What the UT Strategic Plan Means for FAS

Dear FAS colleagues,

This week President Jay Hartzell officially released the university’s 10-year strategic plan titled “Change Starts Here: UT’s Strategic Plan to Increase Impact” with the goal of becoming the highest impact public university in the world. In his opening letter in the plan, President Hartzell urges us all to think about the roles we want to play in our community and the initiatives and goals laid out in the plan that excite us because there is room within the plan for all of us to make a difference.

To that end, all of FAS will be impacted by the UT strategic plan on a personal, individual level as recipients of the positive changes to come, but also from a functional, work perspective as we will all be involved in some fashion in the initiatives outlined in the plan.

FAS is in a unique position among colleges, schools, and units (CSUs) in that we will both be updating our FAS strategic plan to align with the university’s plan while also leading the implementation of several of the 42 initiatives outlined in the university’s plan. Over the course of the next several months, FAS leadership will work together to review and reimagine our portfolio-level strategic plan to ensure we are aligning our work with the goals and aspirations of the university’s 10-year vision. At the same time, our leaders in FAS will be launching and implementing new programs and initiatives while working to accelerate successful initiatives already underway.

The scope of work impacts all areas of FAS including human resources, finance, procurement, IT, safety, security, facilities, and construction. Some of the initiatives called out in the plan that will impact our work include:

  • Recruit outstanding staff, be a premier employer and career destination, and enhance staff opportunities through supporting professional development

  • Deliver operational excellence at every touchpoint by improving processes, capabilities, and systems across administrative functions

  • Create inspiring, sustainable, next generation spaces and environments through developing a new Campus Master Plan, investing in new facilities or facilities upgrades, and ensuring our campus continues to be safe and accessible

  • Modernize information technology and data operations to enhance our technology capability and simplify our operations

The university’s strategic plan also includes elements to bolster equity, diversity, and inclusion, which aligns with the university’s new plan titled “You Belong Here: Our Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus.” Both university-level plans will be instrumental in driving our FAS strategic plan.

All of the work represented in these plans will provide FAS an unprecedented opportunity to engage and collaborate with all of our campus partners on crafting the university’s future. But all of this work will not be completed overnight. The university will start first by creating a new Transformation Support Office (TSO) within the Office of the President that will promote visibility and decision making, track progress and impact, and help facilitate the connections necessary to perform work on this scale. Initiative Leads will be identified for all 42 initiatives outlined in the strategic plan and those leads will form projects and working groups to scope the work and begin implementing changes and improvements.

Over the course of the next several months, FAS leadership will be coming together to understand how the university’s strategic plans should influence our own local planning. Just like with the university-level plan, the FAS plan can’t be created in a silo, and we will be looking for opportunities to engage our employees in the planning process and informing our decisions with your input and feedback.

As President Hartzell says in his opening letter, the plan is a broad canvas with room for all of us to make a difference. The same is true for our FAS strategic plan. There will be room and a role for all FAS employees to be involved and make a difference in determining our path forward, how we work together, and how we address and overcome challenges as a portfolio.

In the meantime, I urge you all to spend some time reviewing the online materials, videos, and resources.


Darrell Bazzell, signature

Darrell Bazzell (he/him/his)
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
The University of Texas at Austin

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May 4, 2022