We are moving forward on several fronts. We have an active discussion about W&M as a leading liberal arts university in the 21st century that is well underway. We will soon begin enrollment in a new minor in marine science. We have established a cross-disciplinary center for Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for K-12 teachers. Our students have led the way in finding new opportunities to build and celebrate W&M as a lifetime experience, including changes to Welcome Week, Convocation and Charter Day Weekend. We plan to break ground this summer on the new student residence next to the WaWa on Richmond Road. We completed a comprehensive review of communications at W&M and implemented a number of changes, including the merger of two units into a new Office of Creative Services.
Those are just a few of the 102 implementation steps we identified for this year. And that is just the beginning. Each year the six subcommittees formed around the “grand challenges,” will continue their work in developing implementation steps for the coming academic year. For next year the subcommittees and the Planning Steering Committee (PSC) are developing fewer but more focused implementation steps. And in order to measure our progress, a subcommittee on assessment, in conjunction with the individual subcommittees and the entire PSC, has been developing and refining measures that would constitute a “dashboard” of the major areas covered in the strategic plan.
We are very pleased with the active engagement by the whole community in the process—not only in the individual subcommittees, but also in a Faculty Assembly retreat on the priorities in the leading liberal arts university grand challenge, comments and suggestions from alumni, and, especially, the participation of students. Both a graduate and an undergraduate course in the Mason School of Business used analysis of the strategic plan as part of their work last fall; the next event for the liberal arts university (on March 23rd) will be led by student panelists, and the Student Assembly is planning a discussion of the evolving strategic plan next month.
As you know, the strategic planning process seeks to be broadly inclusive, with its various committees comprising faculty, students, staff, administrators, members of the Board of Visitors and the W&M Foundation Board, and other alumni. And we continue to welcome your participation in the College’s strategic planning process. There are many ways to contribute to the ongoing discussion. For those of you on campus it may be easiest to:
All of you can also:
- Provide an open comment on the PSC website.
- Channel ideas through one of our formal organizations, including the Faculty Assembly, HACE, the Professional and Professional Faculty Assembly, the Student Assembly, the Graduate Student Council, the W&M Foundation and the Alumni Association – all of which are represented on the PSC.
- E-mail Jim Golden at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will forward your ideas to the appropriate subcommittee.
The PSC has identified liaisons to each of our constituencies – faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, leadership boards and other supporters. The liaisons look for opportunities to gather feedback and routinely report to the full PSC. We will continue those formal efforts to reach out, but we hope you will use any of the ways outlined above to let us know your ideas. We will be sending out a further update later this year.
Michael R. Halleran and Jim Golden