Soon after Frederick G. Slabach began his presidency, he started tackling the creation and refining of a new strategic plan. To garner information for the plan, he met extensively with faculty, students, staff and alumni to ensure that all constituencies had the opportunity to offer input.
In faculty sessions, Slabach asked everyone to get to the core of what they teach – beyond the discipline-specific skills.
What came out of those discussions were three important elements: critical thinking, analytical reasoning and creative problem-solving.
"Those are exactly the things you need to get into graduate school," Slabach said. "We have the chance here to articulate a very specific strategic plan," he said.
The academic component is the focal point of the plan. The other three areas are students and enrollment, physical facilities and the financial strength of the institution.
Allen Henderson, senior vice president and provost, said the research that goes into strategic planning offers the opportunity to assess best practices and institutional effectiveness.
"What we are doing is focusing on what we're doing best and how we prepare students," he said.
The strategic plan is nearing completion and will be widely distributed through the website and other channels, Slabach said.
"We hope to present it to the Board of Trustees at the November meeting," he said.