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About Our Strategic Planning Process

How we created our plan

This strategic plan has been built through the words and wisdom of those who work and learn at the School of Arts & Sciences.
The creation of this plan began in spring 2021 and engaged the entire A&S communityfaculty, staff, students, alumni and external community membersthrough a series of focus groups, surveys, town hall meetings, and individual stakeholder interviews.

Leadership included a 12-person steering committee and four working groups composed of Arts & Sciences faculty and staff. 

A 2020 survey of faculty, "Evaluating Faculty Excellence," produced a detailed report on research capabilities, and this served as a basis for the work of the steering committee.  Departmental SWOT analyses and strategic plans were reviewed when available. In addition, an extensive landscape analysis and data assessment were conducted  An external partner, the Huron Consulting Group, assisted in outlining our five-phased approach as well as in research and analysis.   

After launch, the implementation of the strategic plan will include opportunities for ongoing engagement, feedback, and submission of proposals for new initiatives. This is a living document, and as we navigate the next decade together, the strategic plan will continue to integrate, reflect, and respond to the needs and desires of the entire Arts & Sciences community at Washington University in St. Louis. 


Detailed Timeline

Phase I: Project Initiation, March 2021

The purpose of Phase I was to confirm a structured, meaningful, and informed framework for the strategic planning process. To initiate the project, the project team conducted a kickoff meeting with the Steering Committee to confirm a communication plan, project schedule, and stakeholder engagement approach.

Phase II: Build a Shared Understanding, April & May 2021

The primary objective of Phase II was to build an effective shared understanding of A&S and its market context. This was built on analysis of internal data, external market trends, and a robust understanding of A&S’s diverse stakeholders through a survey broadly accessibly by A&S stakeholders, in-depth interviews with key thought leaders in A&S and at the University, and a series of focus groups that surfaced and delved into topical issues.

Phase III: Develop and Prioritize Strategic Options, June & July 2021

Phase III identified a set of specific strategic options and a framework that guided the prioritization of these options, in alignment with the vision and mission of the College and the University. We also recommitted to the College’s mission and aligned its vision and organizational values.

Phase IV: Draft Strategic Plan Document, August & September 2021

After collaboration with the Steering Committee to prioritize strategic options, the project team designed a process for iterating the plan document. Several Steering Committee leaders members drafted the document.

Phase V: Review and Confirm Final Strategic Plan, October & November 2021

The Steering Committee addressed the relevant feedback garnered from the community and built consensus toward the final draft of the strategic plan.

Committee Leadership

Steering Committee

This leadership committee helped articulate and drive ideas, interact thoughtfully across our broad and diverse group of stakeholders, and advocate for the value of the undertaking.

Executive Sponsor: Feng Sheng Hu
Project Lead: Ebba Segerberg
Co-chairs: Deanna Barch and Abram Van Engen 

Steering committee members: Jean Allman, Tim Bono, Sophia Hayes, Ignacio Infante, TR Kidder, Hedy Lee, Jonathan Losos, Beth Martin, Kater MurchSara Ryu

Ex officio members: Andrew Brown, Erin McGlothlin, William Tolman, Adia Harvey Wingfield

Working Groups

Faculty and staff members were nominated by their peers to serve as co-leads for various working groups. These co-leads met with large groups of stakeholders across the institution to solicit views on a range of topics.  

Working Group Co-Leads

Undergraduate Education: Thomas Bakupog, Linling Gao-Miles, Erik Herzog, Andrew Reeves

Graduate Education: Billy Acree, Julie Bugg, Michelle DeLair, Cynthia Feliciano, Ken Olsen, Brett Wick, Angela Wilson

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Practice: Denise Head, Anca Parvulescu, Gary Patti

Critical Factors: Community and Climate: Amanda Albert, Bruce Carlson, Diana Silva José-Edwards, Tom Rodebaugh, Nacho Sánchez Prado, Stacey Spruiel

Interested in learning more about how we created the plan? Access the meeting and communications archive. 

Meeting and Communications Archive