The Planning Process
Our new academic strategic planning efforts built on many of the successes and lessons learned from Trajectory to Excellence. Among the notable outcomes of that plan were (1) several “one university” enterprise-wide initiatives like the commitment to veterans and military families and the campus framework, which guides our investments in facilities; (2) faculty-focused programs like the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the cluster hire initiative; and (3) many student-facing programs, from a focus on undergraduate research and peer tutoring to increased investment in graduate education and improvements in classroom technology. Together with the other accomplishments of Trajectory to Excellence, these efforts clearly demonstrated the value of thoughtful and dynamic academic strategic planning.
Reflecting on the process for creating and implementing the last academic strategic plan, we wanted to ensure that this planning effort was driven by an inclusive process that engaged the broader campus community in dialogue about what makes us proud—as individual contributors and as a collective—about our work as an institution and how we might increase our impact in the years to come. We were heartened by the robust participation in and fulsome contributions to this planning effort by our campus community.
During the Fall 2022 semester, the academic strategic planning effort was organized around three pillars of our core academic mission—research and creative excellence; educational excellence and student success; and public impact—and four cross-cutting values and operational areas that infuse and shape our work as an institution: diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; global engagement; resource sustainability and budget; and enrollment. Seven working groups composed of faculty, students, and staff met regularly with the wider campus community to seek feedback on each area and to identify current and aspirational areas of distinctive excellence at Syracuse University. This collaborative process ultimately included feedback from more than 2,000 unique participants. From the many working groups, campus discussions, surveys, and other sources of feedback came a rich narrative for Syracuse University.
While the five areas of distinctive excellence around which this plan is organized are not wholly unique to Syracuse University, because of the history, culture, and expertise concentrated within the Syracuse community, they represent the coalescence of our current thinking and future aspirations. This work is crucial, as the University seeks to distinguish itself from its peers as a student-focused research university with global scope, a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, and a broad and deep bench of world-class professional and liberal arts programs. The five themes capture those commitments and the core values that guide our work as an institution.