Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Mission, Vision & Values

MISSION: To be an open and dynamic environment where the KU community comes together for individual and collective discovery.

VISION: The Union manifests the environments and experiences that make it the destination for what is uniquely KU.


Provide the KU community attractive, welcoming facilities with up-to-date technology, where people gather and spend time.


Provide high-quality event, meeting, and retail experiences for the KU community.

Foster an environment that promotes diversity, inclusion, and access, providing both facility and programmatic components for campus conversations.

Be good stewards of resources through innovative approaches related to operations, maintenance, capital planning, and community engagement.

Facilitate ongoing and effective assessment of programs and services for measured growth and continuous improvement.

Strategic Plan Goals

Key Goals developed in response to KUMU board mission/vision/values statement issued to Union areas during this five-year strategic plan execution; Key Goals submitted to the Chancellor’s Office May 2018.


Secure student fee funding for four-year stair step culminating in $62.50 fee in FY22 for $16M in Kansas Union system improvements for KU’s busiest community center.

Area: Union Administration, Business, Event & Building Services

Build the Union’s campus audience reach through Union media platforms – including the Union web, social media, and Union multimedia - to meet information and service needs of entire KU community at a minimal cost.

Area: Union Marketing, Media & Programs

Complete KU Dining facility/service overhaul to include bulk storage, The Market, Underground and Mrs. E’s production as leverage by increased revenues from retail food/beverage and cost.

Area: KU Dining Services

Sustain and build funding and student leadership levels for Programs (SUA, Big Event, BOCO, KJHK, etc.) in response to existing volunteer and financial pressures.

Area: Union Marketing, Media & Programs

Reposition KU Bookstore for textbook affordability via extensive digital offerings, and establish an effective brick-and-mortar merchandise strategy balanced by enhanced online systems and on-site options.

Area: KU Bookstore


• Integrate systems between the University and Bookstore to deliver digital required course materials at a discounted rate through Learning Management System saving students money and aiding KU IT with courseware integrations.

• Upgrade current bookstore systems, inventory, POS and website, to a system that has financial returns, efficiencies, and customer experience


• Continued focus on marketing strategies that convey student-centric focused services and products to drive traffic into brick-and-mortar stores.

• Manage building system improvements to maximize efficiency and function while minimizing ongoing maintenance demands and operational disruptions.

• Invest in building program improvements to assure community needs are met. Investments guided by enhancing the student experience while increasing traffic to retail operations; generating operating revenues required for ongoing program investment.

• Manage services (Custodial, Maintenance and Event Services) to assure community experience is positive; building systems maintained, spaces are clean and inviting, access to meeting spaces and the support received onsite supports community objectives.

• Establish an overall financial plan and direction that advances revenue enhancement, resource conservation, and fund flexibility to advance Union programs and safeguard Union assets. Useful, timely, and accurate information will be provided to managers and directors enabling them to make appropriate decisions based on the current financial position.

• Manage the cash flow trends of the corporation to maintain liquidity ensuring we can meet all obligations to students, employees, vendors, and the university. This includes consistent and proactive collections, strategic payments, and managing and limiting reliance on long-term debt.

• Assist directors and unit managers in analysis of costs putting forth cost-cutting strategies where applicable. We will assist in determining

and implementing any efficiencies that would benefit the company by cutting costs or reducing headcount while maintaining superior level of service.

• Introduce new plan options that reshape the manner in which students access dining operations across campus.

• Institute active sustainability initiatives through menu design, service-ware, and campus compost programs.

• Transform retail dining in the Kansas Union and Underground locations to increase building traffic through the use of multiple franchised food service operations.

• Implement, analyze and conduct an evolving Diversity and Inclusion program focusing on education and awareness for current employees.

• Increase diversity among full-time staff through recruitment targeting and experiential changes.

• Impact financial resources through competitive pay and benefit initiatives updated each fiscal year.

• Improve employee experience in their daily work responsibilities through a defined and implemented training program(s) to also include a safety focus for all levels to be instituted by 7/1/2019.

• Continue technology enhancements to systems and measure for eectiveness and cost/benefit to Memorial Union.

• Be a key partner for all Union areas to continuously improve Union functions and services through better-managed technology.

• Be a capable and enthusiastic KU IT partner to serve as a campus model for centrally-supported enterprise and innovation.

• Expand in-house marketing opportunities for both internal partners and the campus community.

• Establish a brand standard for the Union and implement it across all areas on an agreed-upon timeline.

• Enhance audience awareness, reach, and feedback opportunities through top-down messaging strategies for all levels of Union employees.

• Develop and manage Union Media with the mobile application space as the primary focus. Use existing platforms and analytics to adapt popular existing platforms and develop new media that can function in the mobile environment.

• Provide better mechanisms for sharing Union Media's respective data insights back to stakeholders to empower better and faster decision-making for Marketing activities and services.

• Implement learning outcomes and pre-professional development through experiential learning opportunities for students involved in leadership roles.

• Provide high-quality programming that supports community building, fosters inclusiveness across campus, and adapts to meet unique needs of KU students.

• Increase campus awareness of The Big Event, SUA, and KJHK in alignment with Union Marketing and Media’s practices and goals.


One of the Union’s primary strengths is the agility

of its areas in planning and execution. In this

context, Union leadership has placed its continued

trust in each Union area (Administration, Business,

Bookstore, Dining, Event & Building Services,

Human Resources, IT and Marketing, Media &

Programs) and its respective director to develop

additional goals and their supporting objectives,

strategies, and tactics to serve the overarching

Union mission, vision, and values. Additional Union

area goals will be reviewed and in consultation of

with the Director of Union.


• May 6, 2017: Corporation board charges

Union areas (Administration, Business,

Bookstore, Dining, Event & Building

Services, Human Resources, and Marketing,

Media & Programs) to convene focus

groups to identify their respective area’s

strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and

threats (SWOT analysis).

• September 9, 2017: Corporation board

approved research and the resulting


• Fall 2017: Union leadership analysis

became the foundation for the Union’s

subsequent eorts in developing its

overarching mission, vision, and values; the

exercise also aided the institution and

Union leadership when identifying goals

and opportunities as part of the ongoing

strategic planning process.

• December 2, 2017: Corporation board

establishes mission, vision, and values using

a graphic illustrator and professional

facilitator. (see graphic below)

• February 2, 2017: The mission, vision, and

values were approved by corporation board.

• 2018-2022: KU Memorial Union

Corporation Strategic Plan represents the

culmination of board and union sta

members working together to provide a

visionary framework for the coming years.

Corporation board establishes mission, vision, and values

using a graphic illustrator and professional facilitator.

The 2018-2022 plan presents our key and

area priority goals to ensure all units are working

together to create programs and services that

meet the needs of our stakeholders.