Five-Year Strategic Plan

About the Planning Process

At UA Little Rock, our work for the next five years is captured in our newly crafted Integrated Strategic Plan, developed through a collaborative campus process. The Strategic Planning Committee developed five overarching goals — Access, Experience, Attainment, Research, and Community Engagement — that will define UA Little Rock and its effort to support students and our community. Units across campus meticulously drafted component plans, aligning their specific objectives with these institutional goals to ensure a unified and forward-looking direction, as well as accountability.

These component plans were woven together to form the comprehensive strategic plan. While they stand alone in detail, together they encapsulate our collective goals, objectives, and strategies, ensuring that every facet of university life contributes meaningfully to our shared vision.

Group of students standing together.
Faculty and Graduates at Commencement

Moving Forward

As we move forward, this integrated approach not only enhances our operational synergy but also reinforces our commitment to providing transformative educational experiences, advancing knowledge, and engaging with our community.

In organizing the Integrated Strategic Plan, we aimed to present a concise and navigable document. To avoid complexity and redundancy, component goals have been placed under a single thematic area. We encourage readers to explore the plan with a holistic perspective, identifying connections where component goals, objectives, and strategies may support multiple themes. This approach underscores our integrated strategy, enhancing the synergy across different areas of our university. View the pdf of the Integrated Strategic Plan.

Institutional Goals

ACCESS: Increase student access to transformative educational experiences that are affordable, versatile, and relevant.

EXPERIENCE: Improve the student, faculty, and staff experience by cultivating an engaging campus community that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

ATTAINMENT: Strengthen educational attainment through academic programs leading to social and economic mobility and the achievement of students’ aspirational goals.

RESEARCH: Expand the institution’s applied research footprint to provide advanced educational opportunities and to broaden external impact.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Enhance community engagement through partnerships and collaborations involving faculty, staff, and students that address local, state, and regional needs.

Graduate student in science lab.

Goal Details and Component Plans


INSTITUTIONAL GOAL ACCESS: Increase student access to transformative educational experiences that are affordable, versatile, and relevant.

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Component Goal 1: Increase the number of competitive, flexible educational options that are responsive to the social and economic needs of the community and to changes in the education landscape.

  • Objective 1: Offer educational programs that support career readiness, advancement, and placement.
    • Strategy 1: Design a responsive curriculum for marketable, competitive credentials, including embedded, stackable, non-credit and credit certificates and certifications as well as experiential learning opportunities.
    • Strategy 2: Incorporate career-readiness components in all programs, both professional and the liberal arts, using tools such as the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Competencies.
    • Strategy 3: Create a campus-wide team (Office of Communications, Online learning, Student Enrollment, advisors, faculty, students) to market academic programs.
  • Objective 2: Determine and offer the right mix of online and on-campus course options for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
    • Strategy 1: Use data on program resources, student demographics, and progress to degree for decisions on scheduling by modality, time, and location.
    • Strategy 2: Collaborate with Communications, eLearning, and academic units on marketing online degree options.
  • Objective 3: Promote open access resources and multiple modalities of instruction.
    • Strategy 1: Increase the use and quality of Open Educational Resources by offering professional development for faculty on OER.
    • Strategy 2: Expand modes of online instruction to include limited residency and synchronous delivery as well as asynchronous delivery.
    • Strategy 3: Increase professional development for faculty in online/hybrid/highflex student learning and engagement.

Academic Affairs Component Goal 2: Facilitate admissions and transfer processes.

  • Objective 1: Increase admissions flexibility to allow multiple measures.
    • Strategy 1: Adopt multiple-measures admissions policies.
    • Strategy 2: Create a formal admissions appeals committee.
    • Strategy 3: Track student success among students admitted on multiple measures admissions or appeals.
  • Objective 2: Develop a robust Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program that is consistent across campus and maintains high integrity.
    • Strategy 1: Work with Faculty Senate Councils and Committees to design an effective policy for PLA.


Advancement Component Goal 1: Grow philanthropic support to increase scholarship opportunities for educational access for students and to provide them with transformative educational experiences.

  • Objective 1: Achieve UA Little Rock’s Centennial Campaign goal of $250 million by 2027.
    • Strategy 1: Increase major gifts raised, $25,000 or greater, to support the campaign priorities through cash, cash pledges, in-kind and planned/estate gifts.
    • Strategy 2: Increase the number of donors below the major gift threshold of $24,999 or less.
  • Objective 2: Enhance the alumni and donor database by improving the quality of and access to current usable information.
    • Strategy 1: Increase the accuracy and reliability of the alumni database as the go-to source for accurate information about former students and alumni.


Athletics Component Goal 1: Increase educational access for student athletes.

  • Objective 1: Create new opportunities and expand current modes of financial support to enhance opportunities for student athletes.
    • Strategy 1: Develop an array of funding sources to support student athlete scholarships including institutional commitments, annual fundraising efforts, and endowed scholarship opportunities, among others.

Enrollment Management & Marketing and Communications

Enrollment Management & MarComm Component Goal 1: Implement strategic digital marketing and communication initiatives to support student recruitment efforts.

  • Objective 1: Collaborate with Marketing & Communications to obtain regular updates on the university brand reputation.
    • Strategy 1: Marketing & Communications and Admissions collaborate to strengthen the recruiting efforts/pipeline (i.e. enhance enrollment webpage, create targeted marketing campaigns).
  • Objective 2: Support strategic efforts to recruit diverse, underrepresented, and post-modern students to UA Little Rock.
    • Strategy 1: Marketing & Communications and Admissions collaborate to enhance advertising with direct messaging to diverse audiences.

