ISU seeks public input on strategic plan

NORMAL — Illinois State University is seeking public input on a draft of a new strategic plan that increases emphasis on collaboration and calls on the university to be not only a national leader in education but one that is recognized worldwide.

There will be a public forum at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Circus Room of ISU’s Bone Student Center. People can also provide input through a survey at The last day to complete the online survey is Friday. A copy of the draft plan also can be found at that website address.

“We want to be sure we’re hearing the ideas and requests from our citizens throughout the community,” said co-Chairman Brian Beam, executive director of university marketing and communications.

The new, five-year plan is tentatively named “Educate, Connect, Elevate.”

Beam explained the name change by saying educate is what the university does and the plan seeks to connect the goals to education while elevating ISU to a higher position.

“Illinois State is in a good place,” said Sam Catanzaro, a task force co-chair and associate vice president for academic administration. “We’re doing well and we’re poised to build on that and maybe do something we wouldn’t have imagined or aspired to 17 years ago.”

Among the objectives listed in the draft plan are ensuring ISU is affordable and accessible, increasing graduation and retention rates, strengthening ISU’s financial position and encouraging civic engagement and service learning.

The objectives also call for increasing opportunities for students to participate in study abroad and international experiences and developing and supporting online and distance-learning programs where appropriate and feasible.

The new plan also expands the list of core values, adding collaboration and respect to learning and scholarship, individualized attention, diversity, civic engagement and integrity.

The words “and inclusion” also have been added after “diversity” in the list of core values.

“The broadest single take home was to stay true to our history and mission, building on our strengths and grow where we can,” said Catanzaro.

The next step will be to get endorsements from campus shared governance groups, then take a final draft to the board of trustees for approval in early 2018, said Beam. After that, an implementation plan will be developed with specific measures “to assess success,” he said.

“It’s not something we’re just putting on a shelf and we’re done,” said Beam. “We issue a progress report each and every year.”

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota

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