CLAS Strategic Planning toward 2025


By the end of summer 2021 , the CLAS community will have developed a vision statement and a collection of ideas for putting that vision into practice.  The draft will be provided to the college as a whole at the Start Up meeting on August 26.



CLAS visioning ideas and comments

Submit ideas for CLAS' future and considerations as we work toward our strategic plan for 2025.

* denotes a required field

Ideas and considerations as we plan for the future

Resources and Background

Reach Higher Together 2025 Reach Higher 2025 is Grand Valley’s inclusive and iterative approach to establishing a new strategy to propel the university forward over the next four years.

Regular updates on planning are provided to the college via the CLAS Weekly Mailing.

Existing strategic plan of CLAS

SIG Syllabus

The Community Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook. Denver: National Civic League Press, 2000.

Strategic Planning with Appreciative Inquiry: Unleashing the Positive Potential to SOAR. Innovation Partners International, 2007.

Cathy Davidson, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux 

Adriana Kezar, How Colleges Change: Understanding, Leading, and Enacting Change (Routledge; 2nd edition; August 3, 2018)

Tia McNair, Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (Jossey-Bass; 1st edition; July 25, 2016)

Jeffrey Selingo, “The Future Learners” 

David Staley, Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press; March 26, 2019)

Stanford 2025, “Uncharted Territory: A Guide to Reimagining Higher Education”  

Michelle Weise, “Robot-Ready: Human+Skills for the Future of Work” 

The Work of the Future:Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT)

The Student-Centered College—The Academic Perspective: How are provosts and other academic officers helping students succeed amid Covid-19? (Chronicle of Higher Ed)

What Liberal Education Looks Like--What It Is, Who It’s For, & Where It Happens (AAC&U)

GVSU Fireside Chat: José Antonio Bowen, “Tools for Nudging Student Success”  

Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Truth About Student Success”

  • “Improving the Educational Experience” (27-38)
  • “Integrating Academic Support” (39-48)
  • “Promoting Students’ Well-Being" (49-55)

University Timetable

October 2020 – April 2021: Shaping the Strategy

April – October 2021: Define and Integrate

October – November 2021: Formal Endorsements


See the detail 

CLAS Timetable

November-December 2020     

  • Design process
  • Assemble steering groups
  • Begin training in Appreciative Inquiry
  • Assemble resources

January-March 2021              

  • Continue training in Appreciative Inquiry in the CLAS units and gather CLAS visioning input
  • Provide updates to the College on the university process 
  • Encourage participation in huddles and other consultation opportunities
  • Make available resources for planning to all who engage in the process

May 26 & 27 Two Half-Day Kickoff with Summer SIG members

June 1 Unit Self-Studies Due

June 14-25 Summer SIG members small group work

June 28 & 29 Two Half-Day Meetings with full Summer SIG members – small groups report

June 30-July 9 Dean Leadership Team to finalize draft

August 26 Dean Drake to report final draft at the CLAS Fall Start Up Meeting

Strategy and Innovation Group (SIG)

Melissa Morison (CLA) 

Jennifer Stewart (SOC) 

Dwayne Tunstall (PHI) 

Alexis Schewe (CAAC) 

Tracy McLenithan (CLAS) 

Shannon Biros (CHM) 

Chad Frederick (GPY) 

Richard Besel (COM) 

Dan Bergman (BMS) 

Amy Russell (BIO) 

Merritt Delano Taylor (BMS) 

Jen Drake (Facilitator) 

Donovan Anderson (Facilitator) 

CLAS Strategic Planning Group (coordinating committee)

Dean Jen Drake

Associate Dean Donovan Anderson

CLAS Director of Communications and Advancement Monica Johnstone

Administrative Assistant and Assistant to the Dean for CLAS Tracy McLenithan

Summer SIG

Elizabeth Flandreau

Bradford Dykes

Amy Ferdinandt Stolley

Mikhila Wildey

Colleen Lewis

Christopher Pearl

Mayra Fortes

Elizabeth Gansen

Patrick Anderson

Paul Cornish

Andrew Spear

Brian Deyo

Sigrid Danielson

Dwayne Tunstall

Melissa Morison

Merritt Delano-Taylor

Jessie Vandenplas

Alex Wilson

Agnieszka Szarecka

Abigail Gautreau

Kristin Hedges

Tracy McLenithan

Monica Johnstone 

CLAS Faculty Council (CFC) facilitators

Kristen Meyer (University Libraries) 

Sally Ross (MOV) 

Arthur Campbell (MTD) 

Anna Hammersmith (SOC) 

Ernest Park (PSY) 

Len O’Kelly (COM) 

Christine Smith (PSY) 

Grace Coolidge (HST) 

Jessie Vandenplas (CHM) 

Charlyn Partridge (AWRI) 

Christine Rener (FTLC)

Kristin Hedges (ANT)

Additional facilitators will be posted as confirmed.

Data Analysis Group

Hope Gerson (MTH)

Rachel Campbell (SOC)

Richard Besel (COM)

Donovan Anderson (CLAS/MLL)

Technical Support Group 

Heidi Nicholson (CLAS) 

Mona Silva (CLAS) 

Cindy Laug (CLAS) 

Rebecca Casler (ENG) 

Christine Adams (MOV) 

Heidi Feldpausch (AWRI) 

Janine Warfield (PSY) 

Jennie Reed (ENG) 

Jenna Stehouwer (VMA) 

Department and Group Meeting Dates for Strategic Visioning

N.B. SIG meeting dates also noted

Unit Heads   Jan. 27

GEO       Feb. 1

ENG       Feb. 3

SIG Meeting       Feb. 5

CHM      Feb. 5

CPC        Feb. 5

AWRI     Feb. 8

PHY        Feb. 8

BMS       Feb. 9

STA        Feb. 11

FDC        Feb. 12

PLS         Feb. 12

CLA        Feb. 16

HST        Feb. 17

CAFAC  Feb. 19

MTH      Feb. 19

MOV     Feb. 22

BIO         Feb. 25

PHI         Feb. 26

SOC        Mar. 1

WRT       Mar. 3

SIG Meeting       Mar. 5

PSY         Mar. 8

MLL        Mar. 12

CMB      Mar. 12

MTD      Mar. 15

COM      Mar. 17

GPY        Mar. 19

VMA      Mar. 22

ANT       Mar. 23

SIG Meeting       Mar. 26

CCC        Mar. 12

PSS Group Mar. 12 

AP Group  Mar. 12 (TBC)

Student Advisory Committee      Feb. 23

Student Senate (subgroup)          TBD

Graduate Directors, UH's, & grad faculty TBD


Appreciative Inquiry: Appreciative inquiry is a model that seeks to engage stakeholders in self-determined change.

SOAR: Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results 

STAR: Situation, task, action, result