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The Source

From ambition to action: A closer look at the implementation of the strategic plan

February 01, 2013

More than 300 faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni attended last week’s The Journey Forward event to launch Lewis & Clark’s strategic plan for 2020.

While addressing the enthusiastic crowd, President Barry Glassner explained that the strategic plan sets the stage for our ambitions and outlines our course of action.

“Because so many worked so tirelessly and selflessly, we now have a strategic plan that marks our way to 2020 and beyond,” President Glassner said. “The same investment of time, energy, thought, and commitment that produced this plan will ensure its implementation and its success.”

The Source caught up with Rob Kugler, director of strategic initiatives and the Paul S. Wright Professor of Christian Studies, to find out who is charged with implementing the plan, what they will tackle first, and what he expects to see happen at Lewis & Clark by the year 2020.

Can you walk us through the several teams that have been gathered to implement the plan? How are the teams organized and what are their priorities?

In terms of the two priorities announced in The Journey Forward that speak directly to the student experience at Lewis & Clark, we have implementation teams addressing international and environmental education and engagement, as well as one that will work on increasing the capacity for collaborative work among students and faculty across all three schools. Another group working out of Dean Jordan’s office is devoted to constructing a CAS-specific strategic plan for the future. As you’ll recall, the third priority in the plan is to expand the College’s reputation—its circle of supporters, interested prospective students, donors, and media partners. This priority is being addressed by a team we have dubbed the Communications and Institutional Advancement team. I really want to be on that team so I can tell people I work for the CIA, but they won’t let me, alas.

I have yet to confirm who will make up the implementation teams, but they will be posted to the Strategic Plan website as soon as they are ready.

The Strategic Planning Council—cochaired by Mark Figueroa, director of institutional research, and me—will be coordinating the work of the implementation teams. The council members include:

  • Jane Atkinson, vice president and provost
  • Adam Buchwald, chief information officer
  • Naiomi Cameron, associate professor of mathematics, CAS
  • Brian Federico ’05, member of the CAS board of alumni
  • Mollie Galloway, assistant professor of educational leadership, graduate school
  • Michel George, associate vice president for facilities services
  • Brandis Piper ’12, current M.A.T. student
  • Janet Steverson, Douglas K. Newell Professor of Teaching Excellence, law school

Ex officio members include:

  • Hal Abrams, vice president for institutional advancement
  • Erik Fast, director of corporate and foundation relations
  • Anna Gonzalez, dean of students
  • Lisa Meyer, dean for enrollment and communications
The enthusiasm at last week’s launch party was inspiring to many community members. Is there some direction you can offer to those of us who are not on the implementation teams, but would like to lend a hand to the success of the plan?

This one is really easy to answer. The truth about the implementation teams is that they will merely be setting out the timelines for achieving the plan’s immediate goals, determining who they will ask to help them make that happen, and how they will evaluate the outcome of the communitywide effort that will follow. So I really meant it when I said at the launch that we will all do the work of this plan, that there is a little bit for every one of us to do. So the way you lend a hand is to respond with willing heart and ready hands when the team members come asking for your help within the scope of your present job. They will come and they will be asking for assistance. And of course, wherever you see a contribution you have not been asked for but you can make to the enterprise—that’s especially welcome!

Will our community see any noticeable changes at Lewis & Clark as the implementation unfolds throughout this year?

There are some early results we expect to see over the rest of this academic year, and certainly many more in the year following. But I leave it to the teams to announce those goals and bask in the glory of achieving them. We will soon “re-launch” the Strategic Plan website as the clearinghouse for such announcements, so keep an eye out for that.

How much will this process change Lewis & Clark over the course of several years?

As President Glassner said in his remarks at the launch and as I reaffirmed in mine, the change will be focused relentlessly on increasing our students’ success in coming to us, living and learning among us, and flourishing on their years beyond us. When we are vigilant about that, everything else will follow. And to recall Mark Figueroa’s image from the launch, the view we will have as an institution will look better and brighter with every passing year and every new success in planning, implementing, and doing it all over again.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My thanks to Anna Gonzalez and her team for putting such a great launch together, and to the entire community for turning out in such great numbers. My gratitude goes out to the more than 300 faculty, staff, and students in attendance. That was very encouraging. We have a bright future for the taking.