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Update 2

Hello to all of you:

As promised in my last e-mail on strategic planning, this is the second of many updates to come concerning the Strategic Planning Process.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is hard at work planning focus groups, reviewing the mission, vision, and core values of WC and doing homework for the strategic planning process. The Committee has been meeting every other week on Mondays from 3pm to 4:30pm. So far, we have a working timeline that will allow us to do a soft implementation with data collection during Spring 2016 with full plan implementation during Fall 2016.

The committee also has made some slight wording changes to the mission, vision, and core values and later this week, we will be posting those edits to the Strategic Planning website for your review. In addition, we are in process of scheduling 14 facilitated focus groups that kick off in early April with faculty, staff, students, alumni, Wilmington Yearly Meeting and local business leaders. All faculty and staff will receive an e-mail with a survey link that will allow them to have input to the same questions being used in the focus groups. This survey is also planned for the month of April.

Once the data collection is complete, the Steering Committee will spend the summer and early fall interpreting the data and establishing the 4-6 key focus areas and objectives of our 2020 strategic plan. Our plan is to have a draft document available for review and comment in October 2015.

To stay up to date with the latest information, please go to our College website and visit our Strategic Planning website. There you will find a webpage that we will be updating throughout the process. If you have input for the Steering Committee, please feel free to send your feedback or ideas to StrategicPlanning@wilmington.edu. Data from this e-mail address will be compiled with the results from the focus groups and all employee surveys.

We’re off to a very good start and I would like to encourage you to participate in the small focus groups if asked to do so or to complete the survey once it is rolled out to the wider campus community. Thanks for your help and participation in this very important process!

With great respect for you all,

Jim R


Update 1

Hello to you all:

I wanted to provide an update on the beginning stages of our Strategic Planning process.

As many of you are aware, I sent out a call for volunteers for individuals to be part of a Strategic Planning Steering Committee at the close of last semester and received about 35 responses from individuals who were interested in being part of this group. After the holiday break, Bob Touchton and I sat and reviewed the list and tried to select a small group of people who were familiar with the College and the previous planning processes and/or had a background in strategic planning/institutional research. Bob and I invited six individuals to join us as part of the Steering Committee – Erika Goodwin, Terry Johnson, Patricia Thomas, Katie Bontrager, Monte Anderson, and Jean Mulhern. Bob and I felt that these individuals represented the majority of constituency groups on campus and would be able to help to organize many of the constituency groups to be part of the process as we continue on our path this semester.

The Steering Committee met this past week for the first time and reaffirmed that this process should be as broadly based and inclusive as possible, gathering input from both our campus community as well as those friends of the College who are not physically a part of the campus at this time. In addition, we discussed the best way to involve many of the individuals who volunteered to help in our first request for volunteers. We intend to use the good will of these and others on campus to help us to facilitate gathering information and guidance on our way forward during the remainder of the semester as well as the summer.

We have scheduled our next two meetings (Monday, March 9th and Monday, March 23rd) and will use those meetings to begin to structure our process of gathering the various constituency groups for their input into the Strategic Plan. We will also use our internal human resources to begin an environmental scan of where we are now and the landscape of higher education in the future as it pertains to WC in order to help us to frame our discussions with the members and friends of the Wilmington College community.

So, I would ask that all of you begin to think about our College and its future – and be willing and anxious to provide input to this process as we organize the discussions going forward. This will not be a quick process – anytime that we wish to gather input from as many individuals as possible, we have to be willing to take the time needed to gain the most detailed and insightful information we can. My promise to the campus community is that you will be a part of the process, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback to any proposals brought forward, you will be part of the implementation of the plan that we agree upon and you will be provided an opportunity to help us assess our progress as we work the plan. None of us intend to create a document that is superfluous to our needs and let it sit on a shelf.

I look forward to working with you all as we create the future together – for the success of Wilmington College.

With great respect for you all,

Jim R