Vision for the Future

Jason Pierce, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, hosted three presentations in May to share the College's new strategic plan.

Developed during the 2015-16 academic year with the participation of about 100 faculty and staff, the College Strategic Plan 2020 provides a “road map” for the future of the University’s largest academic unit.

“It provides a vision for our academic community and strategies for the College to more fully realize its mission,” Pierce said.

Pierce formally presented the plan and led discussion about its goals, strategies and initiatives at the three open sessions, which were attended by dozens of faculty and staff.

The plan will be finalized in coming months for internal distribution. A separate version also will be prepared to share with external audiences.
The plan focuses on seven goals identified last fall by faculty and staff in a number of open forums during the first phase of the process.
Those goals, developed in accordance with the University's Transitional Strategic Plan, are:

  • Advance the Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Improve Student Success, Retention and Persistence Toward Graduation
  • Encourage Outstanding Scholarship, Artistic Production or Performance, and Interdisciplinary Research
  • Strengthen Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning
  • Realize Inclusive Excellence
  • Expand Global Learning
  • Promote the Stewardship of Resources and Space

The second phase started in January, with working groups identifying nearly 50 key action initiatives for the goals.

The meetings were facilitated by Strategic Leadership Associates Inc., a Dayton-based firm with experience helping organizations develop strategic plans, including UD.

Pierce praised faculty and staff for working on an “aggressive timetable” from January through March to finalize the College plan so they can focus on the University-wide visioning process President-designate Eric F. Spina plans to launch later this year.

“The working groups responded earnestly to my invitation for bold realism; that is, identify goals that will challenge and stretch us as an academic community, but that are also achievable over the next four years,” Pierce said.

The College Advisory Council, a group of alumni and friends of the College that provides advice, counsel and assistance, also gave feedback on an earlier draft of the plan.

During April, working groups created action plans detailing how to move each initiative forward.

Pierce said he has enjoyed presenting the results of this wide-ranging, collaborative process, and hearing feedback from faculty and staff.

“The working groups have invested significant time and effort over the last few months forging strategies and initiatives that address the seven goals. Before finalizing the plan, I’m eager to share this work with the larger College community.”

View the latest draft of the strategic plan (googledoc) >

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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