Strategic plan needs strategy


Planning is all fine and dandy, but, when the majority of the university population does not get the chance to make their voices heard, it’s time for a new plan.

University President Jem Spectar with his formation of multiple task forces has come up with a seven-year strategic plan draft that is to be closed to comment today, 11 days later.

An email was sent to faculty, staff and students March 22 with the draft of the plan attached 41-page.

That is unrealistic, and questionable if one’s purpose is to get input and reach a community consensus.

It is not really enough time to read, digest and discuss something that may affect all corners of UPJ for years to come. The document is difficult and dense — FTE, FY15 and poor language use–. Those who chose to read probably didn’t fully comprehend all parts.

This is the first opportunity we have had to report on the plan and reactions to it. Formal collective discussion just began this week among faculty. Some sources haven’t been responding themselves to the feedback they have received.

Spectar has met with the Faculty Senate Council, Student Government and Staff Association Council to discuss the plan. He also met with academic council and campus leadership council.

The issue is that the rest of us don’t get the chance to digest and react to the plan, let alone get our feedback heard and responded to it in a timely manner.

The plan is a starting point, but now everyone else should have a say.

We believe that there should be open meetings, to discuss plan impacts and concerns about its multiple aspects.

Task force leaders should explain the hard-to-understand details and have a question-and-answer section so everyone’s voice can be heard and concerns addressed.

A good time to have one such event for an initial answering of faculty questions and concerns would be April 16, at the Faculty Senate meeting.

Many students don’t realize that they are able to attend these meetings.

Faculty Senate meetings are poorly advertised, however, if more people were aware of them, discussion of the strategic plan might begin there.

We believe this newspaper is also an excellent forum for answers and discussion. We strive to be a community forum.

Spectar and the task forces should postpone and actually make an attempt to involve non task-forces’ members in the deliberative process in a free and open community.