Strategic Planning Update

May 14, 2008

As we approach the 15th year anniversary of our first graduating class, the faculty and staff at Jepson have begun a process to consider what we’ve done to date and how to move the School to the next level. All agree that we have accomplished much. All agree that we could do more. The strategic planning process, begun in May 2008, will help us all see more clearly just how we can do so.

The timing for this process is fortuitous. President Ayers has begun a university-wide strategic planning process based on five critical principles. Jepson’s strategic planning will complement this university-wide effort as we consider ways we can enhance the School’s reputation while at the same time supporting the President’s larger vision for the university.

Although we have just begun this process, I should say that the conversations have been wonderfully productive and collegial. In May 2008, the faculty reviewed a Mission Statement that had been in place since the School’s inception as well as some language that was developed but not endorsed in 2006. I presented an alternative to both. A helpful discussion followed, revisions were suggested and the faculty unanimously approved our new Mission Statement.

Process: We have agreed that the process will be inclusive and transparent – of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners. We're working closely with the Jepson Student Government Association and our Alumni Networking Committee, and we will also draw on the expertise of the Jepson School National Advisory Council so that we can draw on their expertise as well.

As we collect information and agree on principles and actions, we will post updates on the website.

May 2008 – strategic planning faculty retreat: discuss process; examine UR principles, JSLS principles; reconsider and revise mission, vision, goals; discuss questions to move us forward; define next steps.
June 2008 – staff retreat: discussion of UR principles and the new JSLS mission statement; staff roles and support; questions to move us forward; next steps.
Summer 2008 – gather information by meeting with students to set goals and timetable; meeting with Alumni Networking Committee to gather information and input.
August 2008 – faculty retreat: to review UR strategic planning progress; examine key data and information; set goals for teaching and learning, scholarly influence, and community relations; form and develop charge for working groups; create timetable for working groups.
Fall 2008 – biweekly faculty and staff strategic planning updates; working groups develop action steps; faculty approval; strategic plan created incrementally; seek input from National Advisors.
January 2009 – faculty retreat: discussion and endorsement of full strategic plan.

Sandra J. Peart
Dean, Jepson School of Leadership Studies
University of Richmond