Enrollment Management & MarComm Component Goal 2: Increase enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students by developing targeted recruitment plans and re-envisioning onboarding processes.

  • Objective 1: Enhance recruitment plans for undergraduate, transfer, stop-out and graduate students.
    • Strategy 1: Develop targeted recruitment plans for selected freshmen populations (i.e. Hispanic, Military, Online, Home and Private School, Nonprofits and Public Service Organizations, UA Little Rock Alumni and Non-Traditional).
    • Strategy 2: Implement application days at high schools and community colleges to admit and scholarship students and waive application fees.
    • Strategy 3: Collaborate with 2-year schools, especially in Arkansas, to obtain graduation lists and ensure recruiters have productive visits, and create pathways for potential students to participate in UA Little Rock on-campus experiences.
    • Strategy 4: Expand partnerships with local businesses, creating a streamlined pipeline to recruit non-traditional and graduate students.
    • Strategy 5: Develop a data-informed understanding of stop-outs and partner with retention to help re-engage students who have stopped between one and three years.
    • Strategy 6: Improve and send consistent communications that include mailers, text messages, and emails regarding missing credentials.
  • Objective 2: Re-envision the onboarding processes.
    • Strategy 1: Re-assess and implement changes within Admissions & Recruitment to assist prospective students with the enrollment process from application to enrollment stage.
    • Strategy 2: Analyze and enhance customer service functions of enrollment management to increase effectiveness and efficiency, which includes assisting new students with the onboarding process.
    • Strategy 3: Leverage existing IT resources to create a user-friendly interface that improves the accessibility to and understanding of existing transfer course equivalencies.
    • Strategy 4: Improve onboarding and transition activities (e.g. orientation, Welcome Week, advising, and First Year Colloquium courses, review of Personal Awareness First Year Experience course, use of College Scheduler, use of math index).

Marketing & Communications

MarComm Component Goal 1: Support strategic website initiatives that can impact recruitment.

  • Objective 1: Enhance the university website to support recruitment efforts.
    • Strategy 1: Make conversions easy for website visitors.
    • Strategy 2: Provide relevant content on university website about programs and write content specific to key audiences.
  • Objective 2: Support efforts to recruit diverse and underrepresented students.
    • Strategy 1: Work with campus leadership to support recruitment of diverse students.
  • Objective 3: Support new programs and campus initiatives that support recruitment.
    • Strategy 1: Raise awareness about new academic programs that are added to the University.

Student Services

Student Services Component Goal 1: Expand student access to services and opportunities.

  • Objective 1: Reduce student barriers to accessing services.
    • Strategy 1: Streamline student experiences with business processes (from initiation to completion of a process that students undergo).
    • Strategy 2: Build student and faculty knowledge about units providing student services and co-curricular opportunities.
    • Strategy 3: Enhance customer service training for all student services staff, including student workers.
  • Objective 2: Increase student participation in Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL).
    • Strategy 1: Develop creative marketing to showcase registered students’ organizations and fraternity and sorority life for all students.


INSTITUTIONAL GOAL EXPERIENCE: Improve the student, faculty, and staff experience by cultivating an engaging campus community that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Component Goal 1: Promote a culture that fosters thoughtful and transparent communication, inclusiveness, and respect for others.

  • Objective 1: Improve communication on campus.
    • Strategy 1: Facilitate respectful discourse, civility, and collegiality among faculty, staff, and students.
    • Strategy 2: Ensure that major projects and central units have communication plans that are clear, concise, timely, inclusive, and accessible.
  • Objective 2: Enhance a sense of belonging among people of various backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and skills.
    • Strategy 1: Increase the number of faculty and staff of color and from underserved groups to better represent the demographics of our student population.
    • Strategy 2: Support faculty by offering equitable and competitive compensation and expanding professional development activities such as Jump Start teaching, research mini-grants, and travel support.
    • Strategy 3: Increase the number of students participating in research, experiential learning, and other co-curricular learning activities that enhance the academic experience through real-world application and engagement.
  • Objective 3: Improve classroom space and technology.
    • Strategy 1: Improve the look and feel of all on-campus classroom spaces.
    • Strategy 2: Assure that all technology supports learning, whether on-campus or online.
    • Strategy 3: Encourage faculty to certify online courses with the eLearning Quality Assurance Standards.
  • Objective 4: Ensure that online students have access to appropriate services equivalent to those used by on-campus students.
    • Strategy 1: Collect data on online student demographics and share with Student Services to assess current state of support and develop action plans.
    • Strategy 2: Collaborate between eLearning and Student Affairs units to develop methods for offering equivalent student experiences, using a standard such as the Online Learning Consortium’s Student Services Scorecard.


Advancement Component Goal 1: Increase support for initiatives to improve experiences and promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity. 

  • Objective 1: Increase private dollars available to support students, faculty, and staff experiences.
    • Strategy 1: Grow philanthropic support for the benefit of inclusive campus initiatives.
    • Strategy 2: Increase private support of the Faculty Excellence Awards.
  • Objective 2: Foster diversity, equity and inclusivity within the Office of Alumni and Development.
    • Strategy 1: Recruit and retain a diverse alumni and development staff to provide understanding, experience, and perspective from which to draw, encouraging them to reach out to a broader donor base and engage those donors more meaningfully.
  • Objective 3: Work to obtain philanthropic support for the campus community, specifically gifts that support program excellence and the living and learning environments. (e.g. Internships for students, Trojan Way, Alumni Plaza, buildings, classrooms and labs).
    • Strategy 1: Solicit alumni, individuals, corporations and foundations to fund naming opportunities.

