Comments on Strategic Plan draft, Sept. 16
These comments refer to Aug. 30, 2004, first draft the Strategic Plan for 2005-2010. The draft is very much a work in progress. Still to come in future drafts are strategies and action plans to achieve goals, and measures that will be used to assess success of those efforts.
Mission appears self-limiting
After having read and considered the strategic plan draft the following suggestions are offered: Share knowledge through outstanding learning-centered undergraduate, graduate, professional, and distance education programs. This mission goal appears to be self-limiting to didactic educational vehicles. Educational outreach through demonstrations, program development using developing technologies, personal interactions/problem solving as currently accomplished in Extension actions should be included as sharing knowledge. Additionally this adoption/sharing of knowledge by direct application could be more forcefully included in the Make Iowa and the world a better place by preparing students to be world citizens and leaders and by applying knowledge in ways that improve the quality of life goal. In the priorities and goals - 2005-2010, the absence of Extension programming to strengthen state initiatives and facilitate entrepreneurial activities should be corrected. Extension should be challenged to lead the nation in development and implementation of market-based solutions to state and national problems, to assist in growth of the Iowa economy, and strengthening quality of life. These issues could be addressed in several of the priorities/goals bullets. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this draft.
Social sciences concerns on target
Hello. I agree wholeheartedly with the concerns outlined by the Chairs of the LAS social science departments.
Add Extension education
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the first draft of the 2005-210 Strategic Plan. My suggestions are underlined for easier reading.
Under Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010
College Academic Council, College of Engineering
Fundamental advances important too
SUBJECT: College of Engineering comments on the University Strategic Plan draft.
The College Academic Council (deans and department and unit heads mainly) discussed the first draft of the strategic plan. For the most part, there was consensus on the following points:
Overall, we applaud the work of the committee in creating a planning document that can serve as a guide to future decisions.
Aspiration too narrow
Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the first draft of the strategic plan. While I agree with much of what appears, there are areas about which I have concern. I would categorize these concerns into three categories:
The Mission itself reads well and seems quite balanced; however, the statement of aspiration is very narrow and excludes those programs and people who do not have a focus on the application of science and technology. The aspiration statement seems to suggest that we want to become another MIT rather than a comprehensive, land-grant university.
The Priorities and Goals section is a bit more comprehensive but still troublesome with regard to the above points. The goals related to the first priority regarding strengthening undergraduate experience focus only on the academic experience and preparation of students. Equally important are the out-of-class experiences. Providing a safe environment for all students is a basic need we are not meeting. In addition, attention needs to be paid to students' living environments and extracurricular involvement. In addition, partnerships with Iowa schools need to focus on readiness in areas other than math, science, technology, and communication. I would hope that we would attract well-rounded students prepared in the humanities and arts as well as the fields listed.
The goals associated with the second priority to increase quality again needs to recognize that not only do we have strong programs in science and technology but also in areas such as Design and Higher Education (ranked 6th in a recent national study of doctoral programs in the field and 7th for master's programs).
The third priority related to service totally ignores service to the educational institutions in the state. We have a long record in this area and it needs to be supported. Service to the arts is also omitted.
The quality of life priority goals are vaguely written. More specific attention is needed related to creating a climate that appreciates and values diversity. It is more that "welcoming" people. More needs to be said about the role of the arts in creating well-rounded individuals and more needs to be said about the importance of student involvement in organizations and activities as opportunities for learning and leadership.
Thank you for your work on this important document. I hope that my comments are helpful.
Connectivity with public is missing
Thank you, committee, for the opportunity to respond to the first draft.
I read the plan "minute-one" when it was released, and have been upset by it ever since - even though I've tried to read it with objectivity and openness several times. The proposed changes of our culture and values are significant and frankly troubling. The true connectivity with the public is unbelievably missing. I will do my best to give you constructive feedback suggestions.
I've boiled down my concerns to four overarching, disturbing themes:
Now the point, by point, edits, words, changes and suggestions, in addition to the tone comments above:
Help as many as possible, not just elite
Mission - share knowledge.
"Extension" needs to appear in this sentence. "Distance education" does not begin to describe all of the educational work that is done by ISU Extension.
Mission - make Iowa and the world a better place
Revise sentence" ".. by preparing students to be world citizens and leaders and by helping citizens apply knowledge in ways that improve the quality of life." [ISU is more than students on campus. Extension faculty and staff members address the educational needs of the citizens of the state.]
Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010 - Increase number of undergraduates
Under bullet 1, delete references to biosciences, materials sciences, and information sciences. This is too specific and leaves out the contributions/strengths of many colleges.
