Input to W&M's Six Grand Challenges

TO: Provost Geoff Feiss, co-chair, W&M Strategic Planning Committee
FROM: Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly
DATE: March 3, 2009
RE: Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly's Contributions to the Goals & Objectives for the W&M Strategic Plan's Six Grand Challenges

The Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly (PPFA) thanks the W&M Strategic Planning Committee for the opportunity to contribute suggested goals and objectives for the College's Six Grand Challenges.

To tackle this project, we:

  • divided the 21-member PPFA into six teams, one for each challenge
  • created a Blackboard wiki on which PPFA members could exchange ideas
  • held team meetings, both in-person and virtually
  • invited input from all of the 460+ W&M professionals and professional faculty – via email notices, postings on the Assembly's webpage, and a general meeting on February 18.

The exercise has provided the PPFA with two benefits: the opportunity to work collaboratively and to identify partnerships for future projects; and the chance to learn about each others' responsibilities and expertise – we are a richly diverse group!

We are not satisfied that we have found all, or even most, of the best ideas. We had discussed producing a document with many fewer goals and objectives, limiting them to the "big picture" and "W&M culture-changing" types, but that required more discussions and consensus, and time was lacking.

We will therefore continue to review the attached ideas and develop new ideas, especially as we complete the PPFA's own 2009-2010 goals and objectives and as we participate in other campus decisions and projects. We also look forward in each ensuing year to contributing new ideas and perspectives to W&M's evolving Strategic Plan.

Contributions to the College of William and Mary Strategic Plan Draft from the Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly (PPFA)
March 3, 2009

GOAL I. We must provide more robust support for research, promoting collaborations between faculty and students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels and among departments, programs, and schools.


a. Increase funding for more faculty/student collaboration on research by X% per year to reach a level comparable to our peer institutions.

b. Survey faculty and students for strengths and weaknesses in existing collaborative structures by December 31, 2009, and implement at least two improvements to correct weaknesses by July 1, 2010.

c. Evaluate / assess 5-course load vs. 4-course load relative to goals of curriculum vs. goals of research / collaboration by January 1, 2010.

d. Develop incentives to encourage collaboration between departments, programs, and schools and conduct follow-up assessment to determine the effectiveness of the incentive by January 1, 2010.

GOAL II. We must encourage the integration of international perspectives into our teaching and scholarship and support student and faculty engagement in global knowledge networks.


a. Gain a better understanding of the definition of "global knowledge networks" and establish related benchmarks for the integration of international perspectives.

b. Survey the schools/departments to determine the level of international perspectives currently being taught and establish schools/department and faculty development benchmark goals for 2012, 2015...

c. Provide professional development opportunities for faculty to teach them ways of incorporating international perspectives into their courses.

GOAL III. We must recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainability.


a. Develop and enforce policies mandating increased conservation of resources and energy across campus by setting to reduce use of resources and energy by X% per year and assessing subsequent successes and failures and adjust policies accordingly. Policy goals should be set by June 30, 2010.

b. Develop by June 30, 2010, an annual incentive program to reward departments and offices who decrease their energy usage and waste by X%

c. Submit multiple grant requests annually to install energy saving devices and / or energy producing technology across campus.

d. Provide funding for faculty and students to conduct research in energy conservation and sustainability by no later than July 1, 2010.

GOAL IV. We must build stronger connections between student experiences within and beyond the classroom, ensuring students' personal as well as intellectual development.


a. Survey current students, faculty and staff to identify perceived impediments.

b. Survey comparable institutions for best practices in this area.

c. Develop a better understanding of the needs, expectations, and challenges of the non-traditional students we've committed to bring to William & Mary by surveying current non-traditional students about unmet needs and unnecessary obstacles.

d. By June 30, 2010, use above survey results to develop strategies and policies across the board to facilitate the success of non-traditional students, such as:

(1) Increase existing funding that defrays students' internship and service-learning expenses by X% per year.

(2) Create incentives for faculty to work with students to receive credit for tying internship experience to academic theory.

(3) Increase the number of local internships available for students by X% per year.

