President Judy Genshaft today will announce a task force on institutional planning for the university. The task force’s goal is to make a plan for the future, a plan that will refine the values, visions, mission and goals of the university.
In the announcement, which will be sent to the USF community by e-mail, Genshaft said, “One of the most important activities for a university is to be regularly engaging in planning for its future.”
In the next few months, the task force will be given the opportunity to affirm the values that USF holds to be fundamental to higher education. Along with establishing an institution-wide vision, the task force will also come up with a mission as a metropolitan doctoral/research-extensive university and establish goals against which our future progress will be judged.
The 34-member task force will review and refine the university’s existing planning documents. The members are from across the USF community. They include the president, six board of trustees, 11 planning unit heads that include various vice presidents, such as Carl Carlucci, executive vice president of Budgets, Human Resources and Information Technologies, S. David Stamps, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Lee Roy Selmon, director for athletics and three regional campus executive officers.
The task force also includes 11 representatives of the faculty, one undergraduate student and one graduate student, the president of the Alumni Association, president for the USF foundation and USF athletic association.
Ralph Wilcox, who is an American Counsel on Education fellow working in Genshaft’s office, is helping the university develop the task force. Wilcox is at the university for one year as an “outsider.” He brings no agenda with him except aiding in the developing process.
“Generally speaking, for some years now, it’s been recognized that the planning process is wise and important to engage in,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox said that all the major planning started with Genshaft when she first started her term. He said that she wants to continue a regular examination of USF’s values, visions, mission and goals.
“(We want) everyone to understand where USF is going,” he said. “Most leaders of an organization find it important to refine the values.”
The task force will help the students as well.
“The student body and academic departments will be able to share their goals about USF,” Wilcox said. “Students are given the fullest opportunities to have importance.”
Wilcox said planning is most important when it comes to decision-making with allocations of resources, and the final decision should be based on priorities to reach the goals of the institution.
“Say the three students (a student trustee, undergraduate and graduate) identify a weakness of the institution,” he said. “This provides students with their priorities on the agenda and what they feel.”
The task force will not only help students’ needs but will help the university’s perception become better, he said.
“(The task force) is a road map for USF to follow for the next five years,” Wilcox said. “A plan for the future.”
The planning review process will go on for the rest of the semester and it may also carry into early 2002. There will be a 1 1/2-day president’s planning review retreat at the USF Downtown Center. The retreat will be headed by Raymond M. Haas. Haas is the former vice president for the University of Virginia and was recommended by the American Counsel of Education to act as an “outsider” as well.
Open forums and town hall meetings are also scheduled for consultation of the USF community.
Wilcox said the town hall meetings and open forums are big. People in the community can go and attend any forum at any of the campus locations to give feedback or their testimony on the university.
Wilcox and Haas will listen to the task forces, all the other sources and then will help the task force develop a final document with the priorities of the group at large.
“The task force will present a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval,” Wilcox said.
“With some of the trustees already part of the task force, (they) essentially will give their blessing.”
The Board of Trustees will then recommend its approved USF values, vision, mission and goals to the Florida Board of Education. Wilcox said he hoped by the beginning of 2002 the Florida Board of Education will approve the planning, and then Genshaft will go on record with both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Education to recognize and accept for the next five years the final plan. The plan will then be used by the departments in their continuing planning activities.
It will be an ongoing process.
“(The plan) should be refined each year,” Wilcox said.
“Especially the external environment. It’s important to tie to budget allocations.”
Wilcox said that everyone should have a clear idea on what’s happening to the university.
Wilcox said that more people should be making the decisions, not just the same ones.
“At a university, the setting is more complex, and there are different measures of success,” he said.
For more information on the task force go to http://www.usf.edu/planning.