Advancement Component Goal 2: Increase private support for academic programs that benefit students.

  • Objective 1: Increase the number of directorships, endowed chairs or professorships.
    • Strategy 1: Identify new, and continue to engage, high networth donor prospects.

Advancement Component Goal 3: Concentrate on the donor experience by fostering a unique sense of pride for donors.

  • Objective 1: Actively demonstrate to donors their “gifts in action.”
    • Strategy 1: Keep donors connected to our mission by annually updating them on the progress and impact of their specific endowed gifts.
    • Strategy 2: Engage donors with deans of colleges, department chairs or student leaders to learn about or witness the impact of their gift. The goal is to steward donors during and after this campaign while also cultivating future gifts for the next campaign.


Athletics Component Goal 1: Promote the holistic development of student athletes.

  • Objective 1: Enhance the comprehensive experience for Trojan student athletes.
    • Strategy 1: Focus efforts on endeavors that create positive student athlete experiences which allows them to excel academically in the classroom, socially in the community and competitively in their chosen sport, focusing on exemplary services in academic support, physical and mental health, and the development of athletic ability.

Finance & Administration

Finance & Administration Component Goal 1: Enhance the quality and responsiveness of services to internal and external constituents, ensuring a professional and friendly experience.

  • Objective 1: Develop a culture focused on superior service through standardized procedures, inclusive communication, and technological proficiency.
    • Strategy 1: Define and establish comprehensive standard operating procedures for all customer interactions, ensuring a uniform and exceptional service experience across all departments.
    • Strategy 2: Improve interdepartmental communication with a special emphasis on enhancing the customer experience through patience, understanding, and trust-building.
    • Strategy 3: Support the campus’s technology needs through maintaining, updating and expanding technology offerings and associated training.
    • Strategy 4: Share regular updates with campus about the status of projects and critical business processes.
  • Objective 2: Guarantee the provision of timely, reliable, and accurate information and services to support effective decision-making and customer satisfaction.
    • Strategy 1: Ensure reliable and up-to-date data is disseminated from the Finance & Administration (F&A) departments.
    • Strategy 2: Establish a set of clear, reasonable, and publicly communicated response times for all customer requests and inquiries received by the F&A departments.
    • Strategy 3: Clearly define and communicate document and contract review process and response timelines.
    • Strategy 4: Streamline and enhance business operations by developing and implementing on-demand reporting tools and processes and increasing the use of in-person interactions.
  • Objective 3: Strengthen the division’s expertise and capabilities through targeted recruitment, development, and motivational strategies.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a training program aimed at enhancing the skills and expertise of staff within the F&A division, ensuring employees are not only equipped to handle their current responsibilities but are also prepared for future challenges.
    • Strategy 2: Create a succession planning process that identifies critical roles within the F&A division and prepares for seamless transitions when changes occur.
    • Strategy 3: Develop recruitment and retention programs within the Finance and Administration division to ensure a consistent level of highly qualified personnel.
  • Objective 4: Create a culture of continuous improvement.
    • Strategy 1: Conduct regular audits across all departments to identify and streamline inefficient processes and understand impact of F&A initiatives.
    • Strategy 2: Leverage technological advancements to automate routine tasks, allow for real time monitoring and identify areas for improvement.
    • Strategy 3: Enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training on campus to build a more inclusive and innovative workplace environment.
    • Strategy 4: Regularly review employee pay structure and pay equity.
    • Strategy 5: Work to optimize budget expenditures and make campus aware of major cost drivers.
    • Strategy 6: Develop campus plans to upgrade facilities, infrastructure and signage.

Finance & Administration Component Goal 2: Ensure the fiscal and socially-responsible use of university resources.

  • Objective 1: Uphold the highest standards of integrity in all operations, inspiring confidence in our stewardship of university resources.
    • Strategy 1: Commit to the highest ethical and legal standards in every facet of the Finance and Administration division’s operations.
    • Strategy 2: Enhance the culture of honesty, reliability, and transparency within the division by establishing open lines of communication with all stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and external partners.
  • Objective 2: Enhance the division’s accountability through a strong focus on achieving university objectives.
    • Strategy 1: Facilitate a seamless transition to the Workday Student system through strategic IT leadership and support.
    • Strategy 2: Strengthen accountability within the Finance and Administration division by developing Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals for all departments and team members.
  • Objective 3: Ensure the university’s compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and reporting requirements through diligent oversight and effective management practices.
    • Strategy 1: Constantly review applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations.
    • Strategy 2: Establish a comprehensive master calendar that consolidates all reporting deadlines across the university.
    • Strategy 3: Create a process for the implementation of recommendations arising from internal and external audits.
    • Strategy 4: Enhance mechanisms for communicating and monitoring compliance with both contractual obligations and regulatory requirements in procurement and vendor management processes.
  • Objective 4: Prioritize and invest in environmentally responsible and sustainable solutions.
    • Strategy 1: Explore implementing more sustainable processes.
    • Strategy 2: Utilize cloud-based resources where possible and utilize legacy resources for research.

Finance & Administration Component Goal 3: Enhance the division’s commitment to collaborations that build trusted partnerships by increasing campus-wide engagement and teamwork.

