SSU progresses strategic plan

At the start of  2017-18 calendar year, Sonoma State University put in motion an in-depth process to help mold and unite the campus around a new, improved strategic plan, one that aims to help set the course for the University in the coming years.

“Having a strategic plan in place allows SSU to focus our energy and our budget on the priorities about which we care the most—student success; academic excellence and innovation; leadership cultivation; and transformative impact,” Provost Lisa Vollendorf said.

The 2025 strategic plan’s main goals are focusing on and locating areas for improvement at Sonoma State, including improving things such as class availability, as well as to continue to build upon strong points that the school has already established.

Sonoma State has developed division-based plans within the strategic plan, according to Provost Lisa Vollendorf. The divisions are Administration and Finance, Academic Affairs, Advancement, Student Affairs, and Green Music Center.

“We are asking all divisions to have measurable tactics in place by this May so we will be able to work toward our goals and measure our progress over the next 12 to 14 months,” Provost Lisa Vollendorf said. “We anticipate annual assessments starting in spring 2020.”

The plan focuses on the university’s core values, which the administration has defined as diversity and social justice; sustainability and environmental inquiry; connectivity and community engagement; and adaptability and responsiveness.

Madeline Cline, one of the students credited as one of the heads of the strategic task force board, emphasized the need to update older policies. “The 2025 plan was one that was needed,” she said. “The older 2009 plan was just too dated and was not representative of our campus’s strengths or needs. There simply needed to be a new plan.” 

 One key reason Cline and the rest of the task force were so adamant that the new 2025 plan will work is due to just how large and diverse the group who created the project was, with students and faculty working side by side on most matters. 

In total, over 4,000 people were involved, and with just about 75 percent of them being composed of students and staff, Sonoma State felt they had the perfect mix of input to build for the future.   

In the 2025 strategic plan, Sonoma State also expressed this commitment by “delivering distinctive, responsive academic programs, hiring and developing diverse faculty and staff; and embracing innovative teaching and learning,” stated on the strategic plan’s website 

Another key idea that was stressed in the 2025 plan was that of creating a greater sense of diversity and social justice on campus at Sonoma State. The Divison of Student Affairs (DSA) has aimed to promote inclusive support services for a more diverse student population. 

Along with this, the DSA also stated, “We will provide initiatives, events, and programs that achieve outcomes for promoting diversity and inclusion.” 

Aren Ammari, a member of the 2025 strategic committee, feels strongly about the initiatives and effort put forth by the committee. “My work with the administration gave me the impression that this is one of the core issues they will truly put resources towards to help our campus,” he said. Armmari felt that the university’s commitment to diversity will have the biggest impact of the 2025 strategic plan.