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April 28, 2008
Investing in Emory’s vision

BY Nancy Seideman, Executive Editor, Emory Report

Emory’s $301 million investment in its strategic plan vision is paying off.

More than two years and $57 million into implementation, the strategic plan initiatives are going full tilt. To name just a few accomplishments to date:

A Center for Faculty Development and Excellence has been created, the financial aid program Emory Advantage has reduced student debt, a Work-Life Resource Center is in place.

Vaccine research is tackling the most deadly infectious diseases of the developing world; new partnerships with community physicians are making cancer trials available throughout Georgia.

The Carlos Museum brought us “Cradle of Christianity,” and now a major King Tut exhibition to delight and enlighten Emory and the greater Atlanta community.

And we’re just two years into the 10-year strategic plan, which also includes a five-year capital investment of $309 million for a total commitment of more than half a billion dollars by Emory.

This special Emory Report section is but a snapshot in time of the plan’s implementation, a crucial time as strategic plan leaders enter the next phase of measurement, prioritization and alignment with Campaign Emory.

As President Jim Wagner stated in his message, “we must hold tightly to the creativity, energy and innovation that have infused this plan,” as we move forward with strategic discipline.

Since the plan’s inception an infrastructure has been in place to shepherd its evolution. Implementation activities are guided by the Strategic Implementation Advisory Committee, comprised of president’s cabinet members, deans from across the University, and strategic theme leaders.

The SIAC is led by an executive committee that includes Earl Lewis, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president of health affairs and CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center; and Mike Mandl, executive vice president of finance and administration.

As an example of the SIAC’s role, a diagnostic assessment of the cross-disciplinary strategic initiatives and their implementation process conducted over the past year resulted in a set of recommendations to create linkages among the schools and the initiatives.

These efforts to bring the initiatives and schools in closer alignment become even more critical as Campaign Emory launches on Sept. 25 (campaign.emory.edu/insider).

At a SIAC meeting last month, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Susan Cruse discussed how strategic initiative leaders can prepare for the campaign, including ways to achieve sustainability through various forms of fundraising.

In reference to the campaign and as a guide to moving the strategic plan implementation forward to its next phase, Lewis outlined four core principles that provide a framework for the mapping process between the strategic initiatives and schools and colleges:

• Fundraising for strategic initiatives must map to one or more schools or colleges.

• Schools, colleges and initiatives must partner to be successful.

• Academic Affairs must determine the academic priorities for the University.

• Some initiatives may not be sustainable.

The SIAC and other University leaders will participate in a retreat and other meetings from April through June to discuss governance, administrative structure, crosscutting activity and long-term sustainability, and funding issues such as grants, corporate support, donations and endowment support.

“We’ll be creating a path to sustainability that will be agreed upon by all and that will be clearly and consistently communicated to the Emory community,” said Lewis. “By more closely aligning the strategic initiatives with school and college priorities, we can better work with campaign leadership to present a compelling case for external constituencies to join Emory in making major investments in our vision.”