Strategic Planning

Part of the UMB 2021-2026 Strategic Planning process is a brief assessment to consider the biggest barriers that could interfere with the achievement of strategic goals — in other words, an assessment of risk. For each strategic goal, each school or unit will assess each goal and complete a short qualitative and quantitative evaluation regarding the primary and secondary risks facing that goal.

The ERM team will analyze the data to learn more about which risk categories, and which specific risks within categories, may be most problematic across schools and units. That analysis also will guide action steps on how to better understand and address those risks and potentially seize opportunities. More information about that process is below.

Risk Assessment Details

The risk assessment will be completed via a form in the Strategic Plan Implementation Management System (SPIMS) portal. The deadline for completion of each school and unit’s risk submissions is April 30, 2022. These risks will be updated annually.

The assessment will ask to identify a primary and secondary risk category, along with additional details for each category based on risk impact, risk vulnerability, and risk velocity. Explanations for those terms can be found at Definitions and Common Terms.

Please email if you have questions about the process.

Major Risk Categories

Change in External Market Conditions or Competition from External Sources

UMB must recognize and respond to external market conditions and competition from the private sector, nonprofits, and other universities in various areas. UMB’s response to such external forces will impact its ability to successfully compete for limited resources, seize new opportunities, and adapt current activities to the changing external situation.

Compliance with Laws, Regulations, and Policies

UMB must comply with a broad range of state, federal, and international requirements as well as terms and conditions required by funding agencies and accrediting bodies. Failure to meet these obligations may negatively affect UMB's ability to attract funding and can lead to financial losses, increased administrative burdens, ineligibility for funding awards, and adverse impacts to the University’s reputation.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

UMB is committed to the core values of Equity and Justice by embracing diversity and valuing inclusive and just communities. Prioritizing and implementing these values will position UMB as a leader, both internally and externally, and result in stronger outcomes in improving education, research, and service.

Funding and Budget

UMB’s capacity to undertake mission-oriented and strategic activities is dependent on securing adequate funding from sources including state support, tuition revenue, awards, philanthropy, and others. Securing such funding, in addition to controlling costs and spending wisely, will allow funds to be maximally applied to achieve strategic goals.

Health and Safety

Addressing health and safety concerns is vital to achieving UMB’s mission. Physical, mental, social, and environmental health, plus other health- and safety-related factors, may impact mission activities and may require additional capabilities, such as security or emergency management, or new approaches.

Incorporating Data, Analytics, and New Technology

Data management and analytics are important components of UMB’s knowledge management systems that support content delivery and evidence-based decision-making. The absence of up-to-date approaches to collect, store, and retrieve all relevant data impacts the quality of the decisions UMB implements and the results achieved.

Infrastructure and Physical Facilities: Maintenance and Modernization

Contemporary education, research, and community buildings and spaces are important to implementing UMB’s strategic goals, and supporting infrastructure — including information technology — is often critical to those aims. Sustaining and upgrading building infrastructure and information technology systems may be needed to keep pace with contemporary needs, which include a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Operational and Administrative Processes

UMB support functions often occurring outside of public or broad view that can involve (but are not limited to) financial management, communications, facilities, award administration, information technology, procurement, insurance, and student-facing services. These functions can be critical to the ultimate success of mission-related activities,

Organizational Culture and Structure

Organizational culture and structure are often key drivers in establishing UMB’s policies and practices. The culture and structure of a school, unit, or program may lead to different approaches to management, risk taking, stability, and adaptation that foster or impede outcomes.


Formal and informal partnerships occur regularly outside of UMB, across schools and units, and in different functional areas within a school or unit. These joint efforts can often be a critical element in the success or failure of achieving strategic goals.

Reputation of UMB, School, or Program

The public reputation of UMB — as a university, of its schools and units, and of individual programs — may carry great weight in education, research, and other mission activities. An increase or decrease in the influence of that reputation may have an impact on those activities.

Student Enrollment and Engagement

Student enrollment is a critical component of the University’s education and research missions, and it can be affected by the cost of tuition and fees, demand for graduates in a specific professional discipline, general economic conditions, changing student demographics, and other factors. Once students are enrolled, their level of engagement in a range of activities can impact their trajectory in preparing to be exemplary professionals and leaders in society, fulfilling UMB’s community and social justice mission and supporting the institution beyond graduation.

Workforce: Attract, Retain, and Support Employees (Faculty and Staff)

A talented, highly skilled, and motivated workforce is critical to achieving UMB’s strategic goals. Many factors affect UMB’s ability to recruit employees, ensure they are meeting their full potential, and promote a work environment where employees are happy, high-achieving, and feel valued.