President’s Message – May 27, 2010

I am very pleased to report that the Presidential Task Force on Strategic Planning has completed its work. I’m grateful to the members for their devotion to the task, and for the energy and intelligence they brought to it. The final version of the report has benefited greatly from the comments of a full range of faculty and staff. You will see that the middle section of the final report differs a good deal from the initial rough copy we distributed last semester, largely as a result of those comments.

The PTF report seeks to define the University’s mission anew and to clarify our vision for the future. It lays the groundwork for intensive strategic planning. The next step is to develop high-level university goals that will guide our academic efforts, define institutional priorities, and enable us to keep a watchful eye on resources and expenses. It is especially important that we continue this conversation about strategic priorities, given the many challenges to higher education at this time. Preliminary steps towards building a comprehensive strategic plan will be undertaken by Cabinet with some members of the PTF and other key staff and faculty, beginning this summer. We have hired a professional facilitator to enhance our productivity in this important work. The process is outlined in the report.

I want all of you to know that there will be ample opportunities for communication and deliberation before we arrive at any point of final decision and action. Indeed, the success of this process is entirely contingent on the active participation of the campus community over the course of the next year.

Strategic planning will help solidify the vision and values of the PTF report in our operations as a university. A rough draft of strategic goals will be shared with all members of the Drew community in September, and with members of the Board of Trustees at an October retreat. We will make revisions based on community feedback, after which the Deans and Vice Presidents will work with their constituencies to develop concrete plans by May of 2011.

Our plan will create goals and strategies to guide us as a University to support the vision set forth in this report. I look forward to the participation of faculty, staff, and students as we proceed to set goals, implement strategies for attaining these goals, and realize more fully our shared values. In the meantime, I also welcome any further comments and criticisms of the PTF report.

Again, Im very grateful to the members of the Task Force for their careful thought, spirited dialogue, and dedication to a bright future for Drew University.