Strategic plan revisions under way

Christina Stavale

Amid building renovations and new class schedules, students and faculty will be welcomed back in the fall with impending changes to the university’s strategic plan.

The strategic plan, according to the university Web site, is “a way of guiding many kinds of work across the university.”

President Lester Lefton, who was preparing to leave the country for a month on university business, said in an e-mail interview that he first suggested changes in the strategic plan to Faculty Senate leaders in mid-April, and he is asking for faculty feedback by Oct. 15.

Cheryl Casper, chair of Faculty Senate, said the strategic plan has several components to it, including the university’s mission statement, vision statement and strategic goals. Lefton’s plan, she said, is to make “modest changes.”

“I do not expect that it will be terribly different than what we have now, but it will focus more on aspiring to excellence both in classroom and the laboratory,” Lefton said.

Casper said a strategic planning committee of about 70 people has been working on these changes. The committee, she said, includes individuals representing different academic areas who will discuss the changes with their own units and faculty.

“I don’t anticipate much discussion during the summer,” she said.

However, she said come fall semester, she hopes there will be enough time for this discussion.

“We’re not starting from scratch,” she said. “It’s more a matter of revisiting.”

Casper said the university’s strategic plan was last revised in May 2004, and these changes coming earlier than normal is a good thing in order to bring the university in tune with Lefton’s goals.

Lefton said this process reenergizes the faculty’s attention on the universities “core value.”

“Any results that might occur will only affect students in a positive way as the document is focusing our (energies) towards our students – our key constituents.”

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].