Foundational Strategic Intent

Be the most sought-after place to be a part of

Current situation and gap between current situation and desired situation:
The most sought-after organizations to work in are also the most successful. This is especially important today with shrinking budgets and rising expectations. We have no data on how happy and engaged our people are now; but regardless, as a division we will benefit if we actively focus on this. The result will be better retention and better recruitment: 1. lower turnover lowers resistance to change and promotes innovation; and 2. people hire people for phenotype and fit, and we want our great people hiring people they believe have both. We must create an environment where all our people are our “top people” and where they truly enjoy working in ALVSCE, even though they may get paid more elsewhere..
Strategies (numbered) and actions (bulleted).

  1. Attract and retain highest performers in all three mission areas.
    • Identify clear standards throughout ALVSCE and have a culture that aspires to these.
    • Ensure that ALVSCE accounts for funded work whether it comes through sponsored programs administration or the UArizona Foundation.
    • Regardless of funder, respect and recognize extramural-funded work equally.
    • Be results focused, and measure outcomes and outputs rather than processes.
    • Identify and remove all non-productive bureaucratic or "busy" work from employees.
    • Measure quality as well as quantity.
    • Establish a culture of respect for all three mission areas and all job titles.
    • Zero tolerance for illegal, unethical or harassing behaviors.
    • Index promotion raises to Consumer Price index (CPI).
    • Index all salaries to CPI.
    • Have the highest compensation:cost of living ratio in peer and aspirants groups.
    • Enable all employees to interact with senior leadership very close to their hire date.
    • High per capita investment in high performers: fewer, but more highly paid and resourced employees.
    • Reinvest what resources we have in the people we have.
    • Have systems in place to account for all benefits in start-up packages.
    • Make place, purpose, heritage and history part of our DNA.
    • Promote life balance.
    • Provide clear career paths in all three mission areas.
    • Work closely with resource areas to provide new investment in individuals.
    • Rebuild temporary commitment funds to enable the best hires and also provide continual support for existing faculty.
    • Professionalize ALVSCE service units and systems.
    • Provide cyber-infrastructure environment that is the best in the peer group and free, including local cloud and highest connectivity.
    • Automate grant forms such as COI, C&P, Data Management plan.
    • Have a culture of "service with partnership" and, from staff in service units, an aspiration to create advocates.
    • Have culture of service leadership, enablement and the "inverted triangle" with ALVSCE administrators.
    • Be a national leader in Cooperative Extension system autonomy and accountability, yet most interconnected to CALES.
  2. Move from the current "1-5 annual" review system that has led to inconsistency across CALES units and grade inflation strings of decimals to system that recognizes accomplishment and is less arbitrary and dependent on individual line managers.
    • Develop a review rubric based on recognizing: transformations; breakthroughs; recognized contributions; when progress is occurring, yet specific improvements are required; when significant specific improvement is required; and when individuals are not achieving expectations or being obstructive.
  3. Use the matrix organizational structure in ALVSCE so that unit heads are the recognized academic leaders, and associate deans and the Cooperative Extension director are the mission directors, and both groups must work together.
    • Establish separate meetings between dean and unit heads that are not transactional.
    • Dean will involve unit heads in strategic investment decisions
    • Executive Council is advisor to vice president who must take the delegated authority and responsible for the division and be accountable.
    • Vice President must delegate authority, accountability and responsibility to unit heads and mission leaders and not micromanage.
    • Improve communication in management by establishing cabinet.
    • Provide leadership and professional development opportunities.
    • Mission leader and unit head annual reviews to prioritize management and leadership knowledge, skills and talents.
  4. Focus on internal and external engagement based on integrity and trust.
    • Set up town halls/agenda-less meetings with division.
    • Have Faculty Council, Dean’s Research Advisory Committee, Cyberinfrastructure Advisory Group, and Diversity and Inclusion Council.
    • Focus on trust, integrity, credibility, transparency and a sense of overall fairness especially in business affairs.
    • Embrace and respect our legal requirement for faculty and shared governance and also administrative autonomy based on delegated authority, accountability and responsibility.
    • Engage with Human Resources as much as possible to take maximum advantage of all that they offer.
    • Improve marketing and communication.
    • Raise the profile and respect of the office of Development and Alumni Affairs by including the Head DO in cabinet.
    • Prioritize communication and transparency in business operations. 
    • Vice president spends 25% of time on development and external engagement activities.
    • Externally focused vice president and internally focused mission directors.


Continue to -- ALVSCE Strategic Intent One