Eastern Michigan University

Office of the President

Strategic Planning

November 1, 2011

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

I am pleased to share with you that preliminary planning to develop a five-year university strategic plan has moved forward this summer and fall. As this process evolves over the weeks and months ahead, there will be opportunities for involvement for everyone on campus – students, faculty and staff, as well as for external constituents who are involved in our success.

Why is it important for everyone to participate? It is only through a process that is open and inclusive of all facets of our great university that we can develop a strategic plan encompassing all we aspire to achieve as an institution in a time of scarce resources and great opportunity.

The objective of the strategic plan is to provide a roadmap to help the university community move forward strongly with a clear sense of purpose. The plan will include a vision of what Eastern aspires to be, as well as a statement of our mission and the values that will guide institutional behavior and cultural uniqueness at every level.

The Institutional Strategic Planning Council (ISPC) began work this summer with representatives from Eastern's student, faculty and staff populations. The ISPC reviewed past university strategic planning documents and philosophy primer documents to extract key historical themes and discuss the direction of the project. The process and framework reflects the collective thinking and collaboration of the ISPC.

The Council is aware that due to past experiences with the strategic planning process, there is some skepticism about the likelihood of completing the process, and of it being an open and campus-engaging process. It is my firm commitment, along with that of the co-chair of the ISPC, Professor of Economics and department head Raouf Hanna, that this be a dynamic and successful effort.

Mindful of the fact that there can never be too much feedback in the strategic planning process, we plan to conduct surveys, focus groups, open forums and discussions with campus constituent groups and external stakeholders. It is important to engage all stakeholders of the university in every part of a dynamic strategic planning process.

We will devote the next several weeks, starting tomorrow, to conducting a broad survey of internal and external stakeholders to gain valuable input on ideas and themes that will provide an initial framework for the strategic planning elements (vision, mission, values, and strategic directions). The draft framework will be available to the campus community for review in winter semester 2012. Multiple opportunities will exist for all members of the university community to review it and provide comments through follow-up surveys, focus groups and open forum events. The planning process is going to be an iterative process; many items will be redrafted, re-conceptualized, or, in some cases, dropped.

Tomorrow, the initial survey will be distributed via email to the university community – including faculty, students, staff and external constituents. Please complete the survey per the instructions that will be provided. Your input is important!

The university has established a dedicated website, www.emich.edu/strategicplan, to provide updates to the campus and the community about the process and our progress. The website includes a project timeline and a list of ISPC members. Comments or feedback can be provided to any member of the Council, who will bring your comments back to the larger group for review.

Please join us in making this an inclusive and positive process, as we seek to continue the momentum we have launched in the past few years to focus on academics, the student experience and the campus environment. The development of the strategic plan will allow us to collectively explore the many ways in which we will continue to grow and develop. Tell us what you think. Your involvement is essential to our success and to our future.

Susan Martin

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