Strategic plan faces changes

Butler University officials have started working on an update to the strategic plan, and are incorporating President Jim Danko’s observations into it.

A strategic plan is a five-year plan based around goals and priorities.

Its objective is to uphold and maintain Butler’s mission, integrity and excellence in education.

The current plan, Dare to Make a Difference, was adopted in 2009 and will remain in effect until 2014.
It was built upon the previous strategic plan, Dare to Lead.

“A lot came out of the strateguc plan in terms of things we need to pursue,” Danko said.

“I think now the challenge is how do we incorporate new leadership and go over and above that.”

Danko said he would like to work more closely with the rest of the university leadership to determine what the future of the strategic plan will be.

Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs Jamie Comstock is currently writing the next update, pending additional discussion.

Updates are made regularly, as they are needed.

With new administration, a new strategic plan seems to be on the horizon.

“My best guess is yes, the strategic plan will change,” COB Dean Chuck Williams said. “It’s a natural thing to happen any time you have a new president. Any time you have a new leader who’s going to come in with a fresh outlook and, frankly, probably has a different set of challenges placed on them by the trustees, you can expect the strategic plan to change.

“Higher education is different now than it was in 2001—a different set of opportunities, a different set of challenges.”

Questions about what changes will be made are still being answered.

“I think President Danko is doing what he should at this point; he’s in the listening phase,” LAS Dean Jay Howard said. “He’s going around and talking to people, and people are coming to him and sharing insight, which is what a good new leader would do. He’s doing the right things.”

Williams said that the university should look to progressing from where it is now.

“The key thing that needs to be decided is what does taking Butler to the next level mean?” Williams said.

“If that becomes our objective, then we can begin to answer that question, and the strategic plan will develop around making that happen.”

At this time, it is difficult to tell just what the university could use in its strategic plan if and when changes are made.

“It’s hard to predict what is going to happen at this point, and the way these things evolve is in cycles,” Howard said.

“I think even President Danko would have a hard time saying how the strategic plan is going to change, because he’s still in that listening phase. I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point yet.”

The strategic plan provides guidance for nearly all university operations.

At the same time, the individual colleges have agendas that support the plan as a whole.

“It’s not unreasonable to expect that if the strategic plan changes that the colleges will have to make some adjustments, but at its core Butler’s mission doesn’t change with the strategic plan,” Williams said.

“Butler is committed to personalized education; students have great opportunity in all of our colleges to do work in professional settings. At its core, Butler isn’t going to change.”

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