Comments on Strategic Plan draft, Oct. 28
These comments refer to the second
draft of the Strategic
Plan for 2005-2010. The plan was released Oct. 11.
Proud of Land-grant heritage
I understand how difficult it is to draft a strategic plan, but I want to
thank you for adding the "The Land-Grand Ideal" piece to the front page. We
should be very proud of our Land Grant heritage at ISU.
Some things for your consideration:
- the first bullet... teaching. .research...outreach and extension.
There is outreach from the individual colleges and their is outreach from
Extension staff and those with Extension appointments.
- As I read the papers and listen to the news, I think that economic
development is critical to this state in terms of growth, retention of our
young people, etc. As a science and technology institute we are aligned to
assist with assisting with economic development to improve the quality of
life. We need to apply that knowledge to strengthen economic development.
- Politically, our priorities need to be stated in a way that it says
we will use this information to to develop programs that will impact Iowans.
- Not only do we need to enable students, but we also need to work
with Iowans to assist them in evaluating information, and giving them the
tools to access information and use technology effectively in their lives
- Increase the number of graduate..... Could you take the idea of
partnering with Iowans to do this?
- Again, we need to show Iowan's that we see them as a partner. So,
we need to look at actually talking and listening to the people of Iowa and
set up research projects in their communities to help answer real problems.
We need to help them become enhance their communities and the public and
private sectors, so that people will want to stay or return to Iowa.
Goals- Enhance the vitality of Iowa's communities and well-being of its
- Looking at the measure of that goal. Rather than just "number",
maybe we need to report impacts that were made in the lives and businesses
of Iowans that were significant. In addition, we can report the number of
personal contacts, web and email contacts, publications and other resources
distributed, and conferences attended. In summary, I think in the
language, it would be good to be inclusive the people of Iowa and to work
with them to create a better place.
Add "economic development"
First, I'd like to say thank you to those responsible for changes made to
the current draft. Those responsible clearly heard many of the earlier
concerns and made important changes that, I believe, strengthened our plan
for the future.
Relative to the current draft, I offer the following specific
Apply knowledge to [strengthen economic development] and improve quality
of life for current and future generations.
Under Priority: "Translate discoveries into..."
- Develop and market citizens' innovative and value-added
technologies, products, and services.
- Enhance Iowans' ability to evaluate, use, apply, and access
available information, education, and technology.
Under Priority: "Partner or with Iowans to..."
- Develop field-based research efforts that enhance the state's
place competitiveness, public sector competitiveness, and private sector
- Develop community-led solutions that address the most challenging
societal and economic issues facing Iowans.
- Enhance partnerships with organizations, agencies, and educational
institutions that share ISU Extension's commitment to the people of
- Pursue positive leadership development for youth, communities, and
organizations in Iowa.
Under Measures relating to 2nd Current Goal: "Enhance the viability of
Iowa's Communities and wellbeing of its people."
Suggest Revision: Number of contacts [(e.g. personal contacts, web
and other electronic contacts, receipts of publications and other products,
etc.)] made by [University Extension].
Thank you for considering these suggestions.
Second version superior
First, I find this second version of the plan superior to the first by a
wide margin. It is clearer and values a broader array of specialties, which
is important to a university of this size and scope.
- Under the 1st priority, and Goal, it is stated:
- Improve the rigor and challenge of all academic programs.
- My experience with the word "rigor" and the dictionary definition as
well, suggest you may wish to use another word.
- Rigor has the following definitions in my dictionary: 1) Strictness
or severity, as in temperament, action or judgment. 2) A harsh or trying
circumstance, a hardship. 3) A severe or cruel act. 4) (obsolete)
stiffness or rigidity.
- Typically I have seen this word used when what is intended is:
- thoroughness or precision. Perhaps that word could be
- Under the 4th Priority, would you consider a goal that might read as
- Create (or maintain) on Iowa State University's campus a setting in
which the manifestation of culture through art, music, literature, theater,
debate (or some combination of these and others) contributes to the
wholeness and quality of life for residents of the university, Ames and
- The measure might be achieved through a tally of the number of arts and
literature events on campus during any school year.
- I mention this because it is well documented through history that arts
and letters and literature contribute to the quality of life in civilized
society, and Iowa State already does a huge amount of this, so it would be
easy to achieve success on this goal, and would contribute to Iowa State's
meaningful presence in the greater Ames and Central Iowa
Thank you for your consideration of these ideas.
Increase outreach and extension
First let me say that I am grateful that you decided to move the Land
Grant Ideal to the first page! When you format the final document you
might think about how it would print off on 8 1/2 by 11 paper unless you
think every one is going to read it on the web.
Under the mission statement I have a lot of concern about the use of
outreach as many faculty have little understanding of what "outreach" really
is in the full potential of what can be achieved. The use of the word
"Outreach" is a start, but for the University to achieve the kind of support
from Iowans that it needs, we need to increase the outreach and Extension
efforts to Iowans. The more emphasis the plan places on relating to the
needs of all Iowans the better the plan will serve ISU.
Under the "Priority" section on "Translate priorities ... " I would
suggest adding the following goals:
- add "Develop and market value-added products and services that
provide economic benefits for Iowans."
- Also consider: "Increasing Iowans ability to access and utilize
information to help Iowans become their best."
Under the "Priority" section on "Partner with Iowans ...."
- I would suggest modifying the second goal to read "Enhance the
vitality and viability of Iowa's communities."
- I would also add "Utilize field based research efforts to enhance the
competitiveness of both the public and private sectors."
- I would also suggest adding "Assist in the implementation of strategies
to address community identified needs to provide solutions to economic and
societal issues that Iowans face."
- Also consider the issue of: "Further enhancing partnerships with other
groups, agencies and institutions that can assist ISU in meeting the goals
laid out in the Strategic Plan."
Rural Iowa has seen a significant loss in leadership and volunteerism as
our state has aged. One of the goals should specifically address the issue
of increasing leadership and entrepreneurial skills of all age levels in
Thank you for your consideration.
Support ISUComm initiative
I believe that students who have knowledge AND can communicate that
knowledge will reflect well on ISU. Therefore, I support the ISUComm
initiative and hope that the Strategic Plan includes language about
implementing that initiative.