  • Objective 1: Foster a cooperative spirit in all interactions, leading to respectful and productive engagements that advance university objectives.
    • Strategy 1: Intensify efforts to collaborate with a wide array of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, and external partners, to drive both educational and business success.
    • Strategy 2: Develop and enhance the use of collaborative platforms and tools that facilitate effective teamwork across departments and disciplines.
    • Strategy 3: Implement a framework for piloting new initiatives, allowing for testing and refinement before full-scale rollout.
  • Objective 2: Leverage relationships for problem-solving and innovation.
    • Strategy 1: Develop partnerships across campus to help creatively address challenges.
    • Strategy 2: Engage relevant academic programs through internships and other learning opportunities.
    • Strategy 3: Formalize a process that encourages staff to propose new ideas and solutions that align with evolving campus needs.

Finance & Administration Component Goal 4: Enhance Safety and Security Measures to Foster a Safe, Healthy, and Compliant Campus Environment.

  • Objective 1: Collaborate with the campus community to ensure the safety and security of all students, faculty, and staff, and visitors.
    • Strategy 1: Engage the campus community to better understand safety concerns and plan for responses.
    • Strategy 2: Regularly attend on-campus student events to establish familiarity and trust.
    • Strategy 3: Pinpoint areas with the highest crime rates and collaborate on innovative solutions to address and reduce these safety concerns.
  • Objective 2: Enhance and sustain a safe environment by focusing on awareness and prevention.
    • Strategy 1: Explore upgrading safety and security certifications, tools, and technology across campus.
    • Strategy 2: Regularly provide safety, security, IT, Title IX, and compliance training and develop a mechanism to track progress.
    • Strategy 3: Work with campus partners to improve accidents and injuries in labs and other campus spaces.
    • Strategy 4: Sustain partnerships with local emergency services, community partners, and the UA system.
    • Strategy 5: Provide additional training for individuals who are considered high-risk for cybersecurity attacks.
  • Objective 3: Promote a culture of emergency preparedness among students, faculty, and staff.
    • Strategy 1: Engage the emergency management committee to regularly review risk management and business continuity plans for all critical campus services.
    • Strategy 2: Integrate risk management considerations into all strategic decision-making processes within the Finance and Administration division.
    • Strategy 3: Continually update comprehensive information security and data protection measures to safeguard critical campus services against cyber threats and data breaches.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

DEIB Component Goal 1:  Broaden the diversity of faculty and staff to ensure that the learning environment supports a diverse student body and offers a full range of learning opportunities.

  • Objective 1:  Strengthen and refine efforts to recruit faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.
    • Strategy 1: Develop employee recruitment protocols that increase the likelihood of creating a diverse pool of candidates.
    • Strategy 2: Develop non-mandatory training for search committees to learn strategies to increase diversity of candidate pools, identify implicit biases, and foster a welcoming experience for all candidates.
    • Strategy 3: Reinforce, through regular communication, the purpose and value of developing and maintaining a diverse faculty and staff.
    • Strategy 4: Track and assess the outcomes of diversity hiring initiatives, including its impact on learning, retention, and wellbeing.
  • Objective 2:  Strengthen and refine efforts to retain faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.
    • Strategy 1: Conduct regular assessments to determine potential barriers to success and to identify potential inequities.
    • Strategy 2: Facilitate development of affinity groups to strengthen support and resilience.
    • Strategy 3: Increase opportunities to enhance cultural competency and expand engagement across diverse groups.

DEIB Component Component Goal 2:  Enhance student access to substantial learning experiences that incorporate the knowledge and understanding needed to live and work in a diverse world.

  • Objective 1:  Encourage and demonstrate use of culturally responsive and inclusive pedagogical practices across the curriculum, particularly in the core curriculum.
    • Strategy 1: Develop an incentive plan for participation in UA Little Rock’s Mobile Institute on Scientific Teaching (and/or similar programs) that fosters inclusion in the learning experience.
    • Strategy 2: Make inclusive pedagogical practices an optional reporting category in the annual faculty evaluation report.
    • Strategy 3: Encourage the Core Council to make culturally responsive and inclusive pedagogical practices an option for the assessment process for the core curriculum.
  • Objective 2:  Support diverse co-curricular opportunities that are accessible, promote multicultural understanding, and enhance campus and community engagement.
    • Strategy 1: Provide students with co-curricular opportunities to learn about cultures different from their own, and for learning culturally responsive practices.
    • Strategy 2: Make diversity training available and easily accessible to students.
    • Strategy 3: Track and measure outcomes for all co-curricular programs.
  • Objective 3:  Promote mentoring and engagement opportunities between faculty, staff, students, and administrators that support student personal and professional development.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a whole-student wellbeing model that incorporates different units working together throughout the student’s college journey.
    • Strategy 2: Develop programs to match students with mentors from a range of campus positions and off-campus partners based on students’ background, needs, and interests.
  • Objective 4:  Ensure that residential students are provided inclusive experiences and opportunities to develop intercultural competencies.
    • Strategy 1: Provide residence life staff members with training and tools to support all student residents and facilitate an inclusive living and learning environment.
    • Strategy 2: Provide residential life staff members opportunities to learn more about issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Marketing & Communications

MarComm Component Goal 1: Positively influence UA Little Rock’s perception among audiences.

  • Objective 1: Plan and implement consistent brand advertising and marketing.
    • Strategy 1: Develop annual advertising media plan to raise awareness of the university in key demographics.
    • Strategy 2: Engage campus in helping to market the university.
  • Objective 2: Enhance the university’s reputation through storytelling.
    • Strategy 1: Refocus communication resources to support the university strategic plan and brand messages
  • Objective 3: Assess brand and reputation efforts and adjust marketing efforts based on results.
    • Strategy 1: Develop ways to communicate to campus about the university and the brand reputation.
    • Strategy 2: Assess the skill set of the marketing and communications office.

