Upcoming workshops will help shape campus strategic plan

February 12, 2015 - 12:22pm

First, the good news: The UO is offering an opportunity for free food and beverages.

But (you saw this coming, right?) here’s the quid pro quo: In return, you’ll need to rattle your brain cage a little and help the university be all it can be, and then some.

Over the next two weeks, the UO will hold three workshops (with free food and beverages!) to help advance ideas that will move the needle on all the gauges of the university’s influence, access, prestige and leadership. It is part of the strategic planning process that will help carry out the university’s plan for competitive excellence.

Everyone at the UO — students, faculty, officers of administration and classified staff — is encouraged to attend any of the workshops to contribute ideas or comments or to ask questions. Each workshop will focus on a different part of the strategic plan with the aim of determining how to best use the university’s resources to achieve its goals.

“We hope these workshops will be very hands-on, participatory events,” said Amalia Gladhart, professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages, who is leading one of four task forces helping guide the process. “Before we start drafting the plan, we want to hear from as wide a range of people as possible. I'd like to see a plan emerge that is both inspiring — something to aim for — and practical — a guide when it comes time to make choices. That's where the priority-setting comes in: If we can't do everything, what do we do first?”

Workshop 1 will take place at noon Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the EMU ballroom. It will look at attracting high-quality, diverse students and promoting student access, retention and success; attracting and retaining high-quality, diverse faculty and staff; and enhancing physical and IT infrastructure to ensure academic excellence.

Workshop 2 will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Many Nations Longhouse. Its focus will be on increasing the influence of the UO’s research, scholarship and creative inquiry, and expanding graduate education.

Workshop 3 will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, at the Many Nations Longhouse. It will be a second chance to talk about increasing the influence of the UO’s research, scholarship and creative inquiry, and expanding graduate education.

People can come for all or part of the sessions, and no RSVP is needed.

More than 50 people have already stepped up to serve on the four task forces helping to guide the process. Susan Anderson, interim East Asian Languages and Literature Department head and professor of German and Scandinavian, volunteered to lead the task force addressing infrastructure and information technology needs and said taking part in the process is the only way to ensure it reflects the campus community’s priorities.

“In order to function as researchers and instructors, we need high-functioning and versatile classrooms, labs, research spaces, open spaces and technology,” Anderson said. “I want to make sure the plan considers the perspectives of faculty and students in the humanities, the languages and in international studies, my areas of interest. We all need to let our voices be heard in devising this plan, which will have a concrete effect on how we work and interact.”

To learn more about the university-wide strategic planning process you can visit the provost page and click on the Strategic Planning tab.

—By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications