Provost Billy Frye to meet with 200 faculty to gain input on strategic plan

As Provost Billy Frye continues to work on the strategic plan for the University that will be presented to the Board of Trustees in May or June, he is seeking 200 members of the faculty to meet with him and discuss the plan, its objectives and implementation. He also expects to consult with the Employee Council and student groups.

Frye wrote to members of the faculty in December to ask for their involvement in a series of meetings. In that letter Frye said that the trustees have asked that a strategic plan be developed based on the value platform of Choices & Responsibility. Work on a plan is in progress under the oversight of a strategic planning committee, appointed and chaired by President Bill Chace. Members of the committee are James Curran, Robert Ethridge, Bill Fox, Frye, Michael Johns, Luke Johnson, Kevin Lagree and Frances Lucas Taucher; Mel Lockart is staff to the committee.

In his letter Frye said, "I now wish to broaden the base of faculty, staff and student participation in the planning process, building on the conversations that we have had each year for the past three years. Altogether more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students have participated in those conversations, which led to Choices & Responsibility, and are now a major influence in the framing of a draft planning document.

"I am asking faculty to meet with me in small groups during January and February ... My intention is to engage personally with at least 200 members of the faculty in these conversations. While I do not wish the participants to be representatives of their units in any formal sense, I am asking deans and department chairs to nominate a pool from which about half of the participants are being selected; the other half are being selected randomly. In this manner I hope to get a good representation of faculty viewpoints across the entire University. If you are contacted, I hope you will agree to participate, and if you particularly wish to be included, I encourage you to contact your department chair or dean."

Frye said the meetings will "focus on a critique of six preliminary objectives and on proposals and suggestions by which they can be advanced, as well as on potential barriers to, and the locus of, responsibility for their implementation." Those six objectives are (see sidebar page 5): achieving academic excellence; balancing teaching and research; building a stronger community; encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship; keeping pace with infrastructure needs; and assessing Emory's external relationships.

Frye said he does not want to preclude anyone from responding to the objectives. Faculty and others who do not attend the meetings may write with comments on the six objectives to Frye by letter or by e-mail <> by Feb. 15. He noted that he will become chancellor in June and will continue to be responsible for strategic planning next year. "I am, in short, into this for the long run and as eager as I know you are to see in place a plan for Emory that will make a difference," said Frye.

-Jan Gleason

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