Strategic Plan 2016-2021
Vision
UMS aspires to be the leading university in the region which provides a variety programs equipped with lifelong knowledge, skills and higher quality education.
 
Mission
UMS is a comprehensive educational institution that offers high quality education programs which promotes research and scholarly activities. UMS is committed to offering career oriented programs in modern sciences that meet the international standards. it also aims to prepare students for employment in regional and international job market. UMS will be known for the purposeful integration of applied learning that provides its students with the knowledge, skills, moral and intellectual virtues that form the basis for life-long learning and contribution. UMS through its dedicated professional administration faculty and staff seeks to provide a learning environment for students with diverse interest.

UMS objectives
to accomplish the university mission, the university team and staff members will work hand in hand to achieve the following objectives:
 
  1. to provide academic programs based on local, regional and international employment needs for students seeking immediate employment upon graduation.
  2. to offer a community service programs that help to meet the recreational, cultural, educational, scientific and social needs of the area.
  3. to develop and maintain the quality and stature of academic departments and to promote research and support creativity and scholarly activities.
  4. to maintain effective student support to assist the students in reaching their educational goals.
  5. to prepare the students for regional and international labor market and improve their research ability.
  6. to develop and maintain innovative approaches to learning.
  7. to maintain comprehensive programs for professional growth and development of faculty and staff.
  8. to promote and maintain educational system that is continuously adaptive to the ever-changing socio-economic, technical, scientific, cultural and development needs of the uae and the region.
  9. to ensure that the university’s physical and learning resources are utilized effectively, well maintained and continue to enhance the scope of their utility.
 
UMS mission and goals are approved by the governing body (board) prior to declaration. they are periodically re-evaluated to ensure its usefulness in providing overall institutional direction. the mission provides overall direction to institutional planning.
 
Key performance indicators (kpi’s):
  1. meaningful and quality academic programs as determined by high student enrolments and employer acceptance.
  2. high quality and safe learning environment equipped with latest technology teaching facilities and equipment.
  3. high quality faculty with internationally-recognized qualifications.
  4. rugged internal quality assurance systems.
  5. competent and responsive student-centric support staff.
  6. active engagement and research with government and corporate institutions.
  7. collaboration with recognized international providers of higher education.
  8. financial stability and sound corporate governance.

Goal areas: objectives and actions

this plan identifies and lists, as mentioned above, the main objectives and actions that are required for the successful implementation of the plan. priorities among these objectives are established in the plan as follows:

  • Development enrollment management plan

UMS will create a strong enrollment management plan for the current and proposed programs. the elements of the plan will include strengthening and developing appropriate relationships and partnerships with public and private corporations in the uae and the GCC countries as well as with public and private secondary schools. through this plan, talented students will make UMS their university of choice, to fulfill their career objectives. UMS will provide the human and physical resources needed to attract and retain such students, and will help them realize their creative potential.

objective 1: establish an admission and recruiting program that target a broad market of academically competitive applicants.

Actions
  1. devise and implement a focused, targeted recruitment plan
  2. attract and retain the most capable students
  3. work actively with schools to increase the pool of high school students eligible to attend the university.
  4. develop and implement a strong relationship marketing plan

objective 2: improve recruitment and retention of students through enhancement of academic facilities, instructional technology and all service areas impacting the student experience.

Actions
  1. improve program delivery and communication, complemented by appropriate virtual learning environments.
  2. ensure that the students have access to the full range of resources that they need to succeed.
  3. establish advisory and career advisement activities to better serve and retain the students.
  4. establish student academic support services that will help students overcome their study weaknesses.
  5. provide a rich campus life that will complement classroom experience and enhance student satisfaction.
  6. develop and implement students exchange program for motivated students.

objective 3: review financial aid policies to enhance recruitment and retention.
 
Actions
  1. increase the university's endowment devoted to financial aid.
  2. increase student support from government and non-government sources
  3. expand work-study opportunity's to support student financial needs.
 
ii. enhancement in academic programs development
to ensure our knowledge, ideas, skills and expertise are transformed into innovative and industry oriented academic programs that are at the forefront of their disciplines. academic programs development is the principal drive for creating educational opinion, innovation, intellectual property, enterprise and wealth, thereby realizing ums’s national and international objectives and enriching the uae society.

objective 1: build and enhance key clusters of knowledge and expertise within and across academic departments that are identified by ums academic council in response to emerging and demanding skill requirements in both private and public sectors and the wider uae society as a whole.

