Administration unveils plan for education success, calls for student feedback

Understanding the ever-changing nature of Sonoma State and a need to establish goal for the upcoming years, the 2014-19 Draft University Strategic Plan is now available and administration is requesting student input.  The plan describes the intended direction of the university in programs, values and how they hope to achieve these goals by the year of 2019.  

The foundation for the creation of these goals lie within the identity of the university to being a public liberal arts institution that includes science, technology, business as well as education.   Students are being asked to review these goals and provide constructive input at the next senate meeting, this Friday at 1 p.m. in the Student Center. 

“A strategic plan is a document that helps an organization keep track of its vision, goals, and mission. A current, clear, straightforward strategic plan would help us link our practical, day-to-day operations and allocation of resources to those overarching principles,” said Richard J. Senghas, Ph.D., chair of the faculty and professor of anthropology. “It’s too easy to lose sight of what really matters, of why we all are here.  A good plan can help us stay on track.” 

The draft speaks to the current standing and achievements of Sonoma State, referring toward the “key areas of distinctiveness:  innovative programs, unique resources, significant geographic location and position in the CSU.”  In order to expand on these key areas as well as switching to focus on the quality education for both faculty and students, this draft repetitively includes words like “equal opportunity” and “engagement.”

On Friday Associated Students sat to discuss strategic plans for JUMP, the Associated Students as well as the University.   The discussion followed to maintain the theme of ensuring the quality of education and utilization of university resources for students as best possible.  Hopeful for the upcoming years, the themes of sustainability and engagement remained consistent throughout.   

“The University Strategic Plan is an incredibly important document, it is where SSU will focus its time, energy and resources for the next several years. Strategic plans only work if there is buy-in from the community or organization its designed for,” said Anthony Gallino, president of Associated Students. “That’s why it’s so critical for students to be a part of the process and to voice their opinion. I think it’s shaping up to be a great plan that can have a lot of positive impact, we just need a lot of quality student voice in the process.” 

The draft is available on Sonoma State’s website  and students are welcome to attend the Associated Students meetings on Fridays during the semester.

Provost Andrew Rogerson intends to speak to the Associated Students and the student body for input and feedback on Friday.  Rogerson hopes to speak about short-term priority goals as well as the programs that Associated Students currently has in place as well as new goals that are outlined within the developing strategic plan.  

Associated Students meetings are held in the meeting rooms on the second floor of the Student Center on Fridays at 1 p.m. every week.  Any comments or input on the draft are due before the end of September.  Comments by faculty, students and those involved with the university are encouraged. 

“This university exists to educate our students, and by doing so, SSU provides a crucial resource to our region and our state.  Our students are active agents in this process; we need to hear their voices.  What SSU is depends on who our students are, and what opportunities those students get to pursue.  And those opportunities for students are determined by who the faculty, staff, and administration are, and what those people are allowed to do, and then choose to do,” said Senghas, chair of the faulty.

As the university exists to support and provide a quality educational experience, Students are encouraged to partake in the decision-making as well as have some sort of voice.  

The University Strategic goals outline improvements in the quality of education and provide the opportunity to ask how these changes are going to be implemented.