Reach Higher 2025 Steering Committee getting prepared for next phase of strategic plan

Huddles have been scheduled to gather input from students, faculty and staff

A picture of Beckering Family Carillon Tower
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

The Reach Higher 2025 strategic plan is nearing the end of its first phase, and now the Steering Committee is readying for the next segment, which will involve defining and integrating strategy.

This pivot arrives as people throughout the university provide input for the finishing touches on the draft language of the Mission, Vision and Values. 

At the Steering Committee's January 29 meeting, co-leads Tara Bivens, Mark Schaub and Janet Winter reported a constant dialogue about the draft language among university stakeholders, fueled by feedback and responses. Winter noted a number of responses through the Reach Higher 2025 website.

"There has been a lot of conversation and redrafting and wordsmithing," Bivens said. "The product we came up with was well worth it."

The next phase of the strategic plan will place community reflections, integrated planning and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the forefront, leaders said.

Schaub noted for this particular strategic plan, the Steering Committee is leading development of a big-picture roadmap for the strategy, while the granular details of implementation will be left up to colleges, departments and units. That macro approach at the university level helps keep the overall tenets of the strategic plan in focus.

"We are painting the picture of a vibrant university heading into the future," Schaub said.

After strategies are in place, the KPIs, which are metrics for quantifiable outcomes, will come next, Steering Committee members said. Those metrics will help determine progress or areas of improvement.

The next huddles being planned will explore thoughts from faculty and staff members, and students on strategies that incorporate the elements of the draft Mission, Vision and Values, according to those at the meeting. The faculty and staff huddles are February 25 and March 1, while the huddle for students is March 3.

As the meeting closed, Steering Committee member B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, praised the efforts so far in developing the strategic plan.

"This is tough work, but it is impactful work. This has the ability to move the needle tremendously," Truss said.


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