Administration wants input

Coordinators of the Shared Strategic Vision are working to spread the word on  proposals and are encouraging feedback from students, faculty and staff.

The vision is composed of 10 separate proposed action items that are intended to advance the university as a whole over the next 10 to 15 years.

Ben Hunter, chief of staff, said the vision will find the intersections between Dare to Make a Difference and Butler’s Campus Master Plan, which help direct for the university’s future.

Several meetings have occurred, including three forums to discuss these plans of action and to get the word out to the Butler community following the State of the University address.

Along with the forums, President Jim Danko went to Butler’s different colleges and met with the faculty, Faculty Senate, Staff Assembly and students at a town hall meeting.

“We’re getting out in front of people and making sure we’re giving them an opportunity to attend a forum or read it on the webpage,” Hunter said.

A link for students, faculty and staff to send in feedback and opinions can be found on Danko’s homepage.

“As the president stated, these proposals are mutable,” Hunter said. “In other words, they can change, and that’s why we want feedback.”

Hunter said coordinators have received excellent feedback so far, and some of the proposals could change due to the input they have received.

“We’re really encouraging people to look at this,” Hunter said.  “I hope that is a lot of the reason as to why people are sending us their feedback.”

Tom Weede, vice president for enrollment management, said feedback for the shared vision is essential.

“Without feedback, (the shared vision) wouldn’t be as good, and it wouldn’t be as accepted,” Weede said.  “It’s a lot easier to have conversations about things when you have a chance to react to them.”

By involving faculty, staff and student opinions so early in the vision’s process, Weede said the planning process is a lot better than before, when people didn’t really have the opportunity to be involved in decision making.

“It hasn’t always been this way, not just at Butler, but in higher education,” Weede said. “I think that, in many ways, we’re looking at a different way of governing schools.”

Josh Downing, chair of  Staff Assembly, attended the Staff Assembly meeting at which Danko spoke.

“(Danko) shared where we’re at currently, where we’re going and what we need to do to get there,” Downing said.  “He really does a great job of painting the picture for us.  It’s really good to hear that from him, and he’s out in the open about it.”

Downing said he could tell that Danko was genuine about wanting feedback about the plan.

Hunter said Danko’s view contributes to excellent feedback.

“I think the whole process of it is very transparent, and hopefully everyone will consider looking at it and voicing their opinion,” Hunter said.

Like Downing, Weede saw one of Danko’s presentations on the vision.

Weede also attended one of the forums that involved students.  He said it had a very positive atmosphere.

“The students were interested and engaged, and there was reasonable attendance for a student meeting,” Weede said.

The community involvement timeline, which Danko shared in his presentations, shows this process starting in December of 2011 and running all the way to 2013.

In 2013, the university plans to begin implementing the action items.

Hunter said the timeline for feedback and changes would come over the next couple months.

At the end, the proposed and finalized report will go out to the Board of Trustees.

“We continue to elicit feedback, knowing that we’re going to change key things and move forward in this vision,” Hunter said. “It’s been a lengthy process, but it’s been one that, in the end, hopefully, we’ve thought of every avenue to give folks an opportunity to hear this and give their input.”

The outlines of the Shared Strategic Vision, Dare to Make a Difference and Butler’s Campus Master Plan can be found on Danko’s website.

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