Time for a new plan
The university is back in strategic planning mode.
The president kicked off the latest strategic planning exercise with an assembly June 14 in the new Inco Innovation Centre. Another assembly went ahead June 22 at Grenfell College.
Close to 300 people crammed the lecture theatre in St. John’s as Dr. Axel Meisen explained the process that should see a new university strategic framework developed by year’s end.
The university developed strategic frameworks in 1994 and again in 2000.
Dr. Meisen said a new strategic framework is necessary because of changed expectations, changed circumstances, the fact that many of the goals of the 2000 framework have been achieved, and so the university as a whole can have a “new unity of purpose.”
A new plan will confirm the university mission statement, set a direction for the next five to 10 years, identify new goals, actions, priorities and performance indicators, and create a basis for budgetary allocations.
Some examples of issues that could be addressed include global trends, enrolments, the needs and aspirations of students, development of graduate programs, and faculty and staff renewal. While providing these examples, Dr. Meisen stated there will be no attempt to limit the possible areas of inquiry.
Dr. Meisen said the process will be as open and accessible as possible, with a Web site set up to gather input from stakeholders within the university and across the province.
Two committees have been created to implement the planning process: a steering committee to provide general oversight and direction, which will be chaired by Dr. Meisen; and a working group responsible for the day-to-day activities and actions, chaired by Dr. Eddy Campbell, vice-president (academic).
The next step is to form sub-committees or study groups, which will report to the working group, consult with units across the university, gather key issue papers and plan external consultations. A draft plan will be prepared by the working group in the early fall, followed by further assemblies. A document will then be sent to Senate for examination before making its way to the Board of Regents for final approval.
The president said this process is not intended to create a “straightjacket” in which administrative and academic units will be trapped. Rather it is intended to create a framework in which units can set their own strategic goals. “I would very much like the units to do their strategic planning so we can incorporate that into the whole,” he said.
Another assembly was held at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College on Wednesday, June 22.
Details of the Strategic Framework can be viewed at www.mun.ca/strategicplanning/.