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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 10, 2004

Strategic plan

Senate discusses first draft

by Linda Charles

During the Sept. 7 Faculty Senate meeting, some faculty expressed concerns that the first draft of the university's new strategic plan puts too much emphasis on science and technology.

Vice president for academic affairs and provost Benjamin Allen presented the plan to the senate. He noted that President Gregory Geoffroy wants the new plan, for 2005-2010, to provide a "good roadmap" for the future, enthuse optimism, be shorter and more specific than the current plan, and be more "strategic" (provide more direction).

Geoffroy also wants the procedure for adopting the new plan to be open, inclusive and provide several opportunities for input, Allen said.

The "metrics" (ways to measure progress) will be developed later, Allen said, as will the action plan.

Gregory Polermo, architecture, said the strategic plan draft "profoundly recasts the university as a science and technology institution." He noted that the word "humanities" is used only once, under "core values," near the end of the document.

Willliam Woodman, sociology, said Polermo "hit the nail on the head."

Iowa State "has not come to grips with whether it is a science and technology institute or a university," Woodman said.

He said Iowa State needs to be well-rounded in order to wear the name of university. "I don't think shrinking is the way to greatness."

Carolyn Heising, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, said the new plan should "not discount areas just because they aren't math, science and engineering."

Asked what the intent of the document was, Allen said, "We are a comprehensive university and need to remain one. We need to state it better so people are comfortable that we are not tossing out the comprehensive university."

Jack Girton, zoology and genetics and a member of the strategic planning committee, said "Everyone in the group so completely assumed that is what we are (a comprehensive university) that we didn't think we had to state it."

But Margaret Mook, foreign languages, said, "We have to be very careful about what we assume. This document plays a role in educating people outside the university about what the university is."

Allen noted that the university community has until Sept. 17 to com-ment on the first draft. A second draft of the plan will be released Oct. 11.


The first draft of the strategic
plan is at