University of Delaware
Provost Grasso kicks off UD's Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI) on May 12.

Strategic Planning Initiative underway

Town hall launches University-wide effort; second town hall set for May 29


11:25 a.m., May 15, 2014--University of Delaware Provost Domenico Grasso kicked off UD’s Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI) at a town hall held May 12 in the Trabant University Center Theatre. 

“It’s a vision of where we want to go, and at the end of the process, it needs to be a collective plan that we all see ourselves in,” Grasso told the audience of about 100 faculty, staff and students. “I’d like this to be an exciting opportunity for everyone across this University.” 

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Charlie Riordan, vice provost for research and chair of the executive committee for the SPI, introduced the leaders of the three working groups, who gave a brief overview of their focus and teams:

  • Sustaining and Accelerating the Advance, led by Rick Andrews, deputy dean in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and Bahira Trask, professor of education and human development, will assess the current Path to Prominence strategic plan to identify successes, as well as unfinished initiatives that might be reassessed for the future. This working group plans to conduct focus groups and personal interviews as part of their research.
  • Great Debates, Grand Challenges, Big Ideas led by Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and Paul Brewer, acting director of the Center for Political Communication, will identify areas of state, national or global consequence where UD is best positioned, now or in the future, to engage through research, teaching and service initiatives and through new and existing alliances. This working group will define the grand challenges, scope and scale, and use a variety of media to engage stakeholders in conversations about them.
  • Models for the New American Research University led by Kristi Kiick, deputy dean in the College of Engineering, and Matthew Kinservik, associate dean for the humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, will reflect on best practices and new opportunities and consider new, innovative and effective options concerning institutional organization, curriculum delivery and cost containment. This working group will explore issues ranging from how units are organized to the composition of the faculty.

During the question-and-answer session, Grasso and Riordan spoke about new approaches for engaging the University community and external stakeholders, ranging from teach-in’s, to the development of white papers for a more in-depth analysis of key topics, and presentations by external thought leaders. 

A variety of communications will be issued to help keep the University community informed and engaged throughout the planning process. A draft of the new strategic plan is due to Grasso early in 2015. 

A website will be launched in the near future, and information on upcoming activities will be shared on the University’s UDaily news service and social media channels. 

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to submit their ideas for the strategic planning team to this email address:

A second town hall will be held Thursday, May 29, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Trabant University Center Theatre.

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