USC interim Provost Elizabeth Garrett recently appointed the new Strategic Planning Committee that will establish a plan to guide the university’s future development.
Strategic plans help advance USC by creating goals based on the values of the university and determine the steps that need to be taken in achieving those goals.
“What they try to do is look at USC’s mission and institutional context … then judge from this moment where the university is heading, where it ought to head and try to come up with a strategy for getting there,” said Robin Romans, the associate provost and ex officio member — or coordinator — of the committee
Previous strategic plans focused on providing a unique undergraduate education and strengthening interdisciplinary education and research. Many goals remain consistent throughout the years but strategies are redefined to address the changing circumstances.
Though the committee has been established, it has yet to set any definite goals for this year, he said.
The 2010-2011 Strategic Planning Committee, which includes 22 faculty members, has met once to begin developing ideas for the new plan, which should be completed in approximately 18 months, Romans said.
Garrett, chair of the committee, said she hopes to provide many opportunities for individuals to participate in creating the strategic plan, as it will greatly influence the direction of the school.
“This is very much a process that will involve all segments of USC’s academic community: faculty, staff and students,” Garrett said.
Depending on the provisions the strategic plan makes, funding might be necessary to achieve its goals. The committee will find ways to meet financial requirements by potentially pulling from other funds, Romans said.
“We wouldn’t have a strategic planning process if we weren’t serious about implementing it,” Romans said. “The funding of it is kind of secondary in the sense that we will find funding.”
Romans said there will be several opportunities for people to have input through participation in subcommittees and through a new strategic planning website.
The website, which will be available in two weeks, allows individuals to read updates on the committee’s proceedings as well as submit their own feedback, Garrett said.
“This is a university that has a long history of working together as an academic community to chart our strategic course, and the strategic plan has served as guideposts in our course as an academic institution,” Garrett said.
This involvement helps maintain the vitality of the university, Garrett said, as the strategic plan is a central aspect of USC culture.
Pablo Ortiz de Urbina, a senior majoring in music performance (French horn), has been at the university for five years and has noticed the impact of the strategic plan.
“[The strategic plans] try to include the students in the involvement … Try to expand the academic field. It does have an impact,” he said.
Ortiz said he hopes the next strategic plan continues building a closer relationship between students and professors and focuses on enriching the reputation of the school.
“I would like to change the reputation of this school into more academic and pure academic, less athletic,” he said. “In five years, USC has gone a lot more academic I feel and a lot more serious and also a lot more open with their relationship between students and teachers.”