A 40-member Strategic Planning Council, charged with guiding the process of developing a vision for West Virginia University for 2020, was announced at Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

The Council will function much as a steering committee for President James P. Clements’ Strategic Plan, and will be charged with collecting input from the WVU family and using that input to set goals across all campuses and disciplines. Provost Michele Wheatly will co-chair the process along with Chancellor of Health Sciences Christopher Colenda.

Click here to view the members of the Council and brief bios

Wheatly, who announced the members of the Council since Clements’ was attending a memorial service for the miners killed in Raleigh County last week, said the 40 professors, students, administrators and community members are “an astonishing cast of characters.”

Among those selected were dozens of faculty, including Senate Chair Nigel Clark, who will also chair the Strategic Planning Council.

To inform the work of the SPC, three work groups are in the process of being formed, focusing on discovery and innovation, inclusivity and international initiatives.

Other groups are already up and running including one on establishing a single clinical enterprise in HSC and one addressing student health and wellness in Student Affairs. Their purpose will be to listen to the WVU family in order to identify opportunities and obstacles for the decade ahead. Others will be formed as major areas of emphasis/focus emerge from the discussions.

The SPC will consider all inputs, including those generated by the senior leadership team, the Council of Deans and any other WVU entity engaging in a parallel planning process (e.g. WVU Institute of Technology). Once the strategic goals and objectives have been established by the SLC the work of the plan will involve “action” or output groups. Wheatly emphasized that there are multiple places for campus constituents to be fully engaged in the process.

“A strategic plan that brings the talents, vision and energy of the entire WVU community is our collective goal,” Colenda said. “While the faculty and staff of the HSC have unique opportunities that focus on health professional education, research and clinical service delivery, we are committed to the vision: ‘one university that is anchored by our land grant values, but with an eye towards the global community.’ “

Wheatly expects the SPC and the input work groups will do much of the initial work in the next few months and have a plan ready for discussion and refinement in the fall. The action groups will be at work throughout the life of the plan. As the work of the university proceeds, feedback will refine the plan in an iterative process.

In other business, the Senate:

  • Heard from the two candidates for Senate chair-elects: Leslie Cottrell, an associate professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine; and Marjorie McDiarmid, a professor in the law school. Senators will receive their ballots soon.
  • Listened to a presentation from Hugh Kierig, director of WVU Transportation and Parking, on the future of the PRT. Kierig hopes to secure enough federal funding to help pay for a $92.8 million upgrade to the PRT.
  • Approved a new education degree, several new courses and course changes.
  • Modified the Student Evaluation of Instruction questionnaires to reflect online courses.
  • Agreed to send a revised Faculty Constitution to the faculty assembly for approval in October. Among other things, the new constitution establishes a quorum of 25 percent for the assembly to conduct business. The current constitution does not specify a quorum, resulting in a de facto requirement of 50 percent, plus one.



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