Juan Gómez Ortega
The progress made by the University of Jaén in its short history was brought about by planning and strategic management, which includes a model of governance that was adopted in 2003, a mere 10 years after the university was founded, placing it at the vanguard of Andalucía and among the first Spanish universities to adopt such a model. Since then, activities at the University of Jaén have been guided by coherent and shared institutional objectives that have enabled sustained and sustainable growth, achieving a reputation, results, and an effect in the field that would have been unattainable without this governance strategy.
The University of Jaén’s Strategic Plan II (Horizonte 2020) finished its round of strategic planning with excellent results. Based on the principal of constant improvement, which has provided focus for our university since its foundation, this plan takes on its role as the guiding force behind institutional activities with a budget designed for the institution’s strategic objectives and with a strong university with numerous strengths for tackling new, unavoidable challenges over the next five years.
The University of Jaén’s Strategic Plan III (PEUJA3-25) stems from an up-to-date analysis of the university environment and our university specifically. The analysis exposed the weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities that our institution faces with regard to continuing to be a sustainable and relevant university within the Andalusian and Spanish higher education systems, thus fulfilling our role as a driver of development in the field, as per the commitment made in the law establishing the university. The PEUJA3-25 has been designed with the objective of serving as a guide to tackling these challenges, and it does so by further strengthening the University of Jaén’s strategic management system, which will allow for our university to adapt to the future, focusing on a reduced number of ambitious but viable objectives that will guide the activities of the various organizational levels at our university over the next five years.
To do this, the PEUJA3-25 establishes an integrated strategic management system on three levels: strategy, tactics, and operations. At the first, strategic level is the PEUJA3-25 itself, covering the major lines that will determine the direction of the University of Jaén over the next five years. With its 7 objectives and 21 strategic priorities, the PEUJA3-25 sets a clear and reachable horizon for all of the members of the university community. The rollout of these objectives and priorities will be carried out at the second level, the tactical level, in which sectoral master plans or plans to address challenges will be the main tools the government has to reach these strategic objectives and priorities. Finally, the last level, the operational level will serve to gather the yearly or biennial operational plans in which the sectoral master plans are detailed, thus facilitating, along with ordered strategic management, the focus of the university’s activities on achieving the shared objectives established in the PEUJA3-25.
The duration of the PEUJA3-25 is set at five years (2021-2025), with annual follow-up via an institutional balanced scorecard as well as a biennial re-evaluation. The follow-up and the evaluation suggestions will be carried out by the Steering Committee of the Strategic Plan, who will also provide information to the university community yearly with the double objective of ensuring transparency in management and providing feedback on the impact of activities on achieving the shared strategic objectives.
As rector of the University of Jaén, and as a member of the university community, I would certainly define this strategic plan as exciting; its own motto, transforming the present to lead the future, which can be reversed to much the same effect, leading the present to transform the future, is a commitment to rejuvenate the eagerness of the university community and its conscience with regard to the fundamental role played by public universities in general, and the University of Jaén in particular, in the overall progress of society via the transformation and promotion of the field, ensuring a well-structured, responsible, and strong Andalucía within the context of Spain and Europe. I know that this is an objective that is shared among all of the university community, and I am sure that the PEUJA3-25 will be a useful and exciting tool to achieve this objective.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the members of the various sectors of the university community and society in Jaén for their participation and support in enriching the draft of this strategic plan during its planning period, as well as the work of the Steering Committee of the Strategic Plan, the Planning and Assessment Service, and the Vice Rectorship of strategy and managing change for actually putting the plan together.