Essential to Rockhurst University strategic planning in AY 2006-2007 were a series of twelve Town Meetings led by the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., with the help of faculty and staff serving on the university’s Planning and Budgeting Committee [UPBC]. In addition to the several hundred one-on-one sessions Rockhurst’s new president had with members of the community, Town Meetings were important opportunities for Father Tom and members of the University Planning and Budgeting Committee to engage the community in dialogue around Rockhurst’s future.
The twelve Rockhurst Town Meetings held between August and October 2006 were :
|1. Staff attending the Student Development Retreat||08/08/06|
|2. Faculty during RU Fall Faculty Workshop||08/21/06|
|3. Jesuit Community||09/06/06|
|4. Staff sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council||09/12/06|
|5. Staff sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council||09/14/06|
|6. Regents during their Fall 2006 gathering||09/21/06|
|7. Board of Trustees during September Retreat||09/23/06|
|8. Alumni [Kansas City] sponsored by Alumni Board||10/05/06|
|9. Students sponsored by Student Senate||10/10/06|
|10. Local neighborhood groups||10/12/06|
|11. RCN Faculty & RCN Board||10/13/06|
|12. Alumni in St. Louis||10/31/06|
The president led each meeting. Members of the University Planning and Budgeting Committee attended as many sessions as they could. After establishing a context and describing the process for university-wide strategic planning during AY 06-07, Father Tom facilitated conversation by asking three questions:
- You have a first working draft of a proposed university vision statement. This draft represents what I have been hearing since arriving in early June. Does this vision statement help you understand where we are going? If not, how can it be strengthened?
- What are Rockhurst’s most important assets and strengths that should serve as a foundation for our development over the next five years? What assets or strengths need to be developed?
- Looking ahead five years, what should be the “defining characteristics” that represent Rockhurst’s own unique or distinctive identity? Think of this identity with reference to our students, faculty, curriculum, approach to teaching and learning, research and other scholarly activities, community partnerships, academic and administrative support systems, and the quality of our student life. What will it take to get there? How will we know we are being successful?