W & M’s strategic planning sub-committees report on environmental analysis work

  • Environmental analysis:

    Participants at the William & Mary Strategic Planning Forum on January 30 at the Sadler Center listen to presentations from sub-committees on three areas of environmental analysis. Comments are requested from the entire community for the next phase.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

by Jennifer L. Williams


February 3, 2020

As part of William & Mary’s ongoing strategic planning process, three sub-committees shared insights from their environmental scans with an audience of over 120 in the Sadler Center’s Chesapeake Ballroom, as well as many others. people watching video streaming, January 30.

The strategic planning process is currently in its second phase, the environmental scan. The subcommittee white papers and a reading list will be under review and refinement by the W&M community for the next four to six weeks before being incorporated into the next phase of strategy development.

“This is a really critical inflection point,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe, opening the session.

Sub-committee co-chair Amy Sebring provided an overview of her group's findings.  (Photo by Stephen Salpukas)Feedback is gathered throughout the planning process and is encouraged as part of the ongoing dialogue, officials said. Provost Peggy Agouris, Strategic Planning Steering Committee Co-Chair, urged all department and program directors to involve their faculty in reviewing and responding to the subcommittee reports. Assemblies representing faculty, staff and students will also collect and offer responses on behalf of their respective constituencies. The next community forum is scheduled for February 12 at 3:30 p.m. on the same site.

Sub-committees in the areas of teaching and learning, research and innovation, and development and engagement gathered information during the fall from W&M and external sources to integrate them into their reports. Agouris said each subcommittee has applied at least five goals – diversity and inclusion, global, resources, sustainability and technology – to its analysis process and could add more if necessary. They could also add committee members as thematic experts and have organized at least 10 sensitization meetings as part of their work.

The teaching and learning subcommittee has formed four working groups in the areas of curriculum pedagogy, learning contexts, learning support and learning outcomes, explained the co-chair Steve Hanson, vice-president for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies. . The subcommittee added W&M reputation as an additional goal and used four main questions to guide the working groups. Their summary findings identified principles dear to W&M, trends in higher education, opportunities for change and ongoing challenges.

Participants shared their thoughts after discussing the presentations.  (Photo by Stephen Salpukas)The research and innovation sub-committee has carried out external analyzes of the main institutions in these two areas. The group surveyed 24 people with nine key questions for outreach, according to co-chair Amy Sebring, vice president of finance and technology. Their summary findings in key areas recommended a clearly defined, well communicated and well executed strategy; organizational structures that promote collaboration; incentives and rewards; the physical space and technological tools that support the work; and well-developed collaborations with external powers.

“We were really aware of the fact that at the end of the strategic planning process, we want to be able to say that we know what our goal is and we will know when we get there,” Sebring said.

The Flourishing & Engagement subcommittee carried out an external analysis of the popular press and higher education and proposed eight themes which included demographic shift, diversity and belonging, evolving role and perception. higher education and well-being. An internal analysis included interviews with 17 focus groups made up of students, faculty and staff, according to co-chair Ginger Ambler, vice president of student affairs. Belonging and fulfillment were the two key themes that emerged.

After the presentations, Rowe asked forum participants to discuss which themes they heard were most important, and then participants who volunteered to do so reported back to the larger group.

Strategic Planning Steering Committee Co-Chair Jeremy Martin noted the points provided by participants.  (Photo by Stephen Salpukas)Participants repeatedly mentioned the importance of breaking down barriers and collaborating across departments or ‘silos’, as well as exploring e-learning opportunities for students and embracing change at school. to come up. Rowe encouraged participants to continue to reflect on the various topics and questions and to provide feedback to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on the white papers and the reading list.

“It looks to me like there might be a project that this room could pursue, which is to identify where silos are bridged, integrated, or broken down in a very productive way,” Rowe said.

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