Faculty and staff at Western Kentucky University took a step toward redefining the university’s mission as groups heading an ongoing strategic planning process met Thursday.
“This is very much, at this point, a creative process,” said Paula Potter, who co-chairs the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
WKU President Timothy Caboni has called on faculty and staff to help create a new vision for WKU. Over the next several months, working groups will create goals for different areas of focus, such as student success and experience and diversity, equity and inclusion. Other groups are focusing on academics, budgeting, external relations and alumni development and research.
Currently, the groups are collecting data and brainstorming to share their draft goals during forums in January. Ultimately, Potter said, the goal is to have a strategic plan in place by next fall.
During the meeting, the working groups shared their ideas with members of other groups. Among them was Molly Kerby, who co-chairs a working group focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. Kerby is an associate professor in the Department of Diversity and Community Studies.
“I think it’s really neat because we have a really diverse group,” said Kerby, adding she enjoys getting different perspectives from people with varying backgrounds. Kerby said her group has been discussing recruitment and retention and how to make students feel at home at WKU.
Dawn Hall, director of WKU’s School of University Studies, serves on the Student Success and Experience Committee. Despite the different focuses of each working group, Hall said she’s been impressed by their singular focus.
“It seems like every committee, no matter what their title is, is focused on creating student success,” she said.