Business men and women talk around a conference table.

UA Launches 5-Year Economic Development Priorities, Strategic Goals

A business meeting around a table is set to discuss entrepreneurship.
Joshua Sahib, EDGE business development manager, left, discusses sponsorship opportunities with Katie Howard and Matthew Studer, right, in The EDGE’s conference room.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama is launching a plan to spur economic development both as an innovative driver of growth in the state and to assist in strengthening economic activity.

The five-year plan, “Economic Development Priorities and Strategic Goals,” stems from the University’s strategic plan that aims to increase impactful activities that affect economic and societal development.

Created by UA’s Economic Development Council, which formed this past spring, the economic development plan will help the council prioritize, coordinate and align all UA economic development assets to ensure they help the University meet its economic development strategic goals.

“I would like to thank UA’s Economic Development Council for their work on defining UA’s economic development priorities for the next five years,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “I believe it captures and embodies the opportunity the University has to contribute to the economic well-being of the state and is aligned with our mission as the state’s flagship University.”

Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development and chair of the Economic Development Council, spearheaded the economic development priorities and goals.

The plan developed by the council has four themes of economic priority:

— Theme I: provide economic development services.
— Theme II: prepare current and future workforce and retain talent in the state.
— Theme III: start, recruit and partner with companies.
— Theme IV: measure and evaluate the overall impact of UA on the statewide economy.

Each of the four priority themes has two to four strategic goals, and the University will work to execute and measure their effectiveness over the five-year period.

“A driving factor in the development of UA’s priorities and goals were the two great assets the University has in advancing the economic well-being of the state; that is the intellectual capacity of our faculty and staff to innovate and address challenges and opportunities, and the superb students we graduate each year as a future vital work-force,“ said Mumper.

Major strategic goals include:

— Providing services and technical assistance centered on planning, leadership and professional development, continuing education, economic development and economic diversification.
— Increasing the number and percentage of UA students remaining in the state after graduation to pursue employment or educational opportunities.
— Developing initiatives and collaborative programs to enhance the skills of Alabama’s workforce.
— Increasing annually the number of UA-based start-up companies in, and graduating from, its incubator facilities.
— Engaging industry and other external partners around core research and service disciplines at UA.
— Helping to recruit knowledge-based and technology-based companies to the state, as well as supporting existing companies in the state.
— Increasing UA’s economic impact on Alabama each year.

The full text of the plan is available on the UA President’s website by selecting “Economic Outreach” under the “Initiatives” menu.


Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328,