Building on the momentum of Michigan State University's successes to chart a course toward a brighter future requires collective thought and action. For that reason, MSU is undertaking an inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning process. While many of the plans have been adjusted or placed on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the work being done around strategic planning is too important not to move forward.
Joining me to talk more about this planning process are the Strategic Planning Steering Committee co-chairs, Vennie Gore and Joe Salem. Vennie is vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises at MSU, and Joe is Dean of MSU Libraries.
“When President Stanley arrived, he began having many conversations with all of the university community,” Gore says. “One of his goals is to have a strategic plan, which would chart the course of the institution over this next decade of 2020 and beyond. He wants an inclusive process, open for the community, that allows for input into what are some of the issues we need to think about as a university.
“How should MSU position itself as a land-grant institution? What are the critical issues of our decade that we can think about moving forward? What does the fourth industrial revolution mean for our institution? And how do we best position ourselves to solve big problems?”
“It’s not only a great opportunity for us to look forward, but to do it together,” adds Salem. “Early the president identified that one of the things that this campus and many campuses would benefit from is not only identifying what to work on, but how it wants to work and come together around big goals. We've really committed as a university and as a steering committee on a very open inclusive process. We want to have as many voices in the process as possible.”
Gore and Salem discuss how the novel coronavirus pandemic is impacting the planning.
“What does virtual distance learning look like in the future? What should be our position in the marketplace around that to move forward,” asks Gore? “What does our institutional resource model look like moving forward? How do we support the things that we want to do? What should be the scale and size of MSU?”
The committee wants your input on MSU’s future. Visit the Strategic Plan section of President Stanley’s website to learn how to provide your input.
“The size and shape of an institution like Michigan State will be something that we deal with and think about in the coming years,” Salem says. “And what we learn by responding to the pandemic will help guide how we evolve the university’s land grant mission and what it means for the 21st century. Our mission has been central to so many of the conversations we've had as a community. It's one of the things everyone is proud of. We have a really great opportunity to, in some ways, redefine it as a collective, to go back to the portions that we feel still orient us, and to really take some of the core that we all understand to be at the heart of the land-grant mission into the future and to build on it. And I think that's really exciting for us.”
“I encourage everyone to try to participate. We know it's challenging at this point to think about something like strategic planning. It's part of the reason we've tried to focus right now on core elements like mission and values and how we want to take those things into the future.”
“It's really about the core of who we are as an institution, our land-grant mission, being open and accessible to all and having a community that is supportive of multiple identities,” says Gore. “It is through that lens that we become a better place because we accept and embrace everybody and all the things that they bring.”