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UK Law Strategic Plan

A PDF version can be found here: UK Law Strategic Plan

 

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF LAW
2015-2020 STRATEGIC PLAN

Mission: The University of Kentucky College of Law strives to be an outstanding public law school. To achieve this end, we prepare students to be lawyers and leaders to serve the country and the Commonwealth, produce widely-recognized legal scholarship, and contribute to the advancement of justice.

 

Goal 1: Develop and maintain a high quality program of legal education

1.1. Review curriculum to determine appropriate reforms by mapping learning outcomes to curricular offerings

 

1.1.1  Align current courses with identified learning outcome objectives

1.1.2. Identify curricular misalignments and gaps

1.1.3. Regularly consider addition and removal of courses to address misalignments and gaps and in light of new ABA Standard 304 (skills courses)

1.1.4.  Begin assessment of learning outcomes in accordance with new ABA Standard 315.

1.2. Maintain course sizes and offerings to better serve student needs and balance faculty workload.

1.2.1. Survey faculty for reactions to 2015 report of ad hoc Committee on Faculty Workload

1.2.2. Identify core concerns or issues: contact hours, credit hours, number of sections of courses, others.

1.2.3. Propose solutions to Dean and, if warranted, to faculty.

1.2.4. Resolve as many of above as possible during 2015 Faculty Advance.

1.3. Assess the use of a variety of teaching methodologies in the classroom

 

1.3.1. Compare answers to LSSSE items 3a-3e: mental activities engaged in: memorizing, analyzing, synthesizing, making judgments, applying theories.

1.3.2. Conduct faculty teaching surveys

1.3.3. Consider new items for course evaluations

1.3.4. Increase emphasis on “brown bags” on teaching

1.4. Explore the feasibility of training in Practice Management

  - client development, office management, ethics, security, professionalism for a new solo or small practice

  - offer to students and recent graduates after July bar exam

  - consider sponsorship or charging fees if initial offerings are successful

1.4.1. Collect data on current offerings

1.4.2. Evaluate past experience (research boot camp, Lexis sponsored program, other proposed programs) and present to faculty

1.4.3. Survey offerings or programs at benchmark institutions

1.5. Enrich our degree offerings with new joint programs

1.5.1. Update joint-degree programs

1.5.2. Consider increasing number of joint-degree programs

1.6. Consider enriching our degree offerings with new LLM for foreign students and a related program in equine law

1.6.1. Discuss Committee report at 2015 Faculty Advance

1.6.2. Prepare next-steps recommendation for faculty action

1.7. Consider adding a second legal clinic to enhance experiential training

1.7.1. Task existing or ad hoc committee with developing written proposal regarding second clinic

1.7.2. Move written proposal through committee and faculty review process

 

1.8. Provide opportunities for students to develop and improve cultural competence as lawyers.

1.8.1. Assess our curricular offerings to assure an adequate variety and opportunity for learning about different domestic and international cultures and their relevance to law practice.

1.8.2. Assess our experiential offerings to assure an adequate opportunity for practice with varied domestic and international cultures.

1.8.3. Assure that the opportunity exists for all interested students to obtain meaningful legal education at programs outside the United States.

 

Goal 2: Attract a Strong and Diverse Student Body

2.1. Identify admissions priorities

2.1.1. Determine whether the current decline in applications is a “bubble” or more permanent.

2.1.2. Analyze the costs and benefits of downsizing.

2.1.3. Analyze whether there is an optimal resident/nonresident mix.

2.1.4. Determine whether we can increase our yield of quality resident applicants.

2.1.5. Determine whether there should be an identified strategy to increase scholarship funds available for incoming students, and if so, how a strategy should be implemented.

2.1.6. Continue to analyze impact of decline in applications on benchmark schools and their reactions thereto.

2.2. Attract and enroll a student body diverse in gender, geographic origin, philosophy, race, creed, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, income, and experience.

2.2.1. Calculate admissions diversity annually.

2.2.2. Establish a more formal exit interview or similar process to learn why the College was unsuccessful in its recruitment efforts and, in particular, to determine if diversity played a role in the student’s decision.