(4) Develop more structured internships to facilitate the connection between academic theory and practice

GOAL V. We must reach beyond campus to the larger world, using the university's intellectual resources to engage public issues and serve local, regional, national, and global communities.


a. Increase by X% the percentage of students participating in internships by making it easier to obtain credit-bearing internships and, as suggested elsewhere, increase the funding available to support students in non-corporate internships.

b. Increase use of the William & Mary DC office for co-curricular purposes by X%.

c. Increase by X% the number of students who study, intern, or volunteer abroad and the number of faculty involved in international programs.

d. Increase by X% the number of students and faculty involved with the Sharpe Community Partners program and Office of Volunteer Services.

e. Establish above goals by June 30, 2010.

GOAL VI. We must attract the best students and guarantee access for the most talented applicants regardless of the ability to pay.


a. Determine a methodology to assess optimally this goal.

b. Develop a Transfer Advising Program equivalent to the Freshman Advising Program and tailored to meet the needs of this population, by June 30, 2010.

c. Increase graduate stipend funding to reach the mean of William & Mary's SCHEV peer group by June 30, 2012.

GOAL VII. We must attract and retain outstanding staff and superb faculty, teachers and scholars who are committed, creative, and productive.


a. Benchmark professional and professional faculty salaries and benefits of top-tier liberal arts institutions and our peer institutions, by June 30, 2010. Adjust William & Mary professional and professional faculty salaries and benefits to attract the best applicants.

b. Conduct broad searches that attract the best talent; analyze recent searches (number of applicants, number of internal applicants, where external applicants are coming from).

c. Attract and retain a more diverse faculty (instructional and professional) to mentor undergraduate and graduate students, increasing diversity by X% by June 30, 2012.

GOAL VIII. We must ensure that students get the close attention they need and faculty have the support they need to pursue original research.


a. Evaluate faculty's 5-course load vs. 4-course load relative to goals of curriculum vs. goals of research, collaboration, and publication, by June 30, 2011. This could include developing benchmark data by surveying the college community regarding its teaching and research workload.

b. Increase opportunities for partnerships among professionals and professional faculty, instructional faculty, and operational staff to enhance student learning, scholarship, and teaching, with at least 2 new opportunities per year.

c. Increase support for Swem as a research library with sufficient academic resources available to support faculty, undergraduate, and graduate research.

GOAL I. Expand diversity in the ranks of professionals and professional faculty.


a. Increase the percentage of professionals and professional faculty from underrepresented groups from XX% to XX% by 2012.

b. Develop and implement at least two new initiatives each year to network and recruit candidates for professional and professional faculty positions; these could include internships (for W&M and non-W&M students), recruitment trips to other universities; expanded postings; and improved housing/child care options for new employees.

c. Evaluate departments with demonstrated diversity and create a 'best practices' guide for recruiting a more diverse pool of applicants for professional and professional faculty positions by June 30, 2010.

GOAL II. Increase participation in campus-wide diversity initiatives.


a. Secure a Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly seat on the College's campus-wide diversity committee.

GOAL III. Foster inclusiveness among staff on campus.


a. Measure the diversity of employees on campus committees and organizations and establish new diversity goals by June 30, 2010.

b. Host regular networking opportunities for professionals/professional faculty from across the College.

c. Establish a campus-wide diversity training program for faculty and staff by June 30, 2010.

d. Seek resources to increase the visibility and activity of all College-recognized diversity groups.

GOAL IV. Increase support and improve climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, staff and students.


a. Provide domestic partner benefits to all staff and faculty that meet other requirements for family coverage by June 30, 2010.

b. Add gender identity and expression to the non-discrimination policy of the College by June 30, 2009.