"The opportunity for all to pursue a college education" seems to be in conflict with the earlier statement "with special emphasis on enhancing programs for high-ability students." The first is inclusive; the second is elitist. With recent budget cuts we have eliminated advisors and support staff who help make ISU a more welcoming place for students, especially those who need some extra support to achieve their full potential. Many students from Iowa's small school districts may need some extra support to help them learn how to compete with students from larger schools who have had an opportunity to take more advanced courses at the high school level. If all taxpayers help support ISU, I believe we have a broad responsibility to help as many Iowans as possible--not just the elite.
The word Extension needs to be mentioned as part of our historical background
Share knowledge through outstanding learning-centered undergraduate, graduate, professional, Extension education programs (including distance education). Make Iowa and the world a better place by preparing students to be world citizens and leaders and to improve the quality of life by engaging Iowa citizens of all ages in research based Extension programs.
In carrying out its mission, Iowa State University is committed to diversity in its students, faculty, staff and clientele and access to those excluded or impeded from realizing their full potential. Diversity enlivens the exchange of ideas, broadens scholarship, and prepares students for lifelong participation in society.
Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010
Include "Extension outreach"
Mission I encourage the inclusion of "education through Extension Outreach" be included in the mission in the "Share knowledge" statement. Add to "Make Iowa and the world a better place" statement -- "Provide knowledge-based programs through Extension education to help the people throughout Iowa improve their quality of life." Priorities and Goals first priority goals, last bullet, Does this partnering include all the work that ISU Extension 4-H youth development programs are already doing in this area? Enhance the quality of life - add Through educational Extension outreach programs in every Iowa County, enhance the quality of life for families and youth.
Extenision is tremendous tool
To Whom It May Concern: It was interesting to me as an Iowa State University Extension employee that the word Extension did not appear in this draft of the Iowa State University strategic plan for the years 2005-2010. I believe Extension is a tremendous tool for Iowa State University in all 99 counties across the state of Iowa. It is the third part of the Land Grant University Mission as I understand it: Teaching, Research, and Extension. In a day and age when connection to the people of Iowa for financial support and growth is very important, a vision and plan to use this "already in existence part of the University" would seem to be very important.
Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010
Core Values: Add the following
good idea to focus on rigor, high-ability students
Thanks for providing an opportunity to comment.
There are many aspects of the plan draft that I like. At the same time, the current draft needs to be changed to emphasize aspects that are important to me and my field. Here is the mix:
We must be engaged with Iowans
I have several suggestions for your consideration to the strategic plan that is currently underway.
There is no mention of disseminating or sharing knowledge except for distance education in the Mission. I think that it should include outreach, extension, engagement of the citizens of Iowa which is part of our land grant mission. If we want support for the university throughout the state, we must be engaged with people in the state with programs that are important to them. Further, if we are to work at improving Iowa's economy, we can't be successful unless we are engaged with people out in the state.
Under Priority 3 - I feel that we should try to define that we will work with the strengths and opportunities in Iowa to strengthen it's economy. If we are going to be successful, we must focus on what Iowa can do best and be the best at and work in those areas. Likewise, as a university, we must focus our energies on areas where we can be the best in the USA and World and work to make these areas preeminent.
Under Priority 3 - The goal to lead the nation in number of new patents might send the wrong message to faculty in promotion and tenure decisions. Do we only work in those areas that have opportunities for patents and successful business ventures and ignore those important areas or issues in society that will not lead toward patents? I think not.
Thanks for letting me provide this input to the planning committee
Accentuate network and the state
To: The Strategic Plan Committee
Thank you for the chance to review the Strategic Plan Draft. My
suggestions include issues that are inherent characteristics of a leading Land Grant University.
MISSION (add wording)
ASPIRATION (add wording and change phrase)
PRIORITY 2 (add a bullet)
PRIORITY 3 (add a bullet)
PRIORITY 4 (change phrases)
One of several advantages ISU has on all colleges and universities in Iowa, and most of the world, is the network and locations of Extension offices in every Iowa county.
With limited resources; the need to be connected to the citizens of the State; the urgency to attract and retain Iowa students; and to do this with credibility and professionalism Extension is a key to the Mission and priorities of ISU.
Aspiration reflects most important objective
Iowa State will be one of the world's leading universities in educating students and putting science and technology to work.
This is absolutely the most important objective that we should pursue. Our state and our Nation's economic future depend on our success in this endeavor.
Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010
Priority: Increase the number of undergraduate, graduate, and research programs known as the very best in their field, particularly in areas where the university's strengths address critical needs and opportunities.
Priority: Achieve preeminence in translating new discoveries into viable technologies, products, and services with a focus on fueling Iowa's economy and building a sustainable future.