2.2.3. Interview leaders of relevant student organizations regarding resources and funding.

2.3. Further involve faculty and alumni in recruiting students for academic programs.

2.3.1. Work with Admissions to determine the baseline of current faculty participation in admissions events.

2.3.2. Provide enough detail in the baseline to identify participation by level and series of faculty.

2.3.3. Track faculty participation in admissions events and compare baselines (general, by level, by series).

2.3.4. Develop a plan for more formally involving alumni in admissions and recruitment efforts.

2.4. Identify new ways to attract  motivated students with high academic potential

2.4.1. Analyze the results of the 3+3 program currently in development with the College of Arts and Sciences.

2.4.2. Following the results of the analysis in 2.4.1, determine whether the 3+3 program should be expanded to include other undergraduate majors at UK or other four-year colleges in Kentucky.

2.4.3. Analyze results of outside marketing group focus groups with current students.

2.4.4. Evaluate results of summer law camp, KLEO program, and other “pipeline” programs in attracting students or potential students.

2.4.5. Determine whether Goal 7 activities can be used to attract students or potential students.

 

Goal 3: Support Students in Their Pursuit of Career Opportunities

3.1.  Enhance Career Development Office (CDO) input-feedback (including faculty involvement in career development).

3.1.1. Conduct faculty discussions with CDO, visiting committee, and hiring attorneys to discuss practice needs and perspectives.

3.1.2. Analyze LSSSE items regarding  employment rates:

1m.  talked about career plans with faculty or advisor

10b.  acquiring job or work skills

10m.  developing career goals

3.2.  Explore ways that the changing law school landscape may impact career opportunities.

3.2.1. Continue to analyze and report to faculty on impact of downsizing on career development opportunities.

3.2.2. Analyze currently available data to determine the impact on hiring of student participation in clinics, externships, pro bono activities and other extra- or co-curricular activities.

3.3.3. Assure that faculty are made aware of how they can help with students’ career prospects.

 

Goal 4: Provide a robust environment for research

4.1. Promote engagement with scholars from other law schools

4.1.1 Host regular lectures by scholars from other law schools

4.1.2 Host lectures by distinguished visiting scholars from other law schools

4.1.3 Engage distinguished scholars to teach at the law school as visitors

4.1.4 Host symposia with scholars from other law schools

4.2. Establish administrative support for research

4.2.1. Create Associate Dean for Research position to promote faculty research

4.2.2. Develop responsibilities for this position, including: supervising and coordinating publicity, conferences, and other events; providing information about research funding and opportunities; advise junior faculty; coordinate summer research grants.

4.3. Support faculty scholarship

4.3.1. Provide consistent summer research funding.

4.3.2. Facilitate faculty presentations of scholarship.

4.3.3. Assure that the College’s digital institutional repository receives all faculty scholarship.

4.4. Track and recognize impact of our research

4.4.1. Involve faculty in developing and approving publication and citation metrics.

4.5. Ensure connections with library to support faculty research

4.5.1. Publicize and track number and types of presentations by legal research faculty in classes

4.5.2. Offer and publicize training available to student research assistants

4.5.3. Assess faculty research interests and develop assistance programs where needed.

 

Goal 5: Provide a strong and sustainable infrastructure, including: a strong, improved digital presence; an improved physical environment; stable & diverse revenue streams; and increased efficiency in operations

5.1. Continue to monitor website for needed improvements.

5.1.1. Regularly prepare evaluation reports that include both user observations and web metrics focusing on appearance, accessibility, usability, and content

5.2. Expand use of  localized intranet for internal use.

5.2.1. Publicize the intranet and provide training on use

5.2.2. Regularly measure use of intranet via relevant metrics.

5.3. Create and maintain a digital institutional repository for the College of Law to highlight scholarship and other efforts of our faculty.

5.3.1. Regularly measure the amount of content in the institutional repository.

5.3.2. Regularly measure the amount of material downloaded from the institutional repository.

5.4. Maintain relevant social media accounts to connect to potential students and the community at large.

5.4.1. Regularly measure the frequency of information disseminated through the various social media accounts of the College of Law and the Law Library.

5.4.2. Regularly measure the “alt metrics” (e.g. facebook “likes”) of the various social media accounts of the College of Law and the Law Library.

