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Alumnus Facilitates Strategic Planning for College

Gilberto Moreno leads the College of Engineering in a workshop that will help the college develop its strategic plan
Gilberto Moreno leads the College of Engineering
in a workshop that will help the college develop its
strategic plan
Photo courtesy of UTEP.
The College of Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso has engaged one of its former graduates to help facilitate the development of a strategic plan that will guide the college’s development over the next 3-5 years.

“The strategic plan will be the roadmap for our efforts over the next 3-5 years to position the College as the place to go if you are interested in a diverse workforce,” said Dr. Richard Schoephoerster, Dean of the College of Engineering. “It will also serve as a model for the integration of engineering education, research, practice and entrepreneurship.”

When the college looked for expert assistance, it didn’t have to look far. Gilbert Moreno, an engineering graduate, has been helping companies, public agencies and non-governmental organizations develop their strategic plans since 1993.

Currently a Senior Consulting Engineer for Prestige Consulting Services, Gilbert Moreno graduated from UTEP in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with an Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering option. “The newly available Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering option just kind of caught my attention, said Moreno.” He went on to earn a Master’s in Operations Research from the University of Notre Dame.

After graduation, while working at IBM, Moreno naturally gravitated toward the systems planning side of his job. “I’ve just always been intrigued with the people aspect of Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering leading me to my interest in organizational strategic planning. A lot of people ask me why I’m not doing classical engineering. I tell them I am doing engineering. It deals with systems, people, processes and it deals with the way you look at the world.”

Moreno’s enthusiasm for organizational strategic planning is what led him and his wife to establish Prestige Consulting Services. The company now has offices in El Paso and Austin and soon to include Palo Alto. With clients from across the US and Mexico, it counts UTEP among its client base successfully completing projects for the College of Business, Health Science, Engineering, as well as Information Systems and the Provost Office.

Moreno, who was engaged to facilitate development of a strategic plan, says the comprehensive planning process was developed by a Strategic Planning Task Force comprised of faculty and staff members and included feedback from the Engineering Leadership Council and the Dean’s Advisory Board, which is made up of community members, industry, and alumni.

The college also integrated survey feedback from staff, faculty, students and alumni including what they perceived to be the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and things to avoid in establishing the strategic plan.

According to Moreno, the survey feedback and one-on-one meetings with the different stakeholder groups culminated in a list of cross-cutting issues for the college. Those issues were used to reach consensus on a strategic plan that included not only a definition of strategic goals and objectives but a revisiting of the college’s mission, vision and core values.

Complete with the planning stage of the process, the college is now working to put the strategic plan into action. Specific details about the college’s strategic plan will be announced this fall.

“People that didn’t have a significant opportunity to be part of this initial strategic thinking and planning process can still get engaged in the continuous refinement and implementation of the plan,” said Moreno. “I hope they get as excited as the leadership at the College of Engineering about the College’s strategic direction.”