GOAL I. To establish a comprehensive communication strategy that includes all college constituencies (students, parents, community, faculty, staff and alumni).


a. Develop a process for integrative messaging that begins with the student experience from the first inquiry through graduation and alumni relations by December 31, 2009.

b. Assess existing partnerships in key areas that advance the educational environment (e.g., Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, Volunteer Services, Career Services, Study Abroad, Academic Advising, Swem Library, off-campus agencies, etc.). Create an oversight committee to improve current programs to inspire lifelong commitment and evaluate the broader scope of programmatic impact. By including the community we will also diversify our students' experiences outside of the classroom, and expand the scope of "community" that we discuss. Complete by June 30, 2010.

c. Develop and implement a plan for educating faculty and staff on the college's mission, vision and objectives by June 30, 2010.

GOAL II. To work with Alumni Relations in order to strengthen alumni involvement.


a. Explore ways to enrich the alumni experience that will result in increased financial support from our alumni to include the development of collaborative programs to get alumni involved in the educational process. For example: invite alumni to sit on panels and participate in various educational programs, create mentor programs, utilize technology to create social networking opportunities, etc. This will help build closer relationships and strengthen the sense of community. Establish an initial plan by June 30, 2010.

b. Develop by June 30, 2010, a communication strategy that connects all campus constituents who involve alumni in their programs, to include a committee to oversee collaborative program efforts.

c. Develop by June 30, 2010, a college-wide process to capture data on alumni involvement in various educational programs.

d. Develop by June 30, 2010, a plan to create a consistent, college-wide social networking strategy.

GOAL III. To outline how programs are currently meeting specific learning objectives and identifying areas of personal development for our students.


a. By December 31, 2009, form a coordinating committee to determine if these objectives are being met throughout the student's college experience from orientation through graduation. For example, we can utilize and connect current committees -- First-Year Experience Task Force, Orientation Advisory Board -- and include others that can assess the student experience beyond the first year.

b. By June 30, 2010, establish a process to assess new opportunities for faculty collaboration with professional faculty to enhance program learning objectives.

GOAL I. Analyze the costs of the programs to see if certain costly programs can be reduced or eliminated.


a. Ask each campus department to identify by December 31, 2009, 1 to 3 programs that could be reduced or eliminated, but ideally with staff in those programs moving to existing vacancies in the university so that jobs are not lost. An oversight committee, with representatives from all types of employees, would review the proposed cuts and make recommendations to the President.

GOAL II. Develop an aspect of the business plan that focuses on conservation; provide incentives to offices and departments that reduce energy usage and reduce waste.


a. By June 30, 2010, establish benchmarks for energy conservation and recycling. Develop incentives, such as offering a day off for the office/department that decreases to the greatest extent the percentage of waste and energy use each month, or offering a half day off for the office that maintains their percentage of decrease for 3 months.

GOAL III. Review areas that generate revenue and develop a business plan to increase existing fee-based programming and identify new opportunities. Examples would be Conference Services, professional and executive education, distance education, expanded course offerings on weekends and summers, an alumni college, access to research materials.


a. By June 30, 2010, the relevant program areas will submit business plans to achieve this objective.

GOAL IV. Analyze the process of campus departments charging other departments for services (e.g., Facilities charging for repairs; Parking charging for signage) to see if a simplified system would save staff time and costs.


a. By December 31, 2009, produce a report outlining possible staff time savings and other efficiencies.

GOAL V. Increase efficiencies, especially in time savings, by having the campus use one integrated email-calendar system and uniform office software.


a. By June 30, 2010, have all schools and departments using uniform email address and calendar systems and the same office software versions to expedite sharing of files.

GOAL VI. Increase efficiencies, also in time savings, by offering more computer training for employees to learn effective use of email, calendar, and other software and to reduce help calls to IT.


a. By December 31, 2010, have each department identify training needs and objectives. By June 30, 2010, have staff help calls to IT reduced by 20%.

GOAL I. Provide the human and material resources necessary to operate the College's administrative and academic support functions with the high level of expertise, efficiency and cooperation required for a modern liberal arts research university.


a. Ensure that all employees receive excellent supervision, with clear and frequent communications between supervisors and employees and fair evaluations.

Target completion: July 1, 2010

Metric: All employees have annual written goals and an annual evaluation; all supervisors and employees meeting at least 4 times during the year to assess and discuss progress.

b. Help managers and supervisors develop the skills to realign their responsibilities so that they have time to manage and supervise, including developing long-range plans and coaching their employees to improve job skills and work performance.

