Strategic Plan - Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Strategic Plan


In support of OU’s Lead On Strategic Plan, Gibbs College has updated its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. The updated plan, presented below and adopted in August 2023, reflects a process that engaged faculty, staff, students, advisory board members, and others during the 2022-2023 Academic Year. It will continue to be updated annually, as needed, to align with campus and college priorities.

The University of Oklahoma

Our Vision. The Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture imagines a future in which all communities are resilient and empowered to maximize their social, economic and environmental well-being.

Our Values. Our research, teaching, and service are grounded in our shared values based on the traditions of The American School: contextual, resourceful, and entrepreneurial practice.

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Gould Hall at Night

Goal 1  |   Set the Public Research University Standard for Planning, Design, and Construction Education

1.1.0 Hire and retain leading faculty and staff who will help take Gibbs College's reputation to the next level.

1.1.1 Align faculty searches with teaching needs, and then with strategic research priorities, using metrics such as program enrollment trending, student/faculty ratios, credit hour generation, college’s faculty load management policy, and industry standards of excellence.
1.1.2 Align staffing levels to faculty and student needs and based on AAU peer benchmarking.
1.1.3 Coordinate with other colleges to submit SRFRA proposals to attract top-tier talent in planning, design and construction
1.1.4 Coordinate with the Center for Faculty Excellence to offer tailored professional development opportunities for Gibbs College faculty, particularly those in support of research and teaching efforts.
1.1.5 Revise division distributions of effort as needed, DOEs to be benchmarked to specific faculty members’ research and teaching goals and capabilities.
1.1.6 Refine Annual Faculty Evaluation Criteria (AFEC) to ensure consistency and rigor, in alignment with the Strategic Plan.
1.1.7 Support professional development of staff through workshops, conferences, and specialized trainings.
1.1.8 Encourage supervisors and administrators to attend OU Human Resources professional development training specific to supervision/administration.
1.1.9 Build on recent compression raise program to continue to meaningfully reward excellence and provide salary increases for performing faculty and staff.

1.2.0 Clearly communicate the value and impact of Gibbs College.

1.2.1 Coordinate Gibbs brand identity with OU’s “There’s Only One” rebrand to communicate a clear, concise, and aspirational identity.
1.2.2 Leverage OU’s campus-wide social media and newsletters to share the Gibbs College story with a broad audience of over 300,000 followers.
1.2.3 Host focus groups with current students, alumni and industry partners to learn their preferred methods of engagement with Gibbs communications.
1.2.4 Coordinate with the Office of Admissions and Recruitment (OAR) and College/Division leadership to refine recruiting materials for all Gibbs divisions for maximum impact.
1.2.5 Coordinate strategic communications with development goals.

Goal 2  |   Prepare Students to Succeed as Leaders in the Planning, Design and Construction Disciplines

2.1.0 Foster a student-centered culture across the college.

2.1.1 Establish an annual award for outstanding student mentorship and maintain annual teaching award.
2.1.2 Communicate to students availability of university resources that support student mental health and other needs through website and other social media as appropriate.
2.1.3 Increase the amount of GRA/GTA funding in support of graduate students to an average of $22,000 for .50 FTE.

2.2.0 Ensure global engagement and learning experiences outside the classroom for every Gibbs College student, undergraduate and graduate.

2.2.1 Design undergraduate research opportunities for every academic major, ensuring experiential learning within every major.
2.2.2 Identify places in each curriculum to cultivate global perspectives.
2.2.3 Encourage students to participate in service learning, volunteerism and leadership development activities by embedding them in each curriculum where possible, and by directing students to university-sponsored volunteering opportunities.

2.3.0 Ensure that every Gibbs College program provides all students with essential skills to succeed while fostering intellectual curiosity.