Actions
  1. identify academic program development priorities and stimulate curriculum innovations that are industry oriented, research underpinned and benefiting the uae economy and increasing ums national and international profile.
  2. establish dedicated committees at both departmental and university level to plan, lead, monitor, assess and enhance a collaborative and integrated approach to academic curriculum and programs development activities.
  3. selectively invest in academic program development projects that demonstrate the greatest capacity to build on current strengths and achieve new intellectual heights in research and graduate education.
  4. significantly developing continuing professional development programs, to include graduate qualifications providing vocational expertise to professionals in a range of fields, non-degree short courses and lifelong learning provision for non-traditional and mature students.

objective 2: pioneer new and emerging areas of professional and graduate education across the boundaries of traditional disciplines thereby maintaining relevance and leadership of ums academic program portfolios.

Actions
  1. monitor and analyze national and international trends in student choice and industry needs and engaging key employers and stakeholders in developing ums academic program portfolio.
  2. stimulate faculty to engage with the public and relevant stakeholders in industry, policy and practice as part of their research agenda, with a focus on impacts and identifying future education requirements.
  3. promote and support new curriculum initiatives that develop emerging education need and scholarship synergies across various academic disciplines and departments.
  4. foster innovative faculty exchange and collaborative schemes with industry, academic & cultural institutions and public service providers.

iii. faculty development

objective 1: faculty development
there is a critical need to review the faculty ranks proactively. it is essential to keep abreast of and deal with intense competition for faculty, to reduce losses for valued faculty through enhance retention efforts and to increase to diversity of the faculty as a whole. it is critical to maintain and selectively enhance faculty size and quality especially in areas of substantial potential.
 
Actions

  1. emphasize a faculty recruitment strategy of building from the bottom –recruiting new phd’s over the next two years.
  2. in strategically important areas, where a significant percentage of high quality faculty are close to retirement, pre-fill during the next 3-4 years.
  3. develop regular, systematic and transparent mechanisms for allocating faculty positions across academic areas in order to strengthen select areas.

objective 2: significantly increase the diversity of faculty through new hires and enhanced retention efforts. this objective is of high priority during the plan important in principle given core values of UMS and of significant educational value to students and programs.

Actions
  1. develop specific goals for gender and ethnic diversity of faculty in all departments and colleges that take account of available candidates and the importance of critical mass within departments.
  2. expand the pool from which UMS recruits faculty by broadly defining faculty positions wherever possible.
  3. ensure that colleges and departments give appropriate attention too diversity throughout recruitment process, from the point at which positions are defined, to the short lists and interview lists, to the final decision stage of selection and appointment.
  4. develop in each college an efficient mechanism for monitoring progress in searches and retention (to assign this task to an individual or faculty committee) based on accepted best practices.

objective 3: ensure competitive faculty compensation
UMS has invested substantial resources to raise the average faculty salaries to a competitive level among its competitors and it cannot afford to lose grounds on this dimension.


Actions
  1. keep average faculty salaries at or above the median among peer universities.
  2. benchmark and regularly assess fringe benefits to ensure that these remain abreast of local and regional markets.
  3. assess and benchmark start-up packages and ongoing support for research.

objective 4: develop and implement policies to retain highly valued faculty

the competitive environment within higher education in the UAE and the gulf region makes retention of outstanding faculty a critical issue and growing challenge. the most effective strategy is to ensure that highly valued faculty have a vibrant intellectual environment, excellent students (graduate and undergraduate), and the resources to achieve their professional goals and aspirations.


Actions
  1. enhance efforts to retain highly valued faculty and ensure that strong support for their research, teaching, and public engagement is provided to them at all times.
  2. make extra ordinary and aggressive efforts to retain highly valued, highly promising and well accomplished faculty.
  3. be proactive in making sound offers to incumbent faculty addressing work-life issues (dual careers).

objective 5: devise and implement new mechanisms and policies for rewarding outstanding faculty and for continually assessing faculty performance as scholars and teachers. in order to retain highly valued and outstanding faculty, UMS will recognize and implement all available means of recognition.

