About Arts & Sciences Strategic Planning

Project Outline


Arts & Sciences is embarking on a school-level strategic planning exercise this spring. Our external partner, the Huron Consulting Group, has outlined a five-phase approach for an inclusive and interdisciplinary planning process that will identify an exciting set of strategic goals that and build upon the foundational pillars and themes identified by our university’s leadership and that will engage our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external community. This process is expected to take around 10 months. On the A&S side, the planning will be managed by Ebba Segerberg

To this end, Dean Hu has assembled a steering committee co-chaired by Deanna Barch and Abram Van Engen to help articulate and drive ideas that will set us on a path to success, to interact thoughtfully across our broad and diverse group of stakeholders, and to advocate for the value of this undertaking.


The steering committee also includes: Jean Allman, Tim Bono, Sophia Hayes, Ignacio Infante, TR Kidder, Hedy Lee, Jonathan Losos, Beth Martin, Kater Murch, and Sara Ryu.

Faculty and staff members will also be nominated by their peers to serve as co-leads for various working groups. These co-leads will meet with large groups of stakeholders across the institution in April and May to solicit views on a range of topics in order to identify important findings and considerations. The Working Group co-leads will report back to the steering committee but are not responsible for producing a written report as such. The Huron team, who will collaborate with and support the co-leads, will help synthesize the findings and assist in communicating the main points back to the steering committee. 

Van Engen

Guiding principles for all of the groups include academic distinction, diversity and inclusion, and equity and access. The first three Working Groups topics are: Undergraduate Education, Graduate Education, and Research, Scholarship, and Creative Practice. Once the first three working groups are underway, we will form a fourth group to focus on critical factors issuing from the first three to ensure implementation readiness. The fourth group will focus on integrating inclusion, equity, and access across the mission areas, building on ideas and observations from the first three working groups. We are calling this group “Critical Factors: Community and Climate.” 

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

Detailed Timeline

This process is divided into five phases for an inclusive and interdisciplinary planning process that will identify an exciting set of strategic goals to engage campus stakeholders and key external audiences.

Phase I: Project Initiation, March

The purpose of Phase I is to confirm a structured, meaningful, and informed framework for the strategic planning process. To initiate the project, the project team will conduct 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

The primary objective of Phase II is to build an effective shared understanding of A&S and its market context, 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 will surface and delve into topical issues.

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

The broad goal of Phase III is to identify a set of specific strategic options and a framework that will guide the prioritization of these options in alignment with the vision and mission of the College and the University. We will do this by also recommitting to the College’s mission and aligning on its vision and organizational values.

Phase IV: Draft Strategic Plan Document, August & September

After collaborating with the Steering Committee to prioritize strategic options, the project team will design a process for iterating the strategic plan document. The project team will advise several leaders among the Steering Committee who will lead the task of drafting of the strategic plan document.

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

Having gathered this input, the project team will advise the Steering Committee in addressing the relevant feedback garnered from the community and building consensus toward a final draft of the strategic plan. We anticipate the final draft will include an executive summary of A&S’s vision, focus areas, operating principles, and their importance; a description of the alignment of the strategic plan’s focus areas with the University’s larger mission and values; priority initiatives that correspond with each focus area, as well as their relevant success measures and key performance indicators; and an assessment of the contribution these strategic priorities will make to enhancing A&S’s value proposition, distinctive positioning, and competitive advantage.