Strategic Priorities - University of Houston
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Strategic Priorities

The NSM Strategic Plan focuses on nine strategic priorities. Each strategic priority, including the justification and related initiatives, is provided in the topic sections below.

To obtain a full copy of the NSM Strategic Plan, including action steps and measurable targets, please contact Alexandra Gilles, Assistant to the Dean, at

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Justification: Faculty excellence is perhaps the most critical factor for the success of the College. Recruiting and retaining both diverse and outstanding faculty is essential to meet the College's and University's mission as we strive to fulfill our visionary goals.

Initiative 1a: Identify, recruit and hire the highest quality faculty available.

Initiative 1b: Establish and enforce robust faculty-mentoring policies in each department.

Initiative 1c: Enhance professional development and recognition opportunities for all faculty and establish support groups as needed.

Initiative 1d: Provide the resources and training for faculty to implement high-impact classroom practices to engage students in the learning process.

Justification: All great research institutions have a dedicated culture of research excellence and hard work. We must strengthen our scientific environment to a point where research excellence is expected of all. Improving research productivity and the quality of the research conducted in NSM will lead to enhanced publications, a better reputation for our faculty and University, and improved opportunities for securing external grants.

Initiative 2a: Focus on and actively develop cross-disciplinary, emerging areas of research.

Initiative 2b: Provide enhanced research support and incentives for research faculty.

Initiative 2c: Allocate space to maximize research activities, including developing and maintaining excellent core facilities.

Initiative 2d: Strengthen the research culture in NSM.

Justification: We must submit the highest quality grant proposals to afford the best chance of a favorable review. To achieve this goal, proposals must be clearly written with excellent grantsmanship, including easy to understand figures and graphics. Because past productivity is one of the most important grant review criteria, we must also submit the highest possible quality manuscripts.

Initiative 3a: Identify funding opportunities for large collaborative grants and enable proposal writing and submission.

Initiative 3b: Provide education and training to enhance grant proposal development and provide both internal and external expert reviews for grant proposals.

Initiative 3c: Provide professional copyediting and graphics design to enhance the quality of grant proposals, manuscript submissions and seminar/poster presentations.

Initiative 3d: Encourage interaction between NSM faculty and funding agency program officers.

Justification: Faculty and staff morale and engagement with their department, College and University are essential to institutional success as well as retention. Effective communication, transparency and inclusion in governance are essential elements in maintaining and improving faculty and staff morale.

Initiative 4a: Ensure transparency and fairness in the faculty review processes.

Initiative 4b: Improve communication and flow of information within the departments and College.

Initiative 4c: Improve and expand staff engagement activities and professional development training; frequently review and act on opportunities for career advancement.

Justification: A strong spirit of community and belonging will improve undergraduate student engagement, leading to better retention and graduation outcomes and continued participation with the College beyond graduation.

Initiative 5: Create a strong community of learners through the promotion of an inclusive and engaged environment for learning.

Justification: To fully meet the needs of our students and prepare them to meet the nation's demand for a well-educated and creative STEM workforce, a solid infrastructure must be in place to provide critical support services that will enable them to thrive in today’s environment.

Initiative 6a: Expand course offerings that provide academic, mentoring, engaged learning and career development support.

Initiative 6b: Improve the infrastructure of the Undergraduate Advising Center and expand its support programming.

Initiative 6c: Develop a full-service NSM Career Center.

Justification: Excellence of graduate programs is at the core of the College's success in fulfilling its research and educational missions. Program innovation is needed at both doctoral and master's levels to increase graduate student educational opportunities and attract prospective students. Improved recruitment methods will attract a talented student population.

Initiative 7a: Create new degree programs of interest to current and prospective students.

Initiative 7b: Increase the number of high-quality graduate applicants.

Justification: Our responsibility to our graduate students includes providing them with cutting-edge training and skills required to be successful in a diversified workplace. This is a dynamic process that needs constant reassessment so that students not only efficiently complete their degrees, but also are uniquely prepared for entering academia, industry or research centers.

Initiative 8a: Enhance success and experiences for graduate students while matriculated.

Initiative 8b: Increase mentoring and support of UH students and reduce attrition for all student groups.

Initiative 8c: Increase scholarships, awards and fellowships for graduate students.

Initiative 8d: Enhance the student-led Graduate Fellowship Application Working Groups.

Justification: The University launched a bold Strategic Plan and initiatives to increase the research and scholarly output of the faculty. These initiatives will better position UH for membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Excellence in non-academic service and support areas is of primary importance in providing support for the academic and research missions of the College.

Initiative 9a: Enhance the operations, procedures and efficiency of administering all activities associated with the College Success Measures and University priorities.

Initiative 9b: Ensure faculty, staff and students have access to and are trained on all collaborative, instructional and administrative tools.

Initiative 9c: Enhance NSM Facilities’ ability to address building maintenance, renovations and space usage, as well as staff, faculty, student and alumni engagement.

Initiative 9d: Expand communications and marketing promotion of the NSM academic and research enterprise.

Initiative 9e: Enhance development activities to bolster necessary resources to fund research, student success, scholarships and new programmatic opportunities.