Monday Minute, April 12, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

I finally had a chance to read your comments in my performance review at the end of last week. My thanks to all who took part in the review; I found your observations useful. Many of you conveyed your eagerness to start setting strategic priorities, and I am eager too.

A little over a week ago, I sent a strategic planning charge to our academic and research/outreach units, with questions about competitive advantage, strategic direction, and tactical approach that I wanted each unit to address as we prepare ourselves for the changes coming in the years ahead. In the next several Monday Minutes, I want to give you my sense of what some of those challenges and opportunities will be and what they might mean for higher education generally and for our college in particular. I also look forward to hearing your thoughts, as I visit with you in various departmental, staff, and center meetings in the coming weeks, as well as with the Faculty Assembly on May 17, 2010.

Strategic planning needs to occur not just at the unit level, but at the college level as well, In the coming weeks I will lay out a planning process for the college, which will also involve our college advisory board. So many of the challenges we face are shared by organizations of all sorts, and our advisory board members' expertise will be invaluable.

All of this work depends upon good communication, so don't hesitate to ask questions, share insights, and propose ideas. One of the values of strategic planning lies in how it strengthens organizations and builds community in the process, and that is one opportunity we should not pass up.

Tom

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