Actions
  1. develop provost or chair fund to provide special monetary rewards such as research and exceptional academic accomplishments.
  2. assess whether there is sufficient merit differentiation in salary decision within the colleges to reward faculty who are likely to become leaders in their own discipline or field.
  3. develop a university-wide effort to nominate candidates every year for awards, prizes and academic recognition.
  4. design and implement performance assessments criteria for all faculty members to continuous enhancement in teaching, research and public engagement.

objective 6: foster an exciting intellectual environment by providing opportunities for more dialogue and engagement. the intellectual environment is critical to the attractiveness of  and to the retention of faculty.

Actions
  1. devise new ways to foster and encourage constructive dialogue on important intellectual issues among faculty, students and staff.
  2. promote intellectually rewarding interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty.
  3. assist department chairs in their efforts to create and sustain positive departments cultures in which faculty can engage in constructive exchange on their scholarship and work together effectively as department or program colleagues.

iv. development of research and creativity

objective 1: UMS is committed to raising the quality and stature of departments to a position of academic leadership. the university plans to provide support for research and creativity in a careful, strategic and cost effective way.

Actions
  1. identify and support departments that have the potential to become national and regional leaders in their disciplines.to develop practical criteria and procedures for creating and tracking quality of research and creativity of faculty, departments and programs.
  2. require departments to develop strategic plans for enhancing and achieving academic distinctions and leadership.
  3. selectively invest in departments that demonstrate the greatest capacity to build on current strengths and achieve new intellectual heights in research and graduate education.

objective 2: build and maintain national and regional leadership in a select set of departments namely finance, economics, human resources, logistics & supply chain, marketing, bio-technology, and media.

Actions
  1. develop new academic initiatives and advice on fields for strategic investment or disinvestment.
  2. encourage efforts of professional programs and colleges to enhance academic quality and generate ties of mutual benefits to basic disciplines.
  3. promote and support new initiatives that develop cutting-edge research and scholarship synergies across various academic groupings/departments.

objective 3: strengthen support for and recognition of important interdisciplinary areas. the interdisciplinary research including national, regional and international area studies, will strengthen ums position in the whole region. interdisciplinary research is important in contributing to solutions for social challenges of emirtization, poverty and environment.


Actions
  1. encourage departments to (a) recruit faculty likely to have an impact beyond the hiring department, and (b) include faculty from more than one discipline on faculty search committees.
  2. ensure support and encouragement for all faculty members about clear expectations that their interdisciplinary research will be fairly evaluated in renewal and/or promotion decisions.
  3. establish effective procedures for encouraging and supporting interdisciplinary efforts emerging from faculty members.
  4. assess interdisciplinary programs to ensure that they involve faculty from multiple academic departments and phase out those that do not meet rigorous standards.

objective 4: in a cost effective way maintain and strengthen the core infrastructures for research and creativity particularly library facilities. the library is fundamental for continuous enhancement in all departments and colleges. strengthening books and documents collections should have high priority in this plan.



Actions
  1. assess how the university library is supporting the research and scholarship of faculty.
  2. to ensure continuous relationship between faculty and the librarian to identify the requirements for books, periodicals and the necessary documents.
  3. examine and track the library needs by students both graduate and undergraduate, to ensure strong services to support their academic work.


v. development of public engagement

public engagement refers to the proactive involvement of faculty, staff and students to have an impact on national and regional communities. the plan assumes full contributions of students and staff to make meaningful contributions to the immediate community, throughout the UAE and regionally. conceiving of the university’s outreach mission, public engagement is important because it recasts that mission in broader and more inclusive terms.

objective 1: make public engagement a distinctive feature of education at UMS. the university has a unique capacity to interweave public engagement with its educational programs for students. an integration of science with application of knowledge and its use for public good should be a distinguishing feature of education at UMS.

Actions
  1. explore and assess how engaging the public can become an integral component of educational programs at UMS.
  2. strengthen the participation and leadership of faculty in public engagement programs available to students.
  3. ensure the ease and efficiency of students to become aware of and access information about public engagement opportunities namely service learning and internships.
  4. develop institutional mechanisms for coordinating off-campus learning opportunities for faculty and students.

objective 2: construct a unified concept and vision for the university’s public engagement mission. this plan calls for greater connectivity between some programs and the community without introducing new central administrative structures or constraining academic entrepreneurialism.
actions

  1. recognize and highlight the public engagement of faculty across all departments.
  2. develop university-wide mechanisms to promote interconnections across all forms of public engagement including service learning, internships, and technology transfer.
  3. develop an integrated user-friendly web portal for delivery of public engagement programs and activities.
  4. engage stakeholder groups and appropriate partner agencies in assessing and planning for the future of publically supported activities.

objective 3: develop rigorous and systematic evaluations of all outreach programs. given objectives 1 and 2 of the public engagement, there is a need for an inventory and assessment of the university outreach mission.