5.5. Improve the physical space of the College by engaging in conscientious building renovation planning that involves:

  • An open process with transparency and inclusiveness
  • Attention to fundraising policy and how to involve stakeholders in fundraising policy
  • A strategic examination of the ideal size & layout for the College of Law

5.5.1. Survey stakeholders to capture their feelings of involvement.

5.5.2. Regularly measure effectiveness of fundraising policy.

5.5.3. Draft initial report on ideal size of College of Law, considering all relevant measures. Create a committee including faculty, staff and students to prepare regular reports on whether ideal size is being maintained and whether our physical space is meeting our needs.

5.5.4. Establish a planning committee on building use and improvement.

5.6. Examine existing revenue streams and evaluate the College’s reliance thereon.

5.6.1. Prepare regular reports on the amounts of revenue received and projected from:

  • Academic programs tuition
  • The Commonwealth
  • Philanthropy
  • UKCLE & other sources

5.6.2. Compare reliance on specific revenue streams to reliance by benchmark institutions on similar streams.

5.7. Create a unified marketing strategy and brand to better position the College of Law in a saturated market.

5.7.1. Use outside marketing consultant’s report on effectiveness of UK Law’s brand to establish baseline.

5.7.2. Annually track number of applicants to academic programs to measure effectiveness of marketing and branding efforts.

5.8. Involve faculty of all levels and series in alumni engagement and other development opportunities.

5.8.1. Involve interested faculty in planning and scheduling events.

5.8.2. Work with Development and Alumni Affairs to identify ideal minimum ratios of faculty to guests for events.

5.8.3. Track faculty participation in events to compare to ideal ratios.

5.9. Increase staff efficiency by:

  • Evaluating staff roles in light of individual talents
  • Investigating the potential benefit of adjusting staff JAQ descriptions in light of operational needs

5.9.1. Draft report on how best to use all staff in light of College needs and reorganize staff accordingly.

5.9.2. Prepare regular reports on administrative activities.

5.9.3 Compare administrative reports to underlying administrative structure to ensure the College’s administrative needs are being adequately addressed.

5.10. Increase faculty efficiency by:

  • Evaluating faculty committee structure
  • Investigating the potential benefit of adjusting faculty DOE permitted ranges in light of operational needs

5.10.1. Compile/create committee charges and determine appropriate size and number of standing committees based on periodic review of accomplishment of charge.

5.10.2 Periodically examine size and number of ad hoc committees to determine whether standing committees provide adequate coverage.

5.10.3. Produce a report on whether current faculty effort distribution effectively covers needs in teaching, research, service, and administration. Review periodically.

 

Goal 6: Provide a Positive Social Environment for Students, Staff, and Faculty

6.1. Create and sustain diverse student, staff, and faculty body in as wide a range of variables as possible, including, but not limited to: sex, geographic origin, philosophy, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and age by:

  • creating a baseline of current student diversity profile;
  • tracking changes in prioritized populations; and
  • fostering a climate in which diversity is both recognized and supported

 

6.1.1. Survey students to ascertain values for each selected priority.

6.1.2. Identify and record the use of available recruitment techniques to communicate with targeted populations.

6.1.3. Conduct follow-up interviews with students who withdraw from the College, to determine if diversity concerns were a factor in that decision.

6.1.4. Track changes in prioritized populations over time to ascertain the effectiveness of recruitment and retention efforts.

6.1.5. Schedule multiple events each semester that highlight the concerns and experiences of various historically unnoticed or underserved segments of the student population.

6.1.6. Track diversity events throughout the academic year and evaluate the range of topical offerings, using this assessment to plan events for the next year.

6.1.7. Solicit input on desired topics of public conversation.

6.2. Institutionalize regular funding from Dean’s Office for student groups and activities, making this resource available on a publicized and equitable basis.

6.2.1. Analyze student activity expenditures over last three years and note any trends or concerns.

6.2.2. Analyze denied requests for student funding in order to provide a similar overview.

6.2.3. Poll student leaders on satisfaction with levels of funding for organizational activities.

6.2.4. Ascertain that procedures for funding decisions support other aspects of the Strategic Plan, including diversity.

6.3. Foster a climate that values integrity and professionalism.

6.3.1. Provide orientation meetings that stress professionalism to new students, reinforced with additional events for students introducing volunteer opportunities, lawyer assistance programs, and co-curricular competitions and activities.

