The position of Czech universities at the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century is briefly described and specific features are emphasized. The academic staff was faced with new challenges as new developments in Czech society took place. Participation in different international programmes and opportunities to obtain relevant information about trends in higher education in Europe and the world have been of crucial importance. This assistance together with changes in home legislation has accelerated the transformation process in Czech higher education. The main part of this paper is an attempt to summarize the response of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB) to the outside world as shown in its development plan. Using UWB as an example of a medium-sized university, the paper describes the process of analysing this university’s potential and its external environment, which led to the formulation of the university’s development plan. In implementing this plan the main aim is to change the attitudes of the staff (both academic and non-academic). Positive results and barriers yet to be overcome are presented.