(Academic Senate, Certification Number 67, 1989-90)
The Río Piedras Campus, founded in 1903 as the Insular Normal School, is the oldest, and most heterogeneous and complex unit in Puerto Rico’s public system of higher education. By law, the campus must pursue and uphold the general mission of the University as set out in Article 2.b of the University of Puerto Rico Act of January 20, 1966; but within this framework, the Río Piedras campus, like the other units of the University of Puerto Rico System, is given the greatest possible autonomy, academic freedom, and liberty to pursue research goals. While the Río Piedras campus is guided by the general mission of the UPR system, it also has a particular mission which emerges from and is based upon the specific historical and cultural circumstances that distinguish it from the other campuses and administrative units. The campus mission holds that the UPR-RP will:
- Foster the integrated education of its students through programs of study which promote intellectual curiosity, the capacity for critical thinking, constant and ongoing learning, effective communication skills, an appreciation for and cultivation of ethical and aesthetic values, involvement in campus governance, and a sense of social awareness and responsibility.
- Provide graduate education of the highest quality, with research and creative activity as key elements that strengthen undergraduate education; offer post-baccalaureate programs for the education and training of professionals of the highest caliber, persons who will be committed to the ideals and values of Puerto Rican society.
- Provide an undergraduate education of excellence which offers students a unified vision of knowledge that brings general education and specialization into harmony; foster in students a capacity for independent study and research.
- Develop teaching and research skills; promote participation in the life of the community as well as service to that community; promote respect for the historical and social conditions of Puerto Rico, taking into account its Caribbean and Latin American surroundings yet reaching out into the international community; enrich and strengthen the storehouse of knowledge associated with the consolidation of Puerto Rican nationality, history, language, and culture; and simultaneously foster the growth and dissemination of knowledge at an international level.
- Develop innovative, relevant programs of research, community service, and continuing education which will support and contribute to the academic and professional activity of the campus; contribute to the transformation and continuing progress of Puerto Rican society, to the analysis of its socioeconomic and political problems, to the formulation of solutions to these problems, and to the improvement of quality of life.
The Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico began its second century of contributions to the country guided by an action plan that is compatible with the aspirations of the members of the university community. The plan, titled University Vision 2016, articulates an innovation and transformation process extending ten years. It was created with the input and approval of diverse sectors of our community.
University Vision 2016 builds on the foundation laid by the Strategic Action Plan (PLEA is its Spanish acronym) that was developed more than a decade earlier, and prioritizes several institutional areas. While University Vision 2016 focuses on the Río Piedras campus, it was developed in harmony with the system-wide institutional planning initiatives.
This strategic plan constitutes a decision-making blueprint that conceives of our campus as privileging research, creation, and the dissemination of knowledge; committed to life-long learning and the integral formation of the students; and contributing to the intellectual, social, economic, and cultural development of the Puerto Rican society as well as societies abroad. University Vision 2016 has guided the participative elaboration of strategic action plans and development plans by the different colleges and units of the campus. These, in turn, have been subject to collective discussion, analysis, and constant review to ensure that their strategies and objectives aim at the achievement of our aspirations.
The Legal and Regulatory Context
University Vision 2016 follows the rules, policies, and recommendations adopted by the pertinent institutional bodies, as noted in several documents, among which are:
- The University of Puerto Rico Law (Act No. 1, 1966)
- The Mission of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus (1989-1990)
- The Chancellor´s academic-administrative project (2002)
- Certification No. 123, Board of Trustees (2005-2006), which approves and includes the document titled Diez para la década: Agenda para la planificación de la Universidad de Puerto Rico
- Certification No. 100, Board of Trustees (2005-2006), which addresses the budgetary process
- Certification No. 46, Río Piedras Campus Academic Senate (2005-2006), which addresses the revision of bachelor´s degree programs
The Planning Process
As suggested above, University Vision 2016 was the product of discussions of many committees and focus groups. Its content benefited from the participation of hundreds of members of the campus community, including students, professors, unit directors, student representatives, student associations, non-teaching personnel, and members of the external community. Throughout this process, the members of the many different components of the university were informed of the various types of collaboration that went into the planning process.