6.3.2. Recognize and publicize instances of integrity and professionalism both within and outside the classroom.

6.3.3. Track professionalism events through the year and use results to plan events for the next year.

6.3.4. Conduct student surveys of satisfaction on extent of professionalism training either with or independent of LSSSE.

6.4. Create a more transparent staff evaluation process, in terms of both process and impact

 

6.4.1. Identify the concerns of staff members about the evaluation process, working with HR to incorporate appropriate changes that respond to these issues.

6.4.2. Ascertain whether staff satisfaction with the evaluation process improves as measured by periodic assessments, whether formal or informal.

6.5. Improve work/life balance and appreciation for staff and students

6.5.1. Review relevant measures of work/life balance to establish a baseline against which changes can be compared.

6.5.2. Target remedial strategies to address areas of concern.

6.5.3. Provide positive health and wellness education for staff and students

6.6. Create a more transparent faculty evaluation process, in terms of both process and impact

 

6.6.1. Identify the concerns of faculty members about the evaluation process.

6.6.2. Modify forms to reflect weighted value to assist faculty in making decisions about time investments.

6.6.3. Ascertain whether faculty satisfaction with the evaluation process improves as measured by periodic assessments, whether formal or informal.

6.7. Clarify status of different faculty lines and where appropriate simplify relevant faculty rules

 

6.7.1. Review the differing kinds of faculty and their respective rights and privileges, and the justifications for the distinctions both historical and current.

6.7.2. Build consensus on the least complicated system of faculty tracks that also optimizes governance within the College.

6.7.3. Schedule conversations to allow faculty to express positions, and assign a relevant committee to draft revision(s) to the faculty rules implementing suggested changes.

6.8. Develop parental leave policy for faculty

6.8.1. Incorporate final policy into faculty rules in conjunction with University rule(s) when adopted.

 

Goal 7: Promote meaningful impact by the College

7.1 Foster student pro bono participation

7.1.1. Create formal system to identify and promote pro bono opportunities

7.1.2. Create formal system to track student participation in pro bono activities

7.1.3  Create annual report of student participation in pro bono activities

7.2 Improve student engagement with community

7.2.1. Adopt a formal definition for community service

7.2.2. Create formal system to identify and promote community service opportunities

7.2.3. Develop plan to engage students in community initiatives hosted by legal, civic, education, business and non-profit sectors

7.2.4. Adopt and publicize, as part of current student funding policies, rules for funding student organization events featuring guest speakers from the community

7.2.5. Determine if formal systems exist at UK to track student participation in community service

7.3 Improve faculty engagement with community:

 

7.3.1  Adopt formal definition(s) of community service ( perhaps different for students and faculty)

7.3.2. Develop plan to engage faculty in community initiatives hosted by legal, civic, education, business and non-profit sectors

7.3.3. Invite representatives from the legal, civic, education, business and non-profit sectors as guest speakers to faculty meetings and identify opportunities to engage interested faculty

7.3.4. Invite representatives from UK Public Relations to discuss faculty engagement in media relations

7.3.5. Determine if formal systems exist at UK to track faculty participation in community service

 

Implementation

I.1. Select a meaningful core of strategies for the academic year.

I.1.1. Prepare agenda for annual fall faculty planning meeting (“Advance”) to get input from faculty on strategies

I.1.2. Have selection of core strategies approved at first faculty meeting in August.

I.1.3. Consider by Fall 2015 a meaningful core of attributes and benchmarks for longitudinal comparisons.

I.2. Report in October to the University and periodically to the broader community on results, analysis, and improvements in areas under present engagement.

I.2.1. Core University report should be drafted at the end of the prior academic year, and completed in September.

 

I.3. Maintain an archive of strategies removed from the Strategic Plan as either achieved or obsolete.

I.3.1. Archive should remain as permanent appendix to the plan. It should be reviewed each year and removal of irrelevant items should be proposed at the plan’s annual update.

I.4. Report at the end of each academic year on modifications to the plan in light of the above actions. Take faculty action to renew the plan to be effective for the succeeding five years.

I.4.1. Academic-year-end report should be prepared in conjunction with the core University report in I.2.1 above.

I.4.2. Propose changes to plan for March faculty meeting; take faculty action on new plan at May meeting.

I.5. Assure institutional permanence for the strategic planning process.

I.5.1. Strategic planning should be a standing committee with substantial overlap from one year to the next.