2.3.1 Formalize the college-level curricula review committee (Deans/Directors), which meets annually to assess the state of curricula and recommend revisions that align curricula with Strategic Plan priorities, accreditation frameworks, and industry needs. [Note: This is connected to Lead On strategy 2.6.1: “Develop college-level curricula review committees …”)
2.3.2 Ensure each degree program has coursework in personal finance, communication, teamwork, leadership and listening.
2.3.3 Track and strategically expand external internships, fellowships, and mentorships.
2.3.4 Assess and refine Board of Visitors (BOV) composition and mission to ensure BOV connects Gibbs College curricula with industry and societal needs.
2.3.5 Assess IT infrastructure annually to ensure investments in technology supports student learning and engagement with emerging technologies.
2.3.6 Assess curricula annually to ensure engagement with emerging technologies.
2.3.7 Support all Divisions as they explore areas of intellectual and programmatic growth and ways to enhance efficiencies across programs.

2.4.0 Enhance Gibbs College extracurricular activities to extend learning experiences beyond the classroom.

2.4.1 Establish student awards program that recognizes extra- and co-curricular engagement in service to others.
2.4.2 Host an annual student involvement fair for Gibbs College student organizations and related OU-wide student orgs.
2.4.3 Strengthen engagement with Career Services to support student participation in annual career fairs and student services support opportunities.

2.5.0 Increase doctoral degree completion from 62% to 70%.

2.5.1 Assess whether the PhD in Planning, Design and Construction program can be reduced to 60 required hours.
2.5.2 Bring Ph.D. funding to levels competitive with benchmark institutions.
2.5.3 Coordinate with CFE to to provide graduate faculty mentorship training to Gibbs College faculty.
2.5.4 Coordinate with the Graduate College to leverage graduate program climate survey findings to make curricular improvements.
2.5.5 Annually review undergraduate curricula to ensure their total credit hour requirements are consistent with university aspirations.
2.5.6 Strengthen communication of travel study opportunities each year.

Goal 3  |  Coordinate with campus partners and external stakeholders to make a Gibbs College degree affordable and attainable

3.1.0 Improve affordability and accessability of Gibbs College programs.

3.1.1 Grow annual enrollments in strategic programs, as defined by the Dean and Directors, each year as appropriate and while coordinating physical resource needs with the university’s Office of Architectural Engineering Services.
3.1.2 Expand transfer student enrollment in strategic programs by coordinating with OAR’s transfer student admissions team to ensure Gibbs College programs are seen as viable paths to an OU degree.
3.1.3 Partner with OAR and Graduate College to increase the number of international undergraduate and graduate students by 50% over the next 7 years, while coordinating physical resource needs with the university’s Office of Architectural Engineering Services.
3.1.4 Develop three online programs by 2025, with an emphasis on recruiting a diverse student body.

3.2.0 Provide high quality education within the context of scholarly opportunities in light of ongoing budget constraints.

3.2.1 Conduct a review of College-level policies and procedures and annual processes to improve efficiencies and effectiveness.
3.2.2 Produce an annual report of student success, research impact relative to institutional peers, and program/degree efficiencies, with information about each degree program.
3.2.3 Continue to assess annual capacity and occupancy assessment of Gould Hall to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness of the facility.

3.3.0 Partner with the OU Foundation to expand resources that support strategic investments and initiatives

3.3.1 Coordinate with Director of Development and OU Foundation to craft fundraising overview documents representing key College and Division priority areas
3.3.2 Fundraise in support of student need and pursue strategic efforts to improve affordability.
3.3.3 Coordinate with the OU Foundation to update the stewardship plan in alignment with the University’s “Lead On” fundraising plan
3.3.4 Fundraise in support of faculty research, creative activity and community engagement opportunities.

3.4.0 Transparently focus resources on strategic priorities.

3.4.1 Coordinate with Provost’s Office and Chief Budget Officer on three-year financial pro forma for Gibbs College, updated annually.
3.4.2 Establish transparent internal budget model across College that guides fee distributions, funds allocated per credit hour generated, and Faculty Load Management.

Goal 4  | Foster an environment that supports belonging, emotional growth, success and meaning for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

4.1.0 Prioritize access and opportunity to help all Gibbs College community members feel connected, valued and understood.

