“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” (George Bernard Shaw)
This month marked the launch of a number of important efforts regarding our strategic plan. Perhaps most significantly for this week, I had tasked a number of faculty and staff with the completion of “scorecards” regarding each of the strategic plan’s five main goals, broken down into thirty-one specific objectives. To refresh your memory of these goals and objectives, please visit:
The scorecards are designed to visually display our progress to date, and include three main components: metrics, milestones, and resources. The metrics section refers to the very specific kinds of things that can be counted. For instance, what was our retention rate (as related to the objective that specifically identifies work to be done with academically at-risk, first generation, and minority students) over the past year? The milestones section places specific dates on the completion of our objectives. Using the same example, our strategic plan demands that our campus achieve a 71% retention by this past Autumn quarter (as based on University enrollment reporting during that period of 2010). And finally, the resources section involves the naming of all sources of support that were supposed to be made available in order to accomplish the objective. Using the example above one more time, our campus was supposed to hire one additional academic advisor as a retention officer.
Great importance is placed on this process within the administrative structure of our university. Strategic plans are used to evaluate how well a given unit or campus is operating within the OSU system, as well as how resources will be distributed in the coming years. Following the completion of our scorecards, we next are going to be asked to update our strategic plan to better reflect the current realities that we are facing. This will demand that we critically examine our scorecards, of course, as well as creating and sustaining conversations about those goals and objectives that require some degree of modification.
What will become particularly interesting is the new twist that we will witness as a regional campus. Because the Mansfield, Marion, Lima, and Newark campuses are now treated as a cluster, we will be asked to develop a strategic plan that speaks directly to our combined goals and objectives. This synthesizing process should prove to be both challenging and rewarding, and will be further enhanced by conversations currently underway regarding the creation of “destination programs” that will mark the uniqueness of each regional campus.
There are both committees and informal groups of faculty and staff members working on various portions of these tasks, and in the weeks and months ahead there will be plenty of opportunities for dialogue about our continued efforts to move from good to great. So please, keep reading my own communications vis-à-vis the “Dean’s List” and “The Week that Was” emails, as well as looking out for correspondence coming from your colleagues. And in the meantime, as always please take the time to enjoy the weekend with family and friends!