Iowa can be a leader in manufacturing of materials and systems (and fuel) for the transition to a hydrogen-based energy circuit that is truly sustainable for many generations to come. It is of critical importance that these new types of manufacturing businesses should remain in the US. We cannot afford to watch this strategic opportunity go off-shore, once again.
Also, new developments in bio-materials should be transitioned to Iowa-based manufacturing, instead of letting our "friends" in Minnesota and California, etc. have all of this special, high profit area.
Faculty (ISU Greening)
Include environmental good
To the members of the strategic planning committee:
ISU Greening (a consortium of students, staff and faculty of ISU working to "green" Iowa State) is very concerned about the lack of visibility for environmental issues in the current draft of the Strategic Plan. Vice President Warren Madden shared our coalitions' mission and proposal with the Presidents Cabinet (August 9, 2004), and Provost Ben Allen has been asked to incorporate this into the university's strategic planning process. We will be meeting with Provost Allen on Monday, September 27, 2004.
Below is a bullet for inclusion in the Strategic Plan, and for your further consideration, the mission statement of ISU Greening. Thank you in advance for your leadership in integrating these concepts into the strategic plan.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of ISU Greening,
Bullet for inclusion in strategic planning for ISU:
The Greening of ISU Mission Statement:
Mission Share knowledge through outstanding learning-centered undergraduate, graduate, professional, and Extension education (including distance education programs). Make Iowa a better place.
Under Core Values Could we add
Thank you for the opportunity to make suggestions to the Strategic Plan
Capitalize on Extension offices
Create knowledge through excellent research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. Share knowledge through outstanding learning-centered undergraduate, graduate, professional, EXTENSION and distance education programs. Make Iowa and the world a better place by preparing students to be world citizens and leaders and by engaging Iowa citizens of all ages in EXTENSION programs aimed at improving the quality of life. In carrying out its mission, Iowa State University is committed to diversity in its students, faculty, staff AND CLIENTELE and access to those excluded or impeded from realizing their full potential.
Iowa State University will be home to faculty, staff, and students who share a passion for discovery and for applying science and technology to make a difference. Their enthusiasm and talent will attract many partners from outside the university community. A "can-do" spirit will permeate campus and off-campus learning centers including EXTENSION OFFICES as collaborators work together to find new ways to improve Iowa and the world.
Priorities and Goals for 2005-2010 Priority Increase the number of undergraduate, graduate, research AND EXTENSION programs known as the very best in their field, particularly in areas where the universitys strengths address critical needs and opportunities. Goals .. Leverage the universitys areas of strength and the emerging needs of the state and nation to achieve preeminence in interdisciplinary research areas such as biosciences, materials sciences, and information sciences. .. Attract and retain outstanding faculty, staff, EXTENSION DIRECTORS, undergraduate, and graduate students. .. Strengthen infrastructures and streamline processes that support research programs. .. Celebrate and promote excellent programs and significant research accomplishments.
CAPITALIZE ON THE 100 EXTENSION OFFICES WITH ONE LOCATED IN EVERY COUNTY AND IN THE STATE.
Priority Enhance the quality of life on campus and throughout Iowa. Goals PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR LIFE-LONG-LEARNING EXPERIENCES THROUGH A STRONG EXTENSION PROGRAM WHICH HELPS COMMUNTIIES, YOUTH AND FAMILIES IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE.
.. Strengthen efforts to create a community on campus and THROUGHOUT IOWA that welcomes people from diverse backgrounds. Core Values Iowa State University faculty, staff, and students are committed to: ADHERENCE TO THE LAND GRANT CONCEPT
CONCEPT OF AN ENGAGED UNIVERSITY MEETING THE NEEDS OF IOWAN'S - the opportunity for all to pursue a college education AND LIFE-LONG LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Add Extension, everwhere
To whom it may concern:
In general, I believe we need to rethink the de-emphasis of our Land Grant history and mission in this new Strategic Plan. I can hardly distinguish this plan from one that would be written for the University of Iowa. That lack of distinction, I believe, is dangerous in today's environment. Therefore I have some more specific comments about Extension education that discusses our unique, Land Grant mission.
Under "mission" (share knowledge)
Under "Goals/Priorities" (fueling Iowa's economy)
Finally, under core values
Thank you for providing this opportunity to comment.
Outreach is mission
One of the major missions of a land grant university is outreach and Extension. I would like to see the strategic plan address this outreach mission. Extension can provide knowledge based programs to Iowans to make each community a better place to live and improve quality of life. The resources at ISU and in the counties are available. We need to make more of a connection and help Iowans see that.
Send your comments on the first draft of the plan to strategicplan by Sept. 17.