Vision Unlimited: The Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning University Review (SPUR)

SPUR IV: Our Path to Excellence
November 13, 2008
Cole Center


From an extensive and intensive internal, “bottom-up” planning process, USPC had identified six goals set forth in Vision Unlimited, the University’s strategic plan presented to and ratified by CSU’s Faculty Senate and Administration in fall 2006. Meanwhile, Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education charged state universities with developing Centers of Excellence suited to their respective settings and missions. At CSU, the Provost’s Task Force on Excellence and Engagement, working within the goals of Vision Unlimited, identified Centers in Health and Civic Life and Community Engagement. SPUR IV (Our Path to Excellence) was designed to address the challenges of initiating the Centers and their impact upon the University. A review of the outcomes that emerged from the SPUR IV discussion groups comprised of Community and University stakeholder representatives reflected congruence with the six umbrella goals set forth in Vision Unlimited and a common commitment to excellence, distinctive image, the need for collaboration, as well as the need for a solid financial foundation.
A review of the 25 page transcription of participant comments revealed several common observations that might contribute to an action plan for the future. They include:

  • The need for attention to the definition of key concepts (e.g., “health”, “civic life”, partnership) and the nature of
    centers’ foci (i.e., research, practice, policy or all three?).
  • The need for assessment both internally (e.g., existing centers, programs) and externally via environmental
    scanning of stakeholder expectations, needs, etc. which perhaps should precede the above definition activity.
  • The need to clarify both “physical” (e.g., new building/space) and “functional” (e.g., staffing) needs of the Centers.
  • The need to address funding issues including “start-up” funds for the Centers, diverse funding sources, as well as concern regarding the impact of center funding on the needs of a comprehensive university.
  • The need for increased networking with both internal and external stakeholders was consistently noted, including connections among programs/disciplines, with alums, among current students, with school districts, the business
    community, the arts, and civic and social organizations.
  • The need to examine traditional incentive structures and create new structures for students (e.g., credit for service
    learning) and faculty (e.g., recognition beyond published journal articles and grant funding)stressing “engagement”
    through “service learning”, “internships”, “co-op’s”, or other means.

Documents and Discussion Information

Chancellor Fingerhut's Strategic Plan

Recommendations of the Task Force on Excellence and Engagement

Strategic Plan for Higher Education Centers of Excellence