STRATEGIC PLANNING IN THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES An Interview with Brad Martin, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Why did the College undertake strategic planning? David Lux, Dean of the College for its first decade, left us in great shape. He really created the College of Arts and Sciences. Back in February as we started our second decade, we realized the time was ripe to do great things. Now is an excellent opportunity to get faculty all on the same page, to take advantage of our unique partnership with the College of Business, and to move forward. Can you talk about the process? Our Dean, Wendy Samter, wanted to assemble a group that broadly represented our College in terms of qualitative and quantitative disciplines, gender, and levels of experience, and so the initial Task Force lineup was Interim Associate Dean Brad Martin, Professor John Dietrich (History & Social Sciences), Professor Terri Hasseler (English & Cultural Studies), Associate Professor Kirsten Hokeness (Science & Technology), and Associate Professor Edinaldo Tebaldi (Economics). Since most of us were new to strategic planning our initial meetings included a couple of consultants with experience in the process. After our initial focus groups, we did some research on competitors. We wanted to try to expand our thinking and our boundaries, so in addition to our traditional competitors like Bentley University, we also looked at what nationally prominent liberal arts colleges are doing. How did you involve the faculty? Most of our early discussions revolved around building enrollments, enhancing academic quality, generating awareness of our programs, and building a sense of community. We formed five key work groups: Curriculum, Academic Quality, Student Outcomes, Graduate Education, and Community. Faculty members were free to choose the work group or groups in which they wanted to participate. The work groups conducted a lot of research into effective models and examples at other institutions and produced reports that the work group leaders brought back to the original Task Force. The Task Force is currently working to shape and refine a single consistent document that articulates the rationale and the data that support our most important strategic recommendations. Look for a final document by the end of the semester. The plan wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be released until the end of the semester, but can you preview some of the notable findings and recommendations? Well, look for improvements to help faculty and students conduct research more efficiently, look for ideas about how to use campus spaces to build community in CAS, look for new ways to leverage our traditional strengths, and look for innovative ideas about how to get the message out about who our faculty and students are and the great things that they do!
A VERY WELCOMING RECEPTION September 24, 2015