School of Education Faculty, Students Named to Academic Strategic Plan Working Groups

Syracuse University’s Academic Strategic Plan Oversight Committee has announced the appointment of faculty, staff and students to six working groups that will help inform the committee’s work to implement the University’s new Academic Strategic Plan.

Each of the six working groups is charged with focusing on one of the themed areas of the plan: The Student Experience, Discovery, Internationalization, Commitment to Veterans and Military-connected Families, Innovation, One University.

The common charge across the six working groups tasks each group with identifying specific strategies for achieving objectives; determining the resources (time, money, people) needed to implement strategies; and formulating metrics for measuring progress toward achieving objectives.

The groups will use as a primary resource the full reports of the first-phase working groups, which helped to shape the final draft of the Academic Strategic Plan. By semester’s end, the oversight committee expects to have identified three objectives per working group that will be endorsed for implementation in 2016.

School of Education faculty and students involved in the implementation of the Academic Strategic Plan include:

  • Jing Lei – Associate Professor, Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation – Oversight Committee
  • Jerry Edmonds – PhD ’96 and Adjunct Professor, Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation – Oversight Committee
  • Luis Columna – Associate Professor, Exercise Science – Co-chair, Innovation Working Group
  • Cathy Engstrom – Associate Professor, Higher Education – The Student Experience Working Group
  • Ben Dotger – Associate Professor, Teaching & Leadership Programs – Discovery Working Group
  • Julie Ficarra – Graduate Student, Cultural Foundations of Education – Internationalization Working Group
  • Kevin Heffernan – Assistant Professor, Exercise Science – Commitment to Veterans and Military-connected Families Working Group
  • Laura Viller – Graduate Student, Higher Education – Innovation Working Group

“The Academic Strategic Plan: Trajectory to Excellence lays out a very ambitious and overarching strategic vision for the University,” says Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Liz Liddy, who chairs the Oversight Committee. “The next step is to prioritize our objectives and develop clear plans of action for achieving them. This is a multiyear process, and while we already have taken steps to implement some key objectives—for instance, expanding international initiatives and enhancing student retention—we need time to develop strategies to achieve others in collaboration with individual schools, colleges and other units. We have a great team in place, and I know they will be both collaborative and thorough. At the same time, the plan also is a living document, which means that we fully expect it to continue to evolve even as we move more deeply into the implementation phase.”

The Academic Strategic Plan emerged from a yearlong collaborative process to refine the University’s institutional vision in light of current and emerging needs and opportunities, and identify broad Universitywide goals that will advance progress toward achieving that vision.

The implementation Oversight Committee, which Liddy announced in August, has begun meeting regularly to oversee the process. The committee includes faculty, staff and students and, in addition to Liddy, is led by Associate Provost for Academic Programs Andria Costello Staniec, Assistant Provost for Academic Programs Jerry Edmonds and Provost Faculty Fellow and Engineering Professor Shiu-Kai Chin.

The Oversight Committee holds final responsibility for recommending priorities to University leadership, monitoring progress toward achieving goals and objectives, and continuously assessing goals and recommendations in light of emerging challenges and opportunities.

The full membership roster of the Oversight Committee and the six working groups can be found on the Fast Forward website.

Original story on SU News by Carol Boll