The administration is drafting a new strategic plan for the 2014 school year to realign the university’s priorities. Aspects of the university’s academic integrity, affordability, Christian identity, diversity and relationships will be addressed.
Dr. Allison Garret, executive vice president, said the transition is for the benefit of the university.
“There’s nothing unusual, really, about a university undergoing strategic planning,” Garret said. “Its a part of an organization’s development and growth.”
Kevin Roberts, vice president for planning and operations, initiated the process last year. Garret said an outside consultant was brought in to facilitate several meetings between different departments on campus. These meetings, both on and off campus, brought about 40 people together to determine what areas of the university needed to be addressed. The groups were composed of faculty, staff, alumni and people from the Abilene community members. Together, they examined and determined what the most important areas of the new strategic plan should be.
The academic integrity subcommittee was co-chaired by Dr. Greg Straughn and Dr. Brad Crisp. The affordability subcommittee was co-chaired by Kevin Campbell and Stacy McGee. They addressed what the administration could to do better partner with families in making ACU an affordable place of education.
The Christian identity subcommittee was co-chaired by Dr. Jan Meyer and Dr. Rodney Ashlock. They sought out new ways for ACU to better partner with churches and provide a good environment for the spiritual development of students, faculty and staff.
Dr. Jan Meyer, interim director of Student Life and executive director of the Center for Christian Service and Leadership, said the Christian identity subcommittee also addressed the university’s relations with churches outside of the Church of Christ congregation.
“As more and more of our students come from a more diverse background of churches, and more of our alums are finding themselves outside of the churches of Christ, then we have to ask and answer what that means for ACU,” Meyer said.
The diversity subcommittee was co-chaired by Dr. Donnie Snider and Dr. Stephanie Hamm. They focused on ways to make ACU a welcoming campus to accommodate the changing demographics of students.
The relationships subcommittee was co-chaired by Jason Groves and Craig Fisher. They looked at relationships in a variety of contexts: how ACU can become a more effective partner in the city of Abilene, how to facilitate relationships between faculty and students and how to strengthen relationships between faculty and staff on campus.
Each subcommittee proposed a set of actions that can be taken to implement these new plans. The Board of Trustees will overview the draft at the November meeting, providing suggestions and feedback on the plan.
Garret said she hopes the different departments on campus will have a hard copy of the plan in their hands by this spring semester, and be able to start the changes in department based off that plan.
“This is an amazing place, for me, having that chance to get to know colleagues has been a blessing throughout this process,” Garret said.