MarComm Component Goal 2: Work to ensure campus is aware of good news, activities, and events on campus.

  • Objective 1: Engage campus partners in sharing positive campus news about the university.
    • Strategy 1: Work to ensure continued, effective communication about campus news and events.
    • Strategy 2: Assist the campus community in communicating in a consistent, branded way about the university.
  • Objective 2: Coordinate communications and social media messages across owned channels.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a content strategy for sharing positive news related to UA Little Rock.

Marcomm Component Goal 3: Utilize the university website to communicate the university experience to current and prospective students.

  • Objective 1: Reimagine the university website to focus on telling a consistent brand story.
    • Strategy 1: Improve information architecture to ensure intuitive navigation that meets the needs of our various audiences.
    • Strategy 2: Ensure the university website tells a consistent brand message.
    • Strategy 3: Develop a plan for website governance to ensure the information architecture and content strategy is maintained.


Research Component Goal 1: Grow and foster an efficient, effective, and supportive infrastructure that enables successful research.

  • Objective 1: Improve and increase access to research infrastructure.
    • Strategy 1: Create a database of research instrumentation and databases available across campus.
    • Strategy 2: Double the number of infrastructure-based grants submitted by UA Little Rock by 2028.
  • Objective 2: Improve research support services.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a systematic training program focused on the intersection of current business processes (e.g. procurement, compliance, accounting) and research needs.
    • Strategy 2: Decrease current barriers to research through the systematic evaluation of current research-related policies and procedures.
    • Strategy 3: Revise the Indirect Cost Policy to provide more funds for reinvestment in research support across campus and research centers.
  • Objective 3: Improve visibility of current scholarship across campus.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a research communication strategy with the Office of Communications to systematically highlight the work of UA Little Rock researchers.
    • Strategy 2: Develop a dynamic research web page that highlights the research across campus.

Student Services

Student Services Component Goal 1: Promote a culture of engagement, inclusion, wellness, and growth, both on-campus and online.

  • Objective 1: Enhance campus life and provide fun engagement for potential, new, transfer, online, and returning students.
    • Strategy 1: Expand fun and engaging opportunities that enrich students’ time while at UA Little Rock.
  •  Objective 2: Assess and if necessary improve the online and on-campus climate for minoritized populations.
    • Strategy 1: Conduct campus climate surveys regularly.
    • Strategy 2: Use the surveys to enhance the campus climate for LGBTQ persons on campus.
    • Strategy 3: Provide culturally-relevant programming to create an inclusive campus community.
    • Strategy 4: Provide bystander training to the campus.
  • Objective 3: Enhance the culture of self-care and wellness for the online and on-campus community.
    • Strategy 1: Provide online and on-campus experiences and resources related to mental health, physical health, and well-being.
  • Objective 4: Enhance the development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills for the online and the on-campus community.
    • Strategy 1: Provide online and on-campus experiences and resources related to self-understanding, personal values, ethical reasoning, and integrity.
    • Strategy 2: Provide online and on-campus experiences and resources related to collaboration, leadership, interdependence, and meaningful relationships.

University Affairs

University Affairs Component Goal 1: Strengthen the university’s role as an anchor institution in Little Rock and the central Arkansas region.

  • Objective 1: Research and implement anchor institution activities in human resources, purchasing, etc. (local buying and hiring).
    • Strategy 1: Consider joining and/or adopting principles of national anchor institution movements (i.e. Brookings Institution, and Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Anchor Learning Network).
    • Strategy 2: Track and communicate the economic impact of UA Little Rock (payroll, purchasing, value of in-kind services, etc.).

University Affairs Component Goal 2: Develop the capabilities necessary for sustained and impactful community engagement.

  • Objective 1: Encourage a mindset of active collaboration with the community.
    • Strategy 1: Explore the establishment of a flexible community engagement structure to enhance flexibility in addressing community needs (i.e. Bioventures at UAMS).
    • Strategy 2: Explore the possibility of a central hub or office for community engagement coordination, fostering collaboration and resource allocation.

University Affairs Component Goal 3: Infuse community need and service into degree and educational offerings.  

  • Objective 1: Communicate the importance and value of direct community engagement to students.
    • Strategy 1: Incorporate stories of student community engagement into orientation sessions.
    • Strategy 2: Create annual community service fair/summit for student organizations and service learning classes; and develop a database for service learning opportunities.
  • Objective 2: Increase experiential student opportunities. (i.e. service learning, internships, apprenticeships).
    • Strategy 1: Increase the number of service learning courses across the curriculum.
    • Strategy 2: Create on-campus experiences for civic engagement and discussion.
    • Strategy 3: Coordinate volunteer opportunities for classes, individuals and student organizations.


INSTITUTIONAL GOAL ATTAINMENT: Strengthen educational attainment through academic programs leading to social and economic mobility and the achievement of students’ aspirational goals.

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Component Goal 1: Improve retention and completion rates.

