Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the strategic planning process by participating in the feedback sessions and/or by providing written feedback. We know this is a busy time of year, which makes your input even more meaningful. We realize there are still many questions about next steps and write now to provide an update.
All the input we have received, including notes from the feedback sessions, has been shared with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. This committee includes the faculty on the Strategic Planning Committee as well as representatives from the Administrative Council, the Staff Advisory Committee and the Cabinet. We are using this feedback as we further shape a set of ideas that will be presented at the board meeting. In particular, we are working to include answers to questions raised by the community and to acknowledge the places where more work will need to be done before final decisions are made. During the feedback sessions many questions were raised about the Three Schools Model and about the Centers. Where possible, SPSC will incorporate responses to these questions as proposals continue to take shape. We will answer other common questions through a FAQ that will be shared with faculty and staff.
Regarding next steps, we will send the Board a written set of detailed proposals in advance of their meeting on May 13th and 14th. We will also share these documents with the faculty and staff in May. At the Board meeting, the President will ask the Board to formally endorse further work on the general strategic direction offered in the proposals. This strategic direction will most assuredly center DePauw’s mission:
DePauw University develops leaders the world needs through an uncommon commitment to the liberal arts.
DePauw's diverse and inclusive learning and living experience, distinctive in its rigorous intellectual engagement and its global and experiential learning opportunities, leads to a life of meaning and means. DePauw prepares graduates who support and create positive change in their communities and the world.
In fact, every idea presented in the proposal will be contextualized by this time-honored mission and DePauw will remain a proud liberal arts institution and active member of the GLCA. The GLCA bylaws do not prevent member institutions from offering a variety of degrees and programs. Some member institutions currently offer graduate degrees, engineering degrees, nursing degrees and music degrees. At various points in time, member institutions (including DePauw) have offered professional teaching degrees.
While DePauw will remain a proud liberal arts institution, our goal is much loftier. Through ongoing curricular and co-curricular renewal, we aspire to be known as one of the most forward-thinking liberal arts colleges in the country. If DePauw is going to prepare the leaders the world needs then we must also be a leader in showing the continued relevance of the liberal arts in the 21st century.
After endorsement by the Board, efforts would shift back to the campus community, including collaborating through our regular faculty and administrative governance processes. Any curricular changes would move through the regular faculty approval processes and would be carried out in parallel with the ongoing work of the faculty. For example, the General Education Subcommittee will continue its efforts to propose improved DePauw’s general education requirements and we have already met with members of that subcommittee to discuss how their work can dovetail with broader strategic planning. We are excited by these synergies.
Your questions, suggestions and critiques have helped our planning immensely and we know our strategic planning will continue to benefit from broad input.
Dr. Lori S. White, President
Dr. Dave Berque, Vice President for Academic Affairs