Actions
  1. to develop explicit criteria for evaluating programs that emphasize quality, importance to the university, and impact on society.
  2. include an external-review component in regular evaluation of outreach programs.
  3. establish an institutional mechanism for collecting data and information on the quality and impact of outreach programs.

vi. staff development

staff development is very critical component in virtually all ums academic and non-academic activities. all staff members across the board from vice presidents to administrative assistants are essential to achieve the central mission of the university. many staff have daily contacts with students and as such, they contribute to the overall educational level of students: career, counseling, and advising. ums core values suggest the creation and maintenance of a workplace that provides respect, dignity and fairness to all employees.

objective 1: give priority to retention of highly qualified staff in valued positions as the university reorganizes to address budgetary constraints.

Actions
  1. reward staff who assume additional duties and who continue to excel at all times.
  2. identify positions that will be needed through the administrative reviews to be conducted throughout the plan.
  3. define skills and talents needed to excel in certain key positions.
  4. identify career ladders and training opportunities for advancement.
  5. provide staff annual performance reviews that assess performance accurately and honestly and suggest training needs for development purposes.

objective 2: attract and retain talented workforce to ums.

Actions
  1. ensure that effective procedures are in place for reviewing positions and assessing short lists of candidates.
  2. establish strategies, policies and procedures to attract and retain diverse candidates.
  3. assign all new hires a mentor/advisor for at least 90 days.
  4. define and introduce explicit goals for gender and ethnic diversity for all categories of the workforce.
  5. create accurate job descriptions and career path models so that new hires understand their positions and see career opportunities ahead of them.

objective 3: be an exemplary employer across the entire spectrum of staff.

Actions

  1. promote family-friendly policies and practices across academic and non-academic departments.
  2. recognize and celebrate the value and contributions of staff across all job groupings and classifications.
  3. ensure UMS commitment to pay all employees according to their job classifications and analysis.
  4. ensure that all department heads enable all employees to take full advantage of the staff training development opportunities.

objective 4: provide job skill training to staff in a variety of venues. providing staff the opportunity to advance their careers, develop their talents, and improve their skills is an important aspect of being a good employer. therefore, it is important that UMS accomplish this objective to enhance the promotion opportunities of staff.

Actions
  1. increase the job-skill offerings through the human resources department.
  2. make use of online short courses and training to develop the required skills and competences.
  3. tie training to identified development plans obtained through annual performance appraisals.
  4. require supervisors and managers to undergo training in basic supervisory skills and to refresh their skills on a continuous basis.

vii. enhancement of organizational stewardship

stewardship refers to processes and structures that manage, allocate and monitor resources that are crucial to fulfill the university’s academic mission. these processes and structures are the enabling conditions for achieving the primary academic goals and strategic initiatives of the plan.

objective 1: affirm general guidelines for organizational stewardship.
UMS must function in a manner that ensures the smooth functioning of its operations and that these operations are aligned with and support it core academic missions. to this end principles of good stewardship must understood and followed at all levels of the university.. these principles include a commitment to protect and enhance the reputation of the university, an understanding of priorities and responsibilities at organizational and individual levels, an appropriate respect for and use of shared governance and collaborate decision making.

Actions
  1. implement resource allocation strategies that enable and motivate actions to enhance academic development.
  2. define and align roles and responsibilities for effective operations in a decentralized academic environment.
  3. implement cost-effective investments in support systems and infrastructures that meet mission-based needs.
  4. align support operations with the core academic mission and the university’s strategic plan to maintain clear priorities and internal controls.
  5. support and strengthen informed collaborative and transparent decision-making.

objective 2: promote cost effective infrastructures for information technology

Actions
  1. coordinate the delivery of it services that support academic and research mission of ums.
  2. ensure that information technology services and infrastructures support the access, security and privacy needs for stored information.