Strategic Planning in the Department of Political Science Meredith Bacon and Steve Bullock Department of Political Science University of Nebraska at Omaha The Department of Political Science в–є Approximately 250 undergraduate majors в–є Approximately 60 graduate students enrolled in M.A. or M.S. programs в–є Nine full time faculty в–є Courses offered both traditionally with extensive use of pedagogical technology and on-line в–є Courses offered in U. S. Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics and International Politics Strategic Planning в–є The DepartmentвЂ™s most recent strategic plan was prepared for our periodic program review (2006). It was minimal but reflected both UNOвЂ™s threefold goals and the College of Arts and SciencesвЂ™ strategic plan. в–є в–є The University of Nebraska at Omaha has evolved a strategic plan, the goals of which are (1) that the university will be recognized as a student-centered metropolitan university, for which there are five subgoals each with a number of objectives; (2) that UNO will be recognized for its academic excellence as a metropolitan university, for which there are three sub-goals and a number of objectives; and, (3) that UNO will be recognized for its outstanding engagement with the urban, regional, national and global communities for which there are six objectives. The university-wide, college and academic program strategic plans reflect these values and priorities. The Department of Political Science, reflecting the values and objectives of the university and College of Arts and Sciences plans, approached writing its strategic plan using the SWOP method вЂ“ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Problems вЂ“ in each of the three goal-categories. Overall, we believe the department is reaching its goals but cannot sustain its momentum without new faculty lines, additional office staff and technology as well as more office space. The growth in our number of undergraduate majors and minors and the successful resurrection of our graduate program has placed a significant strain on our already limited resources. Keeping this caveat in mind, the following is a chart of our plan, its strengths and weaknesses and its potential opportunities and problems. Responses to the 2006 and 2007 environmental scans п‚· INCREASE RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND GRADUATION OF STUDENTS FROM UNDER REPRESENTED POPULATIONS в–є Maintain and increase the DepartmentвЂ™s presence and leadership in: п‚§ п‚§ п‚§ п‚§ Dual Enrollment Programs, especially among minority populations On-line education (distance education) Voter outreach programs among minority populations Civics Nebraska Partnership в–є Teach Service Learning courses в–є Teach minority politics courses в–є Visit high school social science classes to inform them about Political Science at UNO вЂў INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS WHO CONSIDER UNO THEIR FIRST CHOICE п‚§ Offutt programs п‚§ Teacher cohorts in graduate programs; distance education п‚§ Increase number of evening offerings п‚§ INCREASE THE VISIBILITY OF UNOвЂ™S ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS п‚§ Continue to be accessible вЂњexpertsвЂќ on local, national and international political issues for the media п‚§ Use university and community fora to highlight faculty expertise and student experiential learning in programs such as internships п‚§ DESIGN, MAINTAIN AND PROMOTE, AND ASSESS PROGRAMS AND SERVICES DESIGNED TO RECRUIT AND DEVELOP STUDENT, FACULTY AND STAFF OF DIVERSE TALENTS AND BACKGROUNDS п‚§ Strive to fill faculty and staff openings with qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds п‚§ Create and develop a fifth area of concentration within the major devoted to diversity politics, such as existing courses on African-American, Latino, Asian-American, WomenвЂ™s and LGBT politics п‚§ INCREASE UNOвЂ™S RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS, INTERESTS, AND DIFFERENCES INHERENT IN THE DIVERSE COMMUNITY IT SERVES п‚§ Continue to offer a wide range of comparative and international courses which contribute to student and community awareness of international diversity and its presence in the metropolitan area п‚§ Develop a course(s) on conflict resolution and dialogic techniques of dispute resolution In responding to revisions in the strategic plan, the Department of Political Science made few innovative content changes. We did, however, reassess how the plan might emphasize what we were already doing well and what we needed to do in addition to meet the dynamic needs of our diverse constituencies.