Target completion: July 1, 2011

Metric: All managers/ supervisors realigning responsibilities to have at least 50% of their time for management and supervision responsibilities.

c. Attract and retain employees by increasing staff salary levels to the same percentile as that requested for faculty salaries at a minimum.

Target completion: July 1, 2014

Metric: All (except for performance-based exceptions) salaries at or above mid-point.

d. Implement Phase I of Training and Development Program contained in the University Human Resources System report.

Target completion: July 1, 2010

Metric: Completion of Phase 1 goals

e. Enhance opportunities for Professionals and Professional Faculty (PPF) to contribute to the College mission by ensuring PPF representation on all relevant campus committees.

Target completion: July 1, 2009

Metric: PPF representation on all relevant committees.

f. Develop processes and procedures for more accountability on all levels. These could include having departments develop and post annual goals; have committees write and post minutes with assignments clearly identified, etc.

g. Optimize the College organizational structure by consolidating and/or eliminating duplicative efforts. Enable this determination by analyzing the College organization and codifying the analysis in an organization chart and a supporting organization and functions manual which documents the coordinated missions for each department and division.

Target completion: July 1, 2010

Metric : Completed organizational chart; coordinate organization and functions analysis which lists duplicate functions eligible for consolidation/elimination.
Target completion: July 1, 2012

Metric: Consolidation/elimination of all identified inefficiencies.

GOAL II. Provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the community and manage the broad spectrum of risks inherent in the work of the College.


a. Conduct campus exterior lighting /emergency phone assessment and install additional units as necessary.

Target completion: January 1, 2011

Metric: Identify and allocate resources by July 1, 2010; complete study January 1, 2011; construction dependent upon funding requirements

b. Improve emergency notification systems

Improve wireless coverage on campus by installing additional cell towers

Install digital signage in classrooms and other high traffic spaces

Install public enunciation systems in large buildings

Target completion: July 1, 2012

Metric: Identify and allocate resources by July 2010; complete study January 1, 2011; construction dependent upon funding requirement

c. Establish Emergency Preparedness Office

Target completion: July 1, 2010

Metric: Funding allocated not later than July 1, 2009; staff hired no later than July 1, 2010; office fully operational not later than December 1, 2010.

GOAL III. Improve the condition of current facilities so that they operate in a manner sufficient to support the College's core mission.


a. Increase facility maintenance funding to 2.5% CPV (Current Plant Value)

Target completion: July 1, 2019

Metric: 10% of required increase to be allocated by July each FY

b. Establish and fund a residence hall improvement program on a 20-year cycle for major renovations.

Target completion: July 1, 2029

Metric: Fund zero bond program by 2019; initial buildings complete

c. Implement a university-wide space inventory system that documents function and use of facilities.

Target completion: July 1, 2011

Metric: Staff in place; software programmed and useable

GOAL IV. Provide a robust and dynamic infrastructure for campus-wide information technology systems needed to support the academic program and administrative functions


a. Implement Information Technology's Strategic Initiatives. At a minimum, the initiatives must include the following:

(1) Modernize Jones Hall computer facility by adding a new machine room and reconfiguring and replacing all power and HVAC systems.

Target completion: July 1, 2012

Metric: Computer center addition and power/HVAC renovation complete.

(2) Replace legacy PBX and voice mail systems with a modern Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telecommunications system.

Target completion: July 1, 2014

Metric: Legacy PBX and VOIP systems installed and functioning

(3) Implement and enhance software systems to manage revenue by implementing a consolidated campus electronic storefront to manage all credit card sales and billing processes and providing software package to manage campus event scheduling and associated billing processes.

Target completion: July 1, 2010

Metric: Electronic storefront and event management software operational

GOAL V. Ensure that the College has the type and quality of facilities needed to explore, teach and learn in the 21st century and which present the College in a competitive light for prospective faculty and students.


a. Develop a BOV-approved comprehensive facilities and infrastructure master plan for the College.

