The release of the plan concludes an extensive process that involved hundreds of individuals working on more than a dozen committees and task forces. Although Erickson expressed great excitement about the work that has gone into producing the plan, he noted that the real work is just getting started.
“Almost every university has a strategic plan, but far fewer successfully implement their plans,” Erickson said. “To do so takes focus, energy, stamina and commitment. I have every confidence that, together, we will move from the intent expressed in the plan to real, measurable results.”
Upon his arrival on campus in July 2005, one of Erickson’s first priorities was to focus and refine a strategic planning process that had begun two years earlier.
“The final evolution of the plan provides a clear road map that will focus our energy and our investments toward the successful implementation of 15 objectives contained within the plan’s seven goals,” Erickson said. “The final plan charts an inspired path for the entire university community, affirms our essential characteristics and challenges us all to continue to find innovative ways to educate students and reach out to the rest of the world.”
Key elements of the plan include a reinvigorated curriculum that is current to the 21 st century; study abroad and experiential learning opportunities for all students; increased focus on interdisciplinary study; renewal of the historic heart of the campus and construction of several state-of-the-art facilities – including a center for the arts; and continued focus on attracting and retaining the finest faculty, staff, and students.
The plan affirms a fundamental academic commitment to liberal learning, to selected pre-professional majors and to both traditional and nontraditional students. It also emphasizes the importance of the university’s relationships with the Springfield and Miami Valley communities and to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the university’s rich athletic tradition and its historic values of personal attention to individual student needs and opportunities to develop the whole person. Wittenberg has long been a national leader in liberal arts education, and this plan outlines ways for the university to enhance its leadership role in the years to come.
A Plan Implementation Committee will meet monthly to review progress and communicate the plan’s success to the broader Wittenberg community. Task forces are already developing action plans and recommendations for each of the plan’s goals and objectives.
“The key to our success is our implementation model, which requires accountability at each phase of review, ownership of each of the strategic objectives, clear metrics for evaluation of our work and timelines by which we can monitor our progress,” Erickson said. “This plan, and our work to bring it to life, celebrates the university’s rich heritage, while boldly defining Wittenberg’s future.
“This could well be the most important period in Wittenberg’s history since its founding, and I look forward to working with all members of the campus community in realizing this vision.”
By: Ryan Maurer
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