  • Objective 1: Increase undergraduate retention and completion rates for FTIC, transfer, and adult students, both on-campus and online.
    • Strategy 1: Collect data on undergraduate student retention and time to degree, considering factors such as course-taking patterns, modality of instruction, progress through gateway courses, hours of time worked each week,, family status, and Pell status.
    • Strategy 2: Use student data for decision-making about curriculum, course-scheduling, and faculty development.
    • Strategy 3: Expand funding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to include scholarships, paid internships, paid apprenticeships, and assistantships.
    • Strategy 4: Decrease student debt by decreasing time-to-degree/ certificate completion through increasing opportunities for PLA and high school concurrent.
    • Strategy 5: Evaluate results of the Office of Retention Services, and expand resources as appropriate.
  • Objective 2: Ensure that every student has continuing exposure to high-demand competencies required in the workforce.
    • Strategy 1: Reach out to community and local partners on identifying competencies needed in the workplace.
    • Strategy 2: Support the integration of career readiness competencies such as communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and leadership with the general education curriculum and other requirements such as Skills in the Major (SKiM).
    • Strategy 3: Offer faculty and staff development on incorporating workplace-learning competencies into classes and curriculum.
  • Objective 3: Ensure students in all programs have access and training on state of the art technology they will find in their chosen career paths.
    • Strategy 1: Audit existing technology.
    • Strategy 2: Increase resources for classroom and technology upgrades.
    • Strategy 3: Provide faculty and staff professional development and training in advanced technology.
  • Objective 4: Increase access to career development resources through collaboration with employer, community, and campus partners.
    • Strategy 1: Set reasonable goals for coordinating campus efforts at career development, assessing student needs and designing appropriate programs.
    • Strategy 2: Collaborate with community partners on offering career fairs and other preparation that leads to successful employment.


Athletics Component Goal 1: Achieve comprehensive, competitive excellence when measured against fellow Division I institutions in Arkansas, regionally as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and nationally in NCAA competition.

  • Objective 1: Win the Governor’s I-40 Showdown rivalry series with the University of Central Arkansas.
    • Strategy 1: Create incentives among Athletics staff, coaches, and student-athletes, emphasizing the importance of the rivalry series with UCA as a means of bringing pride and distinction to UA Little Rock.
  • Objective 2: Annually finish in the top 3 of OVC Commissioner’s Cup standings and win the award at least once every four years.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a sense of pride and place an emphasis on attaining comprehensive excellence within the OVC.
    • Strategy 2: Recruit and retain exemplary student-athletes who embrace the ideal of comprehensive excellence in the classroom, the community and in competition.
    • Strategy 3: Recruit and retain elite coaches and support staff who are passionate and committed to a culture that strives for comprehensive excellence with honor and integrity.
  • Objective 3: Aggressively pursue and secure postseason opportunities on the national stage, particularly the flagship Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs.
    • Strategy 1: Establish budgets, schedules and other support services and resources consistent with programs seeking to secure NCAA postseason bids and other national level opportunities.

Athletics Component Goal 2: Maintain ambitious standards of academic excellence, using department GPA and the NCAA’s APR (Academic Progress Rate) as indicators of success.

  • Objective 1: Maintain a department wide 3.0 GPA.
    • Strategy 1: Enhance academic support resources, including counseling, tutoring, and mentoring, to promote classroom success.
  • Objective 2: Achieve a department wide multi-year APR average of 960+ with all sport programs registering a 930+ score.
    • Strategy 1: Develop support services that focus on student athlete eligibility and retention.

Enrollment Management

Enrollment Management Component Goal 1: Support success for the diverse range of undergraduate students at UA Little Rock.

  • Objective 1: Increase the retention rate of first-time freshmen and undergraduate transfers by one percentage point per year, reaching a one-year retention rate of 77% and 71%, respectively.
    • Strategy 1: Re-institute a survey of all incoming freshmen to target support services better.
    • Strategy 2: Continue review of the Personal Awareness First-Year Experience course.
    • Strategy 3: Continue to implement and expand the use of College Scheduler to monitor risk indicators and deploy appropriate interventions.
    • Strategy 4: Institute a university committee to organize many student peer mentoring programs to ensure baseline objectives are met across the university.
  • Objective 2: Decrease the persistence gap between online and face-to-face students by three percentage points over the next five years.
    • Strategy 1: Improve professional development opportunities for faculty using online teaching strategies known to improve retention.
    • Strategy 2: Concentrate attention on the requisites for success in online classes during advising.
    • Strategy 3: Increase the use of data to understand better the factors influencing persistence and grades in online courses and implement policies and interventions.
  • Objective 3: Decrease the student success gap between students of different ethnicities.
    • Strategy 1: Assess opportunities to expand underrepresented student initiatives.
    • Strategy 2: Ensure programs that target larger populations are designed in a way that welcomes and supports diverse student populations.
    • Strategy 3: Improve recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and staff and offer professional development in inclusive teaching and programming.
  •  Objective 4: Increase the six-year graduation rate by two percentage points per year for a total improvement of ten percentage points.
    • Strategy 1: Implement awards and other means of recognizing academic departments’ efforts to increase retention and graduation rates.
    • Strategy 2: Provide retention and graduation analytics and embed student success data into departmental reports.
    • Strategy 3: Support redesigning the curriculum where necessary to improve scaffolding and integrate it with career pathways.
    • Strategy 4: Implement a university-wide academic recovery program for students under academic probation.


INSTITUTIONAL GOAL RESEARCH: Expand the institution’s applied research footprint to provide advanced educational opportunities and to broaden external impact.

Marketing & Communications

MarComm Component Goal 1: Support research initiatives by highlighting applied research.

  • Objective 1: Incorporate research highlights into existing content channels.
    • Strategy 1: Feature more research content aimed at showcasing the value of applied research.
    • Strategy 2: Explore new opportunities to promote research to external audiences.

Research & Academic Affairs

Research & Academic Affairs Component Goal 1: Increase the number and capacity of faculty, staff, and student researchers.

