Strategic Plan

UNCW Launches New, Inclusive Strategic Planning Process

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students: 

UNCW stands at a pivotal moment in its journey. The university, emerging from the pandemic in a strong position, has been uplifted in Seahawk spirit by the commitment and support of the campus and our community. The success of our current Strategic Plan is evident in our ability to continue thriving despite the challenges we have faced since it was implemented in 2016. It was extended for one year, through 2022, to allow ample time for us to plan for the next phase of UNCW’s future. 

It is from this platform that we are launching the next strategic plan for UNCW. We will begin, of course, with an inclusive process guided by the Strategic Design and Planning Steering Committee. The SDPSC comprises faculty, staff and students from across UNCW to represent a diverse set of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. Three stellar co-chairs will lead the committee:  

  • Dr. Nathan Grove, Faculty Senate President & Professor, Chemistry 
  • Susan Smith, 2020-21 Staff Senate Chair & Office Manager, Campus Recreation 
  • Dr. James Winebrake, Provost & Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs 

A full list of the members is available online. 

The SDPSC’s role will be to “steer” the process, review existing data, collect input from campus stakeholders, lead potential workgroups in the fall, host campus fora about the process and solicit feedback, and ultimately draft the overarching goals, objectives and metrics. The SDPSC will convene regularly over the summer for preliminary work, which includes forming the framework for the upcoming academic year. In the fall, work groups will be identified to sift through details of the plan. A final goal is to present the next Strategic Plan to campus governance groups in spring 2022 for adoption and implementation beginning in fall 2022. 

When members of the SDPSC reach out to you for your input and support, please assist them in this important work. Your voice matters throughout this process. The following activities will be included among the committee’s responsibilities: 

  • Review key literature and participate in trainings, workshops and discussions related to design thinking and strategic planning principles. 
  • Develop timeline and framework for strategic design and planning work through the 2021-22 academic year.  
  • Facilitate the collection of information from key campus stakeholders, including hosting campus fora and/or public discussions. 
  • Participate in regular meetings. 
  • Represent their respective constituencies through transparent communication. 
  • Translate input from constituents into overarching problem-solving and strategic priorities for campus. 
  • Identify campus constituents to comprise various workgroups related to problem-identification and strategic priorities. 
  • Collect information from workgroups to design strategic actions, goals, targets, and objectives.  
  • Craft and review draft reports that will ultimately lead to the final plan. 
  • Solicit endorsement from campus governing bodies. 

Given the success that UNCW has achieved with its current Strategic Plan, I have every confidence in our campus community’s ability to develop a new, collaborative plan that challenges our university to reach ever higher in the years to come.  

Sincerely yours, 


Jose V. Sartarelli 
UNCW Chancellor
(July 1, 2015-June 30, 2022)