On January 5th, I opened my email to find a message from the Minnesota Campus Compact that really has had me thinking. Take a look at this:
Depending on Who You Ask
“Depending on who you ask…” our work on strategic planning and academic direction-setting for WSU this year can be a positive, a negative, or a big scary spider.
- With the positive response, people expect to see how their “hopes and dreams” will fit into the larger university plans as captured under our Five Themes (see attached).
- With the negative response, a small number of people will worry that their hopes and dreams will not be important enough to show up or worse, they prefer we do not do any planning and assume things are fine as is.
- The big scary spider response is fed from both sides: People worry (and avoid and actively discourage) looking at real data while others worry about what may happen if we do not look at real data NOW, while we are in a financially healthy environment.
Well, I have no interest in drawing a Venn diagram with a scary spider in the middle! Instead, let’s take an approach that honors all voices but does not allow obstacles or obstructionist behavior. We need positive thinkers. We need cautious skeptics.We need deep thinking and a willingness to take action.
As we continue our work on strategic planning/academic direction-setting, it is critical that we have a common understanding of the goals. Even more importantly, we must find ways to build on the strengths of all community members involved.
We will look at real quantitative data and make that data transparent and available to all.
We will look at qualitative data that may be more difficult to readily define, yet is critical to building and maintaining healthy programs, financial stability and resilience, and excellence as a community of learners improving our world.
We will go with the willing, and invite the unwilling to step aside until they are ready to join in. Everyone is welcome.
Clip Art Spider at: http://cdns2.freepik.com/free-photo/hanging-spider-cartoon-clip-art_429632.jpg