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Seattle University


Planning Our Future

Written by Mike Thee
December 4, 2012

Feedback, feedback and more feedback.

That's the best way to describe what's been going on these past few weeks in the strategic planning process. Since the Strategic Planning Council put out its Preliminary Report last month, its co-chairs and members have been consulting with the campus community to collect input.

"I've been very impressed with the feedback we are receiving," Jackie Helfgott, co-chair and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, said. "People have really taken the time to engage with the Preliminary Report and offer very thoughtful input and ideas that will undoubtedly make the final product that much better."

In addition to the Nov. 27 Open Forum, the council has met with eight other campus groups, including the President's Cabinet and the Board of Trustees, to discuss the report. Feedback is also being collected in written form.

The Preliminary Report lays out six areas of emphasis for the next three to five years.

While feedback on the report is still being collected, a number of common threads have emerged. Some of the more frequently repeated suggestions include:

  • Add a preamble to explain how the strategic plan is linked to the SU mission and five strategic priorities (academic excellence; global engagement; great student experience; Catholic, Jesuit character; and investing in faculty and staff excellence).
  • Highlight students more centrally in the plan by addressing how the six areas of emphasis enhance academic excellence and the great student experience.
  • Demonstrate how the strategic plan will increase SU's distinctiveness and reputation.
  • Explain the interrelationship of the six areas of emphasis and prioritize the activities within each area.

 "The council appreciates this feedback and will give careful consideration to these and other ideas that our key stakeholders have brought forward as we move toward creating a strategic plan for Seattle University's next few years," said co-chair Bob Dullea, vice president for university planning and vice provost.

The council is charged with presenting the final plan to the trustees for their February meeting.