Development of the University’s Strategic Plan
In the 2008–09 to 2012–13 planning guidelines, Provost Erickson indicated that President Spanier would appoint a University Strategic Planning Council (USPC) to develop the University’s overall strategic plan, and that USPC could draw extensively from the unit plans to be submitted by July 1, 2008. In November 2007, President Spanier appointed this group, asking USPC to think strategically and be far reaching in discussions of the many challenges and opportunities facing Penn State. Although USPC was representative of many of the University’s constituents, the President and Provost encouraged the council to seek additional input from faculty, staff, and students as well as trustees, alumni, and others who care about, and contribute to, defining the vision of the future. USPC was charged with developing a Penn State Strategic Plan for 2009–10 through 2013–14. The University Strategic Planning Council charge letter is included as Appendix 2, and a list of USPC members is included as Appendix 3.
The council began meeting in January 2008. At an early meeting, USPC determined the strategic themes that would help Penn State realize its promise and vision. The themes included: achieving academic excellence; ensuring student success; positioning of the campuses; realizing Penn State’s potential as a global university; adapting the nineteenth-century land-grant mission to the twenty-first century; utilizing information resources, technologies, and services; and managing resources and enhancing nontuition revenue. In March 2008, task forces were charged to address each of these themes and were asked to submit reports with recommendations to the Provost by October 1, 2008. Members of the task forces were drawn from the University Faculty Senate, the Academic Leadership Council, the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, students, and staff. A list of the task forces and their members is in Appendix 4.