We’re starting some interesting “meta” work at the Taylor Institute. We’re now fully staffed, and our newest unit (the College of Discovery, Creativity, and Innovation) has a year of development and programming under its belt. We’ve analyzed the data from our spring Community Cafés with instructors and students, and TI Communications and Marketing Lead Jessica Snow has prepared the second Taylor Institute Annual Report. We’ve also had a glimpse into the university’s new Academic Plan. Combine these with some transformative conversations with Interim Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning Leslie Reid, and we’re sitting down to do some collective reflection, listening, and planning.
As part of this larger process, we’re working toward the Taylor Institute’s first strategic plan. I know for some people, strategic planning sounds as enjoyable as a slow bus ride across the country, but I’ve been involved with some fantastic strategic plans over the years. Also, Tom O’Neill (Associate Professor of Industrial Psychology and Director of Individual and Team Performance/ITP Lab) and Katarina Zivkov (ITP Lab’s Talent Manager) have been our guides in planning our strategic planning. We’ll try to avoid duplicating prior work or draining the good will of the campus community, but we do want to listen broadly, deeply, and carefully by doing the following:
- We’ll look to our findings from the two Community Cafés in the spring, and reflect on countless conversations with students, staff, and administrative colleagues from across campus.
- We’ll draw from earlier strategic plans, our annual reports, and a variety of internal documents developed over the last few years (e.g., our “Principles of Good Practice in Collaboration and Knowledge-Sharing”).
- We’ll look to the teaching and learning-focused data collected during the consultation phases for Energizing Eyes High, as well as the priorities in the new Academic Plan, the new NSSE institutional snapshot, and the various strategic plans from across campus.
- We’ll include the findings from the targeted needs assessment survey developed by our colleague Nahum Arguera, the Taylor Institute’s NSSE Research Analyst.We’ll integrate what Leslie Reid and I have been learning from a “walking tour” with all of the Deans and Associate Deans of Teaching and Learning to hear about the campus’s specific teaching and learning cultures, strengths, and hopes.
- We’ll be holding a day-long retreat with the entire Taylor Institute staff, and reaching out again to the campus’s student and teaching leaders.
- We’ll have the opportunities to revisit the ambitious vision of the Taylor Institute, and to invoke our commitments to intentionality, flexibility, transparency, and collaboration as we re-align ourselves and where we devote our efforts.
I appreciate this kind of work because it calls on us to think big and think forward. The Taylor Institute’s Strategic Plan will be part of a Taylor Institute Community Report, coming out in mid-2018.