April 26, 2004

Strategic planning under way        

By Gary Hauk

Two words much quoted around Emory of late—“destination
university,” from the Vision Statement approved by the Board of Trustees in November —are gaining a companion pair: “strategic planning.” Achieving the University’s vision will require a strategic plan, and President Jim Wagner has announced that the foundation for the strategic plan now is in place.

Projected to last through May 2005, the strategic planning process at Emory began in March with the convening of 13 “opportunity committees.” Made up of more than 150 faculty members, the committees were chaired by the nine deans and by John Hardman, executive director of the Carter Center; John Fox, president of Emory Healthcare; and John Ford, senior vice president and dean for campus life. Each committee consisted of a cross-section of faculty from all of the University’s academic units.

The committees brainstormed about the unique characteristics, needs and opportunities to which Emory should attend in strategic planning, examining questions such as: What are the distinctive aspects of the University and the context in which it finds itself? What are the unusual opportunities Emory should seize in moving forward? What are the issues or challenges that cut across all the University’s academic (and perhaps some of its administrative) units? If Emory is poised for a great leap, where should it be certain to land?

With broad themes binding them together, the schools and other academic units have begun to take stock of their individual environments. Each unit is rigorously analyzing the internal trends and the larger world within which it functions. Each then will describe the opportunities and challenges it faces in the context of that analysis. This work will be completed by the end of June.

The next phase of planning will engage faculty in helping each school or college develop its own strategic plan before the end of the fall semester. At the same time, task forces will bridge the units by drawing representatives from each to plan around such issues as information technology, internationalization, sustainability, community partnerships, humanities and the arts, mind/brain science, and public policy. Each academic unit and each task force will produce a document to be used by the Steering Committee in drafting the final strategic plan.

The goal is to present the strategic plan to the Board of Trustees at its meeting in June 2005.

In the meantime, en route to forming a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Wagner has appointed a “core committee” that will pull into its membership additional faculty members and administrators as areas emerge for special attention. One such area already identified is “internationalization.” Dean Tom Robertson of the Goizueta Business School has accepted Wagner’s invitation to chair the strategic planning to coordinate and strengthen Emory’s international engagement (see story).

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee, co-chaired by incoming provost Earl Lewis and Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs, includes: Sharon Strocchia, associate professor of history and chair of Faculty Council; Lanny Liebeskind, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry and senior associate dean for research in Emory College; Rosemary Magee, senior associate dean for resources and planning and executive director of the arts project in the college; Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the chapel and religious life; Thomas Lawley, dean of the School of Medicine; and Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration.
Shari Capers, director of the strategic planning office in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, will direct an administrative support team to help coordinate the planning efforts and facilitate communication.

Information about the strategic planning process and documents arising from it will be updated regularly on the strategic planning website: www.admin.emory.edu/