Assege HaileMariam, Ken Baker and I invite the campus community to participate in the 2011 strategic planning process. We hope to have stimulating, productive discussions that will prepare us to educate the next generation of students and help us build a sustainable future for EIU. William Weber

The President's Letter

I am asking the EIU community to create in calendar year 2011 a strategic plan for a sustainable academic and financial future for the university. The plan will be built on the foundations of our mission statement and our fundamental values of excellence, personal relationships, opportunity, and service. The plan will be short, understandable, and action oriented. The plan will comprise ten pages and will contain a list of five to ten strategic priorities; three of the priorities will be chosen for initial implementation in calendar year 2012. All priorities must support our goal of being the best university in the nation at integrating the academic and personal development of students; support a sustainable academic environment at EIU; and support a sustainable financial environment at EIU. At the intersection of these three emphases lies integrative learning.

The plan is to take into account at least the following: enhancement of our institutional capacity for excellence in teaching, research, and public service; the globalization of higher education; our competitiveness for enrollment of students inside Illinois and out, and how it should change; our culture of retention of students and how it should change; the strength of our connections to, and development of, supportive partners of EIU, including alumni, friends, and others in the local, regional, state, national, and international communities; trends in population, income, employment, revenues from various sources, and technology; the role of diversity in sustaining our university; and other factors deemed important by the participants in the process.

This plan is a means to forge our destiny as a university and create advantage for EIU. We must expand our horizons in competing for students. Higher education is going global and we must compete for students on a wider scale; we must recruit faculty and staff on a wider scale; we must enhance our reputation to garner the support necessary for a sustainable future. We must assure a dynamic and vibrant community of scholars, teachers, and public servants, in a place of intellectual ferment and challenge—the kind of place which students, faculty, and staff love and in which they thrive. It is time to take the long view; to make the commitments now that will pay off in the long term. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, as long as we can see far enough." We must be energetic and timely in this planning process. The strategic plan must be completed by January 2012, and this deadline is firm. We will not tire if we remember that positive, forward-looking action is in the offing, and if we keep our eye on a horizon that features EIU as a university in the first rank of distinctive service to society.

The planning process is being led by a broadly representative steering committee, with majority membership from the faculty, and led by co-chairs from the faculty, staff, and administration. Each committee member will bring the value of experience in his or her role and connection with EIU and use that perspective and experience for the good of the university in the committee's work. The process will include open forums, email communications, a dedicated website outlining the planning process and providing opportunity for comment, and meetings with multiple constituencies to include faculty, staff, and students. The process will lead to a report to the Board of Trustees at its January 2012 meeting. The Board will have a member on the steering committee to enhance communication on plan progress during the year. More details will be forthcoming from Dr. William Weber's office. I encourage your participation in framing our future.

William L. Perry

News and Updates

  • Four strategic planning open sessions are being held to obtain your ideas and input...more »
  • The Collaborative Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been selected. more »
  • Patrick Sanaghan's "Collaborative Strategic Planning in Higher Education" is available at the booth...more »
  • Have thoughts or concerns? Visit the comments page to let your voice be heard. more »