2012 Strategic Plan

A year-long strategic planning process, begun in August 2011, brought together alumni, faculty, parents, staff, students, and others to understand how the University can best anticipate and successfully meet the opportunities in the decade ahead—how the efforts of many may be unified to advance, and even transform, an institution over a period of time.

The twenty-six member Strategic Planning Committee agreed that its work would be conducted transparently, posting minutes, ideas received, and documents collected on a website accessible to everyone on campus. The Committee first reviewed the ideas gathered during a faculty retreat and an executive staff retreat, and published summaries of these. Then the committee initiated a longer effort, in September and October, to encourage campus-wide discussion of potential directions. Members facilitated seven small group discussions for faculty and staff together, and student members engaged the Student Senate to produce a video, a survey, and additional small group discussions with students. The Committee followed up the faculty-staff discussions with an open-ended survey, and then collected and published the results of all of these steps.

The Committee turned next to evaluating and refining the many ideas and suggestions received. Three subgroups on the topics of “Diversity and Equity,” “Educational Relationships,” and “Prominence through Excellence”—following preferences expressed through the faculty-staff survey—were formed. During November and December these subgroups met independently of the Strategic Planning Committee, which continued to meet and review progress. In mid-February the Committee completed an early draft of the plan for distribution and discussion on campus, and in late February the Committee hosted two faculty-staff forums to present the draft and receive feedback. In March the Committee shared the draft with the Parents’ Council, the Board of Regents, and with students at a dinner coordinated by the Student Government Association. Endorsements from the College and School of Theology faculties in hand, the draft was presented to the Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees, each of which approved the Plan in 2012.

The 2012 Strategic Plan begins with the following:

The University of the South, remaining as true as ever to its heritage and mission, will become a better, stronger, truer version of itself over the next decade. The strategic vision of this plan is that Sewanee will exemplify a learning environment of rich intellectual inquiry, insightful conversation, creative expression, purposeful action, and thoughtful formation of each student; will realize the potential of the Domain as a unique asset; will extend the scope of study, understanding, and action to cultures and societies both local and global; and will foster a diverse, cohesive, and inclusive community.

Strategic Plan 2012