Target completion: February 1, 2012

Metric: BOV-approved plan published on Charter Day

b. Fund, staff, and execute a classroom management program that melds technology, use, maintenance and upgrades into a cohesive effort.

Target completion: July 1, 2014

Metric: Fund stream allocated by July 1, 2010; staff hired January 1, 2011; all classrooms scheduled by July 1, 2014

GOAL VI. Meet the challenges of sustainability in a rapidly changing global environment and limited natural resources through planning, education and actions that meet the College's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.


a. Develop, fund and execute an energy conservation program for all facilities. Promote means for the curriculum to encourage and promote faculty, student and staff support and participation.

Target completion: July 1, 2019

Metric: Funding allocated by July 1, 2010; First building upgrades complete by July 1, 2019

b. Require sustainability initiatives to be self-sustaining (revenue neutral).

Target completion: July 1, 2009

Metric: Formal policy signed by President in place.

c. Update the College's Storm Water Master Plan for the next 25 years and program improvements in support of the College Master Plan.

Target completion: July 1, 2011

Metric: Funding allocated by July 1, 2010; Plan approved by DEQ July 1, 2011

GOAL VII. Protect and maintain the aesthetic appearance of the College.


a. Develop, fund, and staff a custodial program targeted at increasing building appearance from moderate dinginess to ordinary tidiness (as defined by APPA)

Target completion: July 1, 2012

Metric: Funding allocated by July 1, 2010; staffing and equipment in place by July 1, 2011; improvement institutionalized by July 1, 2012

b. Create, fund, and staff a sustainable exterior maintenance plan for facilities and landscape.

Target completion: July 1, 2011

Metric: Funding allocated by July 1, 2010; plan in place and work initiated by July 1, 2011.

c. Restore and maintain visible iconic features; e.g. Sunken Garden and Crim Dell.

Target completion: July 1, 2012

Metric: Funding allocated by July 1, 2010; staffing and equipment in place by July 1, 2011; improvement institutionalized by July 1, 2012

GOAL I. The College will develop an effective training and communication program so that all W&M employees have a clear understanding and the ability to articulate W&M's top priorities.


a. To ensure success on an ongoing basis, schedule continuous training and communication processes, with annual assessments to evaluate the success of the training and its output. By June 30, 2010.

b. Continue to increase the College's "transparency" initiatives to ensure that all College community members are aware of new policies and given an opportunity to have input.

GOAL II. Professionals and professional faculty will take an active role in developing the College's mission and vision and in communicating the mission and vision within the College's community and to our outside constituencies.


a. On an ongoing basis, the Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly will collect mission, vision, and strategic plan ideas from professionals and professional faculty. The Assembly will provide those ideas to College administration and use them to inform the Assembly's own goals and objectives. Examples of ways in which these ideas will be collected:

  • via discussions and surveys.
  • appointment by the Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly of one Assembly member to each university area (e.g., academic advising, business school, information technology, law school, library, etc.) where the member will serve as a liaison between that area and the Assembly.

b. The Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly will share and exchange ideas with College officials and other employees, and promote partnerships, via:

  • joint meetings with groups such as the Faculty Assembly, Hourly and Classified Employees Association, etc.
  • collaborative projects to achieve College goals and objectives.
  • inclusion, in a proportionate number, of professionals/professional faculty on search committees for upper-level College administrators.
GOAL III. The Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly will communicate effectively its goals and encourage participation by professionals and professional faculty.


a. Host a series of cross-divisional and interdisciplinary forum discussions that promote dialogue on issues of interest to professionals and professional faculty, by December 31, 2009.

b. Invite College administrators and other interested parties to Professionals and Professional Faculty Assembly meetings to discuss and share ideas, gather feedback, learn about College issues, etc.

c. Feature the activities, accomplishments, and significant happenings related to professionals and professional faculty in College newspapers, web pages, email notices, and alumni publications.

d. Help professionals and professional faculty expand their knowledge and roles, including networking with other professionals and professional faculty and with other College constituencies.