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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strategic Planning Update/October

On September 27, I announced my plans for a comprehensive strategic planning process and announced the creation of the Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning position. Within the next week to 10 days, I plan to announce the new faculty fellow and announce the membership of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. I have a strong candidate pool from which to choose the Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning.

Today I'm writing to ask for your help in creating the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Based upon my experience, a strategic planning process can only be effective to the extent that it involves a large majority of the campus in the planning process. Much of that work will be done at the collegiate or administrative unit level, but it is also important that a steering committee be appointed to assist in the structuring of the work assignments and in the evaluation and prioritization of the opportunities that present themselves through the various phases of the planning effort. Many of you have had important roles in the campus and others are emerging leaders who would like a more active role in planning our future. Please send nominations or self-nominations for the Strategic Planning Steering Committee directly to me at chan@d.umn.edu by noon Monday, October 18. I am hoping for a committed group of people from all campus governance and employee groups. Students will also be represented on the committee. We will begin meetings soon and will meet regularly between now and the end of the spring semester.

Last week, I announced an organizational structure to create a more inclusive campus environment. This effort is in response to racial, homophobic, and sexist incidents on campus. These events should provide all of us with the opportunity to measure our own actions and to create a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive to all of our faculty, staff, and students. Through this process we will develop action plans to improve the climate on campus for everyone.

Both initiatives, strategic planning and inclusive campus environment, will be integrated into our campus governance structure. For example, drafts of the new strategic plan will be shared with our governance groups for input. If new policies are suggested related to campus environment, these policies will be vetted and formalized through our current campus governance procedures. During a recent meeting with the Executive Committee of the Campus Assembly, I was asked if there were other initiatives that I would be announcing soon. My somewhat facetious answer was, "I hope not." These are the two main initiatives for 2010-2011. Of course there are other areas which need our attention. However, it's most important this academic year to focus first on planning and on creating an inclusive environment within which we can do our best work.

Lendley C. Black, Chancellor