The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The future is ours: Taking the ‘Strategic Plan’ into our own hands

Where are we headed? How will we know when we get there?

The presentation of the University budget at the Jan. 29 Faculty Senate meeting showed some of SLU’s planning for next year: number of students expectated, tuition and the like. But when senators asked for something more–for long-range planning on academics, for a five-year plan on budgeting including capital expenditures, for a campaign culminating in SLU’s 200th birthday–there was no “there” there. No time and effort spent on planning beyond next year.

More generally, SLU has no strategic plan. Nothing to help us plan for what kind of university we want to be for our birthday: how many undergraduates, what classroom space, what size class sections, how many adjunct faculty, what research to encourage, how much fundraising aimed at buildings and campus infrastructure and at research, faculty retention and academics generally?

Oh, there was a “Strategic Plan” issued last year – three pages of nebulous boilerplate, giving no specific guidance for the University’s direction. And hidden in files not publicly accessible, there was the Strategic Plan of Academic Affairs – the infamous 20-page blueprint for micro-managing the campus that was roundly condemned by the faculty when it was uncovered.

It is widely assumed those plans are of a bygone era. Let us hope so – but let us do much more than that. Now is the time to do the hard work of making a real Strategic Plan. Not one written in the dark and kept secret, but born in the light, in the heated marketplace of an engaged SLU: in departmental meetings, school assemblies, the Faculty Senate, the SGA and GSA, faculty/student forums,  opinion pieces in The University News and Facebook pages.

Story continues below advertisement

Our bicentennial is nearly upon us: Now is the time to rethink our university. What will we look like in 2018? What forms shall we have to celebrate? What new directions might we pursue? What resources do we need to strengthen what we already do?

What governance structures would guarantee that no portion of the University has a plan imposed upon it without getting the chance to have a say about it first? Who should have a veto on such plans?

Where are we headed? How do we know when we get there?

We need far more than a strategic plan. We need to re-envision the university we bequeath to the next 200 years. We need a campus-wide initiative, SLU: 200 –a compendium of plans for remaking the Senate, the school assemblies, the Board of Trustees, the way we do business in the University.

Seize the day – the year – five years! As we leave one era and enter into a new one, we shall make shared governance the byword of our campus. The president lacks our confidence: we place it in ourselves. We do not ask if we have the right to plan and to formulate, to mold our future: we take that right and make it ours.

The future is ours – we make it so.

Please visit:

https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/steve-harris-home/slu-200——planning-for-slus-200th-birthday

Leave a Comment
Donate to The University News
$1410
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Saint Louis University. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University News
$1410
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The University News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *