Strategic plan draft released for 2012-2017

Students can expect to see change at Bradley over the next five years, not only visually on campus, but academically as well.

Earlier this week, a committee composed of Provost David Glassman, Vice President of Campus Affairs Gary Anna and several members of faculty, staff and students released a draft of the 2012-17 strategic plan.

“Everything in the plan we are expecting to accomplish,” said Glassman, the chair of the committee. “That’s what is exciting, everything is doable, not easy but doable. If we can accomplish everything in the plan it will move Bradley University towards national distinction. That’s our vision.”

The 17 page draft says the university will look into and evaluate the possibility of having a law school on campus, renovating the Student Center and residence halls as well as creating an Engineering and Business Convergence Center, bringing both colleges together under one roof.

“These planning exercises are real exercises,” said Anna. “This isn’t a plan that will sit on the shelf.”

The strategic plan also discusses the necessity to revise the general education program. According to the draft, the program has not been updated since it was established in 1982 and it needs to be “comprehensively re-evaluated in the context of our changing society and workplace expectations.”

Sophomore psychology major Dominique Russell said she thinks changing the general education program so that it corresponds with majors would be beneficial.

“I’m not good at math and I had to take a math class this semester,” she said. “I’m trying to be a lawyer and they say I might use math but I highly doubt it. For me taking a math class is pointless.”

Freshman marketing major Emily Reiker said she agreed that re-evaluating the general education program is a good idea.

Another area the plan would seek to broaden is the university’s environmental awareness. It is proposed that the university seek greater cost-saving energy efficiencies, increasing campus green space and recycling programs across campus.

“I think it’s excellent that it’s written in the plan that the university is committed to enivronmental awareness,” said senior Tricia Anklan, who was a member of the Sustainability Committee that began a recycling program on campus two years ago. “These changes have to be made at a consitituional level and will enable all students to be enivronmentally responsible.”

The strategic planning committee began meeting last January, and using information from student surveys and focus groups, last semester’s faculty and staff drafted the plan, said Thomas.

“A lot of time has been put in by the committee,” said member of the strategic planning committee and Director of Residence Living and Leadership Nathan Thomas. “Last semester there were several focus groups, which were well attended, and a student survey that received a good response.

“We spent a lot of time evaluating information from the survey and focus groups and we made decisions from the information given. The students should be pretty pleased, a lot of the issues identified by students are reflected in the plan.”

Junior secondary education major Derek Cantu is just one of three students who joined the committee in September when a draft was already constructed, and he was able to offer his input before it was complete.

Cantu said he thinks the plan is well put together but he wishes it addressed bringing a mascot to campus.

“I didn’t really see new progress on a mascot,” he said. “I think it’s time to decide if we are getting a new mascot because it would help bring students to Bradley and increase university marketing.”

The complete strategic planning draft is available at http://www.bradley.edu/strategicplan/. Students are able to review the plan and submit comments or concerns.

The Strategic Plan will be presented before the University Senate at their Nov. 17, if passed the plan will move to the Board of Trustee’s.