  • Objective 1: Engage, develop, and reward faculty and staff researchers.
    • Strategy 1: Create a research academy that supports research mentorship, skills training, and professional development.
    • Strategy 2: Work jointly with the Office of the Provost to ensure that research, scholarship, and creative activity and the funding thereof is incentivized at all organizational levels.
    • Strategy 3: Evaluate the impact of workload policies on research productivity and recommend changes.
  • Objective 2: Recruit and develop student researchers.
    • Strategy 1: Incentivize and support faculty recruitment of student researchers through opportunities such as Signature Experience, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, and Graduate Fellowships.
    • Strategy 2: Increase graduate assistant stipends to a competitive level.
    • Strategy 3: Increase professional development opportunities for student researchers across campus.

Research & Academic Affairs Component Goal 2: Expand our research footprint through increased publication, grant applications, external funding, creative works, and promotion of research findings.

  • Objective 1: Increase external funding by $10 million over the next 5 years.
    • Strategy 1: Incentivize grantsmanship through reduced teaching loads for research active faculty.
    • Strategy 2: Increase support for proposal development through the use of grant writers.
    • Strategy 3: Increase IDC funds available for matching when required.
  • Objective 2: Increase new interdisciplinary research initiatives across campus.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a Faculty Research Council to help develop campus wide initiatives/grants that are synced with national interests and funding opportunities.
    • Strategy 2: Increase opportunities for researchers across campus to interact in both social and academic settings.
    • Strategy 3: Expand the Collaborative Proposals for Research pilot program to the entire campus.

Research & Academic Affairs Component Goal 3: Increase the impact of (our) research through innovation, commercialization, and community partnerships.

  • Objective 1: Increase invention disclosures, provisional patents, and patents.
    • Strategy 1: Increase the technology transfer professional development opportunities for faculty.
    • Strategy 2: Partner with UAF and UAMS to evaluate potential intellectual property.

Student Services

Student Services Component Goal 1: Increase research and publication capacity among staff.

  • Objective 1: Increase research and publications related to student services on best practices, assessment, programming, and community engagement.
    • Strategy 1: Create support for units who want to explore research and publication.
    • Strategy 2: Collaborate with ORSP and University Advancement to identify funding opportunities for research.

Community Engagement

INSTITUTIONAL GOAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Enhance community engagement through partnerships and collaborations involving faculty, staff, and students that address local, state, and regional needs.

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Component Goal 1: Increase and diversify work-based learning (WBL), which integrates academic learning with practical work experience, to include internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education programs (co-ops), externships, and job shadowing.

  • Objective 1: Partner with employers and the community to assess needs for workplace competencies.
    • Strategy 1: Engage directly with employers from key sectors to understand specific skill and competency needs.
    • Strategy 2: Establish a system for continuously updating the community and employers on how their input has been actioned, fostering ongoing engagement and partnership.
  • Objective 2: Increase resources to implement WBL across the curriculum.
    • Strategy 1: Encourage all academic programs to integrate WBL that responds to social and economic needs and that support career mobility.
    • Strategy 2: Secure resources to assess student outcomes and community impact of WBL partnerships.
    • Strategy 3: Provide faculty development on incorporating WBL in academic programs.
    • Strategy 4: Educate students about the value of WBL and how to engage in WBL opportunities in their academic programs.


Advancement Component Goal 1: Communicate to the community about the achievements of UA Little Rock graduates.

  • Objective 1: Magnify our alumni’s achievements to reinforce the quality education and experience they received at this institution, and showcase how both impacted their careers.
    • Strategy 1: Identify well-respected alumni to serve as event chairs and hosts to help increase alumni engagement through various events.

Advancement Component Goal 2: Ensure volunteer leadership is representative of the community we serve.

  • Objective 1: Recruit and retain a diverse makeup to serve on volunteer boards under the purview of university advancement.
    • Strategy 1: Increase reach of board recruitment and nomination/application process to engage alumni who are already connected and successful in their respective fields.


Athletics Component Goal 1: Elevate the Trojan Brand.

  • Objective 1: Develop lifelong affinity for UA Little Rock and the Trojans by engaging the communities of Central Arkansas, and those throughout the state of Arkansas, and beyond, like never before.
    • Strategy 1: Strengthen relationships throughout the community, particularly with youth-focused organizations, to create experiences that bring them to campus and introduce them to UA Little Rock and Trojan Athletics.
    • Strategy 2: Invite our key constituents, to include current and prospective donors, current and prospective corporate partners, and others among Trojan Nation to form a partnership which brings pride and distinction to UA Little Rock while enhancing the overall athletics brand.
    • Strategy 3: Create opportunities to build partnerships with local, regional, and national media (traditional – news, radio, television), as well as new media (social media influencers, etc.), to bring positive attention to UA Little Rock via Trojan Athletics.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

DEIB Component Goal 1:  Provide opportunities to integrate diversity interests with research and community engagement.

  • Objective 1:  Relaunch the Joel E. Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity with a focus on applied research, community engagement, and capacity-building.
    • Strategy 1: Reconstitute an advisory committee consisting of faculty, staff, and external partners with an interest in the mission of the institute.
    • Strategy 2: Develop revised mission, vision, values, and goals for the Anderson Institute.
    • Strategy 3: Devise plan for ongoing support and leadership for the Anderson Institute.

Marketing & Communications

MarComm Component Goal 1: Positively influence UA Little Rock’s perception among external audiences.

