BOV talks strategic plan
Sullivan’s forced resignation, reinstatement leads to committee’s creation
A desire for innovation lingered in the small auditorium of the Harrison Institute Friday as the Board of Visitors convened its inaugural meeting of the special committee on strategic planning.
The 10-person strategic planning committee, crafted in the aftermath of University President Teresa Sullivan’s forced resignation and hasty reinstatement this summer, is charged with creating a plan to allow the University to keep abreast of changes in higher education.
“In the spirit of leading rather than responding, the time is right to undertake a strategic plan that will examine our very purpose and reason for being, and then develop a roadmap for our future,” wrote committee co-chairs Frank Atkinson and Linwood Rose in a letter, distributed at the Board meeting. The pair urged Sullivan to create a steering committee charged with strategic planning that would incorporate a broad range of perspectives in setting University goals, not just the Board’s.
Atkinson and Rose acknowledged the ultimate responsibility and framework for developing the strategic plan would be Sullivan’s.
“This is ideally a dynamic process,” Sullivan said. “[It’s] the beginning of a five-year period in which a planning office would implement the plan, monitor metrics, and perhaps identify modifications that need to be made to the plan rather than have an episodic one shot effort at planning.”
Provost John Simon and J. Milton Adams, newly-appointed senior vice provost, head the committee working to address concerns about the University’s future national standing, faculty retention, affordability and use of technology.
Simon and Adams discussed the need to coordinate the strategic plans of the individual schools with that of the University as a whole. Simon emphasized the need for these goals to be “tangible … rather than inspirational.”
In the months since the June controversy the Board’s has attempted to address the issue facing the University and higher education by creating the committee — a committee that was, in turn, given another nine months to develop a strategic vision of the University. Sullivan has asked for a draft to be presented at the Board meeting next June.
The Finance Committee meeting also considered the difficulties of meeting the University’s current and future financial challenges. The University is currently aiming to implement the model by June 2014. But both the search for a chief financial officer and chief operating officer are yet to be completed. In an interview with The Cavalier Daily last week Sullivan said the search committee was close to finding a replacement for former Chief Operating Officer Michael Strine, who left the post last month after just 13 months in office. Former Chief Financial Officer Yoke San Reynolds retired at the end of last semester.
Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, presented plans for a new internal financial model which is expected to provide the University with tools to operate more “efficiently in a future constrained by limited resources,” and will be phased-in during the next two budget cycles.
Sheehy said once the system is fully implemented it will foster innovation among deans, administrators and faculty by following incentive- and revenue-based allocation models.