UWO administration prepares for 2016 Strategic Plan

Colton Shearier

Chancellor Andrew Leavitt tasked Provost Lane Earns with developing a Strategic Plan which will refocus the University’s goals to prioritize student academic success. Assistant Vice Chancellor and member of the Strategic Planning Committee Jamie Ceman said the Strategic Plan is vital to the future of the University. “For a university to have a solid vision, it’s important to have an active plan in place to work toward,” Ceman said. “Also, the University is going through our Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation, a very important process for a university, and they look at the Strategic Plan as a part of the review process.” The Strategic Plan is a set of values, goals and priorities the University will strive to reach through student success, academic excellence, community engagement and sustainability over the next five years. Chancellor Leavitt said in a February statement the plan allows the University to reach its higher potential. “What I like about the creation of a Strategic Plan is it gives people an opportunity to dream,” Leavitt said. “It’s very important a Strategic Plan comes from the ground up.” Ceman said the Oshkosh community, the University’s staff and the student body have been helpful in the deliberation of the plan. “The process has been very inclusive, beginning with a large campus committee that worked for several months to define high-level goals that will help advance UW Oshkosh,” Ceman said. “That draft has been vetted now through a series of open forums on campus and off campus.” According to Ceman specifics of the Strategic Plan have not been solidified yet, but preparations are underway to figure out what will best serve the University. “The details are yet to be determined,” Ceman said. “The draft is now going to the next phase where action teams have been assembled, and their charge is to now define the specific goals for each priority based on all the feedback gained during the open forums and the information submitted through the feedback form.” According to Leavitt in the February statement, the participation of the campus is required to make sure the plan coincides with the wishes of the community as a whole. “As Provost Earns works his way through leading the process, feedback and engagement will be sought; the opinion of the campus community matters,” Leavitt said. “In the end, we need to make sure we have a plan that best reflects the vision of the entire university.” Student, faculty, staff and community members have had a chance to weigh in on the priorities and goals that are found in the current Draft Strategic Plan. The plan is to be presented for review before the end of this year and to start being implemented in early 2016. According to Ceman the last time a Strategic Plan was implemented was after Richard Wells was appointed Chancellor in 2000. Ceman said the implementation of the new Strategic Plan will improve students’ times at UWO. “The launch of a new strategic plan is an exciting time for a university,” Ceman said. “With student success at the heart of all we do, any plan put in place will make the experience here even better.”