  • Objective 1: Ensure ongoing communication with UA Little Rock’s external audiences.
    • Strategy 1: Work with University Advancement to ensure Centennial Campaign messages remain top of mind.
    • Strategy 2: Work with University Advancement to ensure effective communication with potential donors and alumni.
  • Objective 2: Engage partners in raising awareness for the brand.
    • Strategy 1: Work with University Advancement in engaging alumni boards on behalf of UA Little Rock.
    • Strategy 2: Engage media partners to help generate positive university coverage.
  • Objective 3: Enhance university licensing efforts.
    • Strategy 1: Develop a plan to regularly engage with university licensed vendors.
    • Strategy 2: Enhance efforts to encourage vendors to become licensed.


Research Component Goal 1: Increase community and external involvement in research endeavors.

  • Objective 1: Increase the number of licenses, start-ups, and SBIR/STTR funding associated with UA Little Rock Intellectual Property.
    • Strategy 1: Partner with ASBTDC, Tech Park, and the Venture Center to provide interested faculty with entrepreneurship training.
    • Strategy 2: Provide one-on-one support for faculty and students pursuing SBIR/STTR grants.
    • Strategy 3: Work with Little Rock Chamber and ASBTDC to find Arkansas companies that might be interested in licensing existing IP.
    • Strategy 4: Develop an Entrepreneurial Experience course for current students.
  • Objective 2: Increase the number of Research/Community Partnerships.
    • Strategy 1: Develop an annual research fair where the community can meet researchers and discuss partnership.
    • Strategy 2: Increase seed funding for community/UA Little Rock research projects.

Student Services

Student Services Component Goal 1: Expand student collaborations within the community.

  • Objective 1: Support student engagement in the community.
    • Strategy 1: Enhance on-campus experiential offerings that link student interests with community issues.
    • Strategy 2: Develop and grow workforce opportunities between community partners and students at UA Little Rock.
  •  Objective 2: Develop Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) community engagement.
    • Strategy 1: Build relationships within the FSLs on campus and across the state.
  • Objective 3: Develop Registered Student Organizations (RSO) community engagement.
    • Strategy 1: Build relationships within the RSOs on campus.

University Affairs

University Affairs Component Goal 1: Collaborate with community partners to meet local, state and regional cultural, economic development, educational and social needs. 

  • Objective 1: Cultivate and maintain community partnerships.
    • Strategy 1: Expand the work of faculty and departments with standing relationships with respect to the autonomy and depth of individual community engagement.
    • Strategy 2: Increase opportunities for community members to attend, participate and be involved in activities, facilities and programs on the UA Little Rock campus (including Law School and Downtown Center locations).
    • Strategy 3: Document, evaluate, and communicate the university’s community engagement impact to increase its ongoing involvement as a critical community partner. (from community engagement; goal changed to strategy).
  • Objective 2: Create a systematic approach to identifying local, state and national needs in which UA Little Rock can play a responsive role.
    • Strategy 1: Identify UA Little Rock’s capabilities and core competencies in the areas of community, cultural, and economic development.
    • Strategy 2: Identify underserved populations that the university should focus on and leverage past wins with specific populations to expand services.
    • Strategy 3: Identify community discussions/committees relevant to the university’s engagement and participate in community dialogues where the university can be a collaborative partner.

University Affairs Component Goal 2: Enhance the university’s position in Little Rock and the central Arkansas region. 

  • Objective 1: Establish UA Little Rock’s anchor mission role in Little Rock through community-driven programs.
    • Strategy 1: Elevate the university’s role as a site for community engagement.
    • Strategy 2: Increase the visibility of the University District to further develop the surrounding neighborhoods based on residents’ needs.
  • Objective 2: Enhance UA Little Rock’s role as a critical regional and state partner.
    • Strategy 1: Launch a yearly communication highlighting the university’s impact across Arkansas.
    • Strategy 2: Target strategic meetings and sessions to inform policymakers about UA Little Rock’s diverse programs.

University Affairs Component Goal 3: Develop the capabilities necessary for sustained and impactful community engagement.

  • Objective 1: Institutionalize the work of community engagement in personnel processes.
    • Strategy 1: Include community engagement as part of new hire onboarding and communication.
    • Strategy 2: Consider enhancing incentives for faculty and staff to practice community-based work.
    • Strategy 3: Partner with administrative units to establish annual community engagement goals that align with departmental and university missions.

Individual Component Plans

View the individual component plans for each area listed below. Each component plan is combined in the integrated strategic plan for the university.

Strategic Planning Committee

  • Chancellor Christina Drale
  • Provost Ann Bain – Provost and Academic Affairs
  • Melvin Beavers – Academic Affairs, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, Rhetoric and Writing: Faculty
  • Lance Bennings – Finance and Administration
  • Brian Berry – Research, University Affairs, and Graduate School
  • Kara Brown – Student Services and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
  • Cody Decker – Enrollment Management
  • Sharon Downs – Student Services
  • Alicia Dorn – Chancellor’s Office
  • Jeremy Ecke – Research and English Department: Faculty
  • Erin Finzer – Academic Affairs
  • Jerry Ganz – Finance and Administration
  • David Gilliam – Research and School of Business: Faculty
  • Kindle Holderby – Enrollment Management
  • Leslie Hutchins – Finance and Administration
  • Brian Keltch – Finance and Administration
  • George Lee – Athletics
  • Joni Lee – University Affairs
  • Darius Maize – Athletics
  • Joanne Matson – Academic Affairs and Faculty Senate President: Faculty
  • Meaghan Milliorn – Marketing and Communications
  • Christian O’Neal – Advancement
  • Carrie Phillips – Marketing and Communications
  • Kristi Smith – Advancement
  • Brittany Straw – Student Services and Career Services (College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education)