Two Years to Two Decades Initiative

About 2y2d

Re-envisioning our shared future

Our shared future depends on choices we make today. Even small changes can lead to large and lasting impact. The Two Years to Two Decades Initiative (2y2d) involves an ongoing process that articulates a shared vision of our future, identifies trends and drivers of change, and takes steps to ensure the UW is responding in ways that keep us on track to thrive in the coming years.

Campus faculty, students, staff, and administration are engaged in continuous, thoughtful consideration, re-thinking or re-affirming priorities to best serve our UW community. The initiative provides guiding principles and a strategic framework for the university as a whole that campus leaders can adapt to the unique needs of their unit. 2y2d tracks central and unit-level efforts that align to these principles, identifies gaps where provost-led efforts can help, and celebrates success to raise awareness of how creative individuals and units across campus are working towards our shared vision in innovative ways.

Our two-year challenge:

How do we ensure that we stay true to our vision, mission and values while coping with the rapidly changing landscape of higher education—funding, competition, emerging technologies, shifting demographics, and changing student expectations?

Our two-decade challenge:

How do we ensure that the decisions we make now reflect our combined sense of where we are going and set us up well to thrive in the 21st century?

Positioning the UW to thrive in the 21st Century

The 2y2d Initiative articulates long-term strategic priorities that guide near-term decisions. It asked stakeholders to envision where they want the University of Washington to be in 20 years and works to make that vision a sustainable reality.

Starting in the summer of 2009, more than 3,500 faculty, students, staff and community stakeholders provided input. Based on this input, and in consultation with faculty and campus leaders, strategic priorities and near-term goals were identified to make that vision a sustainable reality.

2y2d Priorities & Goals

Learn more about what focus groups identified for the UW’s future and which of society’s most pressing issues they specified on the Finding Our Focus page.

Guiding 2y decision-making: The Sustainable Academic Business Plan

The sustainable academic business plan is regularly updated strategic framework designed to respond to immediate budgetary challenges and strengthen our shared academic mission. It guides decision-making in the near term and focuses on practical ways to make our existing resources go further, look for creative ways to increase our resources, and invest strategically in our future. Learn more about the Sustainable Academic Business Plan.

2013–2015 Initiatives

  • Husky Experience (new): Ensuring transformative educational experiences for our students—inside and outside the classroom—so they graduate with the passion, skills, and knowledge that lead to meaningful lives and successful careers.
  • Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century (ongoing): Meeting the needs of diverse, dispersed student populations.
  • Fostering Collaboration (ongoing): Fostering collaborative research, teaching, and learning.
  • Organizational Excellence (ongoing): Improving work processes, increasing effectiveness, and measuring success.
  • Enhance Student Services (launched): Improving the student experience from recruitment to success at the UW and beyond.
  • Campus of the 21st Century (launched): Coordinating plans to improve physical and virtual campus environments.
  • Program Evaluation Initiative (launched): Assessing program quality and impact based on collectively determined criteria and metrics. Originally a provost initiative, Program Evaluation is now operationalized and run by the Office of Planning & Budgeting as part of the regular UW budget cycle.

Sustaining long-term transformation

With efforts to fill the initial gaps identified by the SAB Plan well under way, 2y2d is turning more attention to the long-term, slower work of institutional transformation.  This work involves encouraging, inspiring, supporting, and celebrating opt-in participation (at the individual and unit level) in efforts that work towards shared goals and move us closer to our vision of the UW of the 21st Century.  The 2y2d principles are becoming part of the fabric of the UW as groups across campus engage in a culture of continuous improvement and align their activities with strategic priories and our shared vision of the future.

The SAB Plan steering committee continues to meet to review initiative progress, ensure we are on track, and refine strategic directions. 2y2d principles remain the fundamental framework for making informed and principled decisions, for setting strategic directions (e.g., President’s focus on leading change in higher education), and for investing wisely in areas of future importance (e.g., recent Provost investments in big data and diversity). The 2y2d team continues to support principled decision-making at all levels, deliver results through ongoing initiatives, track trends and drivers of change, and celebrate success of groups across campus that are working towards our shared vision.