Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New strategic plan underway

At the beginning of this academic year, I said I would be working with members of the BU community to create a long-range strategic plan. Our plan, as I envision it, will build upon our legacy of success from previous generations of administration, faculty, staff and students. I'm delighted to say we are making very good progress.

It began in September with the first meeting of the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC), a group representing all sectors of the university community. SPARC was charged with producing preliminary mission, vision and value statements that will eventually be shared with the entire BU community for input.

After completing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, SPARC met for guidance and input with Dr. Madeline Adler, the former president of West Chester University who is now a consultant with Penson Associates Inc. Dr. Adler led West Chester through more than one intensive, successful strategic process during her tenure.

I met Dr. Adler about two years ago at one of my first PASSHE Presidents' meetings after she had announced her retirement. I was impressed with her intelligence and insightfulness and quickly recognized she is a person who is comfortable taking bold actions and setting stretch goals. When the opportunity presented itself, I knew she would be the right person to guide BU through our strategic planning process.

Last week, Dr. Adler visited our campus leading the SPARC team through intense discussions and working sessions to begin to define:
  • "Who we are" as an institution; what makes us distinct from not only the other 13 PASSHE institutions, but from all regional comprehensive universities;

  • What we value as an institution, as demonstrated through our daily actions, interactions and operations; and

  • What we aspire to be as an institution
I'm pleased with the group's hard work and significant progress last week, but there is still much to be done. When the draft statements are completed in January 2010, SPARC members will present them to the entire BU community for review, input and feedback.

SPARC has been charged with leading the strategic planning efforts, but involvement from the entire BU community - faculty, staff, students, alumni and administration - will be the hallmark of developing a successful strategic plan for our future. The greater Bloomsburg community will be consulted as well. As we enter this next phase of development and change at BU, I invite you to participate and become engaged in these strategic planning efforts.

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