Dear William & Mary Community:
We write to provide a brief update on the College’s strategic planning activities¬and to encourage your participation in this process.
The six subcommittees formed around the “grand challenges” defined last year have been actively meeting, gathering data, developing metrics for assessing progress on goals and objectives, and working with the appropriate campus groups to carry out the implementation steps in the plan for this year. For example, the group focusing on the overarching grand challenge of being a leader among liberal arts universities is developing principles for making decisions on the action steps needed to accomplish its important goals. With College goals of increasing by 25% our external research funding and providing greater support to graduate students, the subcommittee on a new financial model has been working with the key stakeholders to develop strategies for reaching them. Overall, the plan has 110 implementation steps for this academic year, some large and some small, which collectively represent a significant agenda for moving the College forward.
The strategic planning process has sought to be broadly inclusive and on its various committees sit faculty, students, staff, administrators, members of the Board of Visitors and the W&M Foundation Board, and alumni. We are a community with many parts and the strategic plan covers many of our aspirations. So, broad participation is needed. We invite your participation in the College’s strategic planning process, which is described at www.wm.edu/strategicplanning There are many ways to contribute to the ongoing discussion:
• Contact any Planning Steering Committee (PSC) member -- listed at http://www.wm.edu/about/administration/strategicplanning/psc/index.php
• Provide ideas to any Dean or Vice President.
• Contact the chair or a member of one of the PSC subcommittees dealing with each challenge – listed at http://www.wm.edu/about/administration/strategicplanning/psc/subcommittees/index.php
• Provide an open comment on the PSC website at http://www.wm.edu/about/administration/strategicplanning/feedback/index.php
• 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, and Alumni Association – all of which are represented on the PSC.
We are particularly interested in your thoughts about the implementation steps we hope to complete by July 2010 (FY10), steps we should implement in FY11, and items we should consider adding to the evolving framework for the following four years (FY12-15). The website includes details about the current steps and the evolving framework, and there is a summary document at http://www.wm.edu/about/administration/strategicplanning/documents/StrategicPlanningProgressReport102909.pdf .
Our strategic planning process has now settled into an annual cycle. Each year in April our roughly forty-member Planning Steering Committee (PSC) recommends to the President implementation steps for the next fiscal year and adjustments in the planning framework for the following four fiscal years. The President reviews that material and makes recommendations to the BOV. He then assigns responsibility for implementation of the approved steps. The person assigned responsibility consults, as appropriate, with faculty, staff, students, alumni, standing committees, etc.
In the fall of each year, PSC subcommittees for each challenge discuss the plan with our various constituencies and receive recommendations for adjustments from Vice Presidents, Deans and selected Program Directors. In January and February, the subcommittees review that input and discuss with the PSC priorities across the possible next steps. In February the President reviews emerging issues with the BOV. In March the PSC provides its recommendations to the President.
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 also be sending out further updates during the year.
Michael R. Halleran and Jim Golden