A group of people from across the university community met Tuesday to begin charting Wesleyan’s future.
President Fred Slabach and Chief of Staff Patti Gearhart Turner gathered small listening teams of faculty, staff, students and alumni to help shape the university’s next strategic plan.
The current plan, 2020 Vision, will wrap up at the end of next year. 2020 Vision has guided the university through its unprecedented growth of the past eight years.
“2020 Vision has been a great roadmap for us since we implemented it in 2011,” Slabach said. “Now we’re ready to build on its success with our next strategic plan, which will point the way forward to an even brighter future for Texas Wesleyan.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Slabach and Gearhart Turner charged each member of the four listening teams with envisioning what the university will look like six years from now. Each team member will write his or her own “river story” in which they imagine the Texas Wesleyan of 2025.
Writing a river story is an exercise in which the river represents the flow of time. It encourages the writer to imagine being farther down the river than they are today.
The teams’ river stories will be used to guide a steering committee as it develops the next strategic plan, Gearhart Turner said. The steering committee is made up of the university’s executive staff, the five academic deans, the provost and the president of the Student Government Association.
While 2020 Vision is heavily focused on quantifiable achievements, Gearhart Turner said the next strategic plan will be more aspirational in nature.
Each member of the four listening teams will read their river story at open forum meetings to be held in late 2019 and early 2020 (exact dates TBA). The steering committee will use them and other data to write a comprehensive report, which will be presented to the board of trustees in late 2020.