4.1.1 Host biennial implicit bias and inclusion training for all faculty and staff in conjunction with the Back to School Meetings.
4.1.2 Advocate in the Provost’s Office to establish clear guidelines and consequences for faculty or staff who engage in bullying or harassment.
4.1.3 Meet annually with leadership from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to ensure alignment with OU-wide DEI strategic plan.
4.1.4 Coordinate with the Office of Admissions and Recruitment and First Year Experience coordinator to inform recruiting and retention efforts so student body demographics reflect state and university averages.
4.1.5 Host an annual events for bulding community, including an a welcome event for transfer and non-traditional students.
4.1.6 Support college and campus-wide groups, events, and training programs that foster belonging.
4.1.7 Continue to share diverse news and events with alumni through the Oculus newsletter.

4.2.0 Improve College process to support access and opportunity for faculty and staff.

4.2.1 Coordinate recruiting and retention practices in employee (faculty and staff) search and promotion processes with the Provost’s Office and Human Resources, within the context of professional organization and learned society commitments to equity, diversity and belonging.
4.2.2 Connect faculty, staff and administration with alumni during annual events to enhance a sense of belonging to the OU community.
4.2.3 Host training for faculty and staff on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education once per semester.
4.2.4 Increase the number of DEI and Collaboration Awards given annually to 2-3 per year to communicate the importance of these efforts within the Gibbs College community.

Goal 5  | Expand support for excellence in research, community engagement, and creative activity in our areas of focus.

5.1.0 Benchmark research and creative activity outcomes at public AAU peers in Colleges with similar programs.

5.1.1 Encourage divisions to set annual goals to increase research expenditures.
5.1.2 Develop internal awards pipeline by nominating faculty for university and external awards annually.
5.1.3 Encourage faculty participation in CFE funding and manuscript development workshops.
5.1.4 Refine methods of celebrating research success proportionate to division sizes.
5.1.5 Encourage faculty to seek research and creative activity-oriented mentorship.
5.1.6 Create the position of Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Engagement and align College efforts with the institutional research strategy.
5.1.7 Develop dashboards that allows us to track and quantify research outputs.

5.2.0 Encourage Gibbs College faculty to contribute their expertise to interdisciplinary research projects across all three campuses.

5.2.1 Encourage each faculty member to formally affiliate with one or more of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships’ strategic institutes, including participating in networking sessions and submitting proposals for collaborative research. Gibbs College faculty research generally engages the following areas:
* Sustainable Building Technology and Community Resilience (VPRP: Energy & Environmental Sustainability)
* Entrepreneurship and Engagement (VPRP: Flourishing Societies)
* Health and Wellbeing (VPRP: Life Sciences & the Future of Healthcare)
5.2.2 Refine Program for Research Enhancement to support increased research activity and external funding, with an emphasis placed on supporting junior faculty efforts.
5.2.3 Co-organize at least one faculty networking session between Gibbs College and OU HSC or OU Tulsa faculty each year to help faculty seek and leverage synergies in our areas of emphasis (see 5.2.1)
5.2.4 Establish an annual award for collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

5.3.0 Continue to cultivate community-engaged research collaborations that serve the local, regional and international communities.

5.3.1 Connect Gibbs College faculty with the Institute for Quality Communities, Research Centers, Native Nations Center and Office of Corporate Partnerships to explore collaborations.
5.3.2 Offer one community engagement workshop each year to aid faculty and staff in developing high-impact partnerships with communities.
5.3.3 Develop a college-wide framework for community engagement, including best practices for engagement, evaluation, dissemination, and follow-up.
5.3.4 Establish an annual college-wide award for community engaged teaching and research.
5.3.5 Support OU campus planning, design and construction through community engaged research and teaching.

5.4.0 Build, enhance, and support College infrastructure necessary to keep pace with leading public colleges.

5.4.1 Develop utilization and management plans for specialty labs, including grant-supported lab space.
5.4.2 Advocate for funding to maintain sufficient levels of both support staff and research facilities, and update equipment as needed.
5.4.3 Create an internal program of support for faculty capital equipment needs to be able to remain competitive in rapidly advancing fields.
5.4.4 Encourage faculty to add postdocs to grants of $1 million or more and budget for competitive salaries.
5.4.5 Assess IT infrastructure annually to ensure investments in technology support faculty research.
Award-winning students