Campus Communications

Nov. 9, 2015

Message about Campus Strategic Planning

Dear Campus Community,

Just a little over nine months ago I wrote to you all for the first time as I began this incredible opportunity to serve as Chancellor of UNC Asheville. During this time, I have had the privilege to come to know many of you and to gain a deep appreciation for the smart, important, hard work that you do every day to engage with our students, connect with the community and to move our University forward. I also have a deeper appreciation for the opportunities, as well as the challenges, ahead for higher education and for UNC Asheville.

Today, I write to let you know that we are getting ready to launch the work to guide us as we collectively shape the next strategic plan for UNC Asheville. The current plan for UNC Asheville paves the way for the next chapter, a chapter we will write together.

As we begin this process, the University Planning Council (UPC) will serve as an advisory group to help guide the work of a strategic planning task force. The UPC will work to ensure that a wide variety of student, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and community constituencies are involved and provide input and give feedback throughout the strategic planning process. To help advance the work and to keep us moving, we will be working with Elaine Kutner and Jane Fisher from Cambridge Concord Associates. Elaine and Jane have extensive experience facilitating strategic planning for higher education institutions and organizations including the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

We will move the process along with the goal of completing our work during the spring semester. We will also find many different ways to engage the campus community in the process and will be in touch with you in the weeks ahead for your thoughts and input in this important planning for our University’s future.

If you’ve got ideas for how we might engage most effectively throughout this process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or with Heather Parlier at I look forward to beginning this important and exciting work!

Many thanks,

Jan. 13, 2016

Good morning,

As we begin the new semester we will continue the important work of shaping the next strategic plan for UNC Asheville. To help guide and support this critically important effort, I have convened a strategic planning task force to play a more hands-on role as we work throughout the spring to engage the campus community in this exciting and important process.

I would like to thank the following individuals for agreeing to serve as members of the committee, and thank all who stepped forward offering their support.

  • Provost Joe Urgo and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Bill Haggard will join me as co-chairs
  • Kennon Briggs, Trustee
  • Cissie Stevens, Trustee
  • Himanshu Karvir, Chair, UNC Asheville Foundation Board
  • Brian Butler, Faculty, Philosophy, Chair of the Faculty Senate
  • David Clarke, Faculty, Biology, Chair of IDC, Co-Chair of UPC
  • James Perkins, Faculty, Physics, Member of IDC, Member UPC
  • Gwendolyn Whitfield, Faculty, Management and Accountancy
  • Maya Newlin, Student, Member UPC
  • Charlie White, Student, Member UPC
  • Robert Straub, Chair of Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee
  • Jill Moffitt, Staff, Student Affairs
  • Deaver Traywick, Staff, Academic Affairs
  • Fred Santos, Staff, Athletics, Member UPC
  • Melissa Acker, Staff, Facilities
  • Joy Flora, Staff, Finance
  • Heather Parlier, General Counsel and Chief of Staff, Ex Officio, staffing
  • Michael Gass, Director of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning, Ex Officio, staffing
  • Darin Waters, Faculty, History, and Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Ex Officio, staffing

Throughout the planning process, updates, notes and other information will be available through a strategic planning website that is currently being constructed. Luke Bukoski will share information on how to access the site in the coming days.

Thank you again to all of you who have agreed to participate in this important effort. It is an exciting time at UNC Asheville, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together.


Feb. 24, 2016

Good Afternoon,

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week, Elaine Kuttner and Jane Fisher from Cambridge Concord Associates once again joined us on campus as part of the university strategic planning effort. It was their third visit to campus in this capacity.

During the visit, Elaine and Jane met with the strategic planning task force as well as faculty, students, alumni, and staff members to have important discussions regarding our university and the planning process.

We will share a summary of these visits, as well as summaries from future planning sessions and other planning related communication, to a new strategic planning website, which you will be able to access directly through OnePort.

Later this week, you will see a notice appear on your home screen in OnePort. It will contain a link to the strategic planning website and will remain in place through the entire planning process for your reference. Please visit this site for regular updates on the planning process as well as detailed summaries of the planning sessions after they occur.

We also want to ask you to hold March 28th on your calendars for a very important campus conversation around strategic planning. In order to accommodate everyone’s schedule, there will be two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These conversations will allow us to come together as a campus community and discuss UNC Asheville’s strategic plan together as a larger group. While more details will be forthcoming, please work with your supervisors and colleagues to make sure that you attend one of these two sessions.

Thank you to all of you who have taken time from your busy schedules to be involved in this important process. We are only just beginning but we are glad to say that we have seen a great deal of passion and commitment from everyone involved. One thing is already very clear – the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of this university care deeply about this institution.

As we continue to more forward with the process, we will keep you informed via email and the strategic planning website.

Joe Urgo, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Strategic Planning Task Force

May 19, 2016

Good Morning,

I write to update you on our campus strategic planning process. Our planning process began in November when Elaine Kuttner and Jane Fisher of Cambridge Concord Associates first visited UNC Asheville and began to meet with key campus constituents. Over the past several months, they and members of our task force have spoken with more than 350 campus community members about the future direction of our University. Summaries of many of these discussions are posted to the strategic planning website on OnePort.

Additionally, approximately 360 faculty, students and staff participated in our full campus discussions about the strategic plan on March 28th. Thank you to everyone who attended, helped facilitate a conversation, took notes at their table and helped plan the logistics of the event.  Not only were these discussions helpful and informative for the strategic planning process, they were a wonderful way for folks across departments to get together and talk.

During the past several weeks, members of the Task Force and other campus constituents have worked to finalize a draft plan, and the Faculty Senate voted to endorse the plan at their last meeting. In June, I will take our draft plan to the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees for consideration.

Thank you again for all who have taken time during a very busy academic year to be involved in this important planning process for our campus.