state at large.

The outline further includes focused goals surrounding advanced academic programs, a higher allocation rate of student scholarships and grants, employee success and retention, and infrastructure growth.

“UWF’s strategic plan is a clear and measurable blueprint for success not only for the University but also for the region and the state,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “Our plan addresses issues like meeting the need for superior talent in high-demand professions and developing innovation for local industry. That’s why input from community leaders and business executives was an essential part of the plan development.”

The approved plan additionally refines focus on the expectations and ambitions of current and future faculty members. Listed indicators of success include external awards and recognitions, professional development opportunities, and percentage of successful national searches, among others.

University ambitions also include a higher rate of faculty research published in peer-reviewed journals, recognitions for faculty creative activities, and creation and development of patentable inventions, licensable technology, copyrightable works, and trademarks.

“The impressive accomplishments of UWF thus far are a source of pride for everyone impacted by the University — and we are just getting started,” Saunders said. “Guided by the strategic plan, our aspirations for the future are realistically within reach.”

UWF will also look to sustain and develop new relationships with business partners in the North Florida area, establishing a guideline to enhance the region’s educational opportunities, economic development, health, and environmental sustainability.

Such measures to facilitate economic growth include the number of professional conferences, continuing education, and professional development seminars hosted, inclusion in economic impact reports, and an increase in the number of workforce partnerships the university holds.

The university will also attempt to increase the rate at which its students participate in the local business sector through funded partnerships and encouraging students to participate in co-ops and internships.

All plans or initiatives cited in this article are published in UWF’s strategic plan report, which can be found here.



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