Hamline was Minnesota’s first university, and while the community is proud of its history, they are also excited about its place in the future. Currently, Hamline’s strategic planning committee is working hard to propel the school forward.
The committee recently held a strategic planning fair to gather input from the Hamline community about their visions for the university. The committee is currently working to update the strategic plan formed in 2006-07.
School of Law Professor Henry Blair, who is co-chairing the committee with Catherine Wassberg, vice-president of human resources and general counsel, explained that in many organizations strategic plans have a tendency to collect a mixture of dust and coffee stains due to a lack of use.
“At Hamline, we use strategic plans as a constitutive document,” Blair said. “It helps us to consider the trade-offs that have to be made when deciding how to most successfully utilize university resources.”
As new opportunities arise for the university deciding which ones to act upon frequently comes down to what best fits the strategic plan and Hamline’s long-term goals. The recent planning fair and the upcoming online fair are designed to get the greater Hamline community involved identifying the university’s goals and priorities.
“Strategic planning is about creating and strengthening community,” Blair said. “The planning helps to open people’s eyes to the big picture as opposed to just their own area.”
What won’t be changing are the current plan’s mission and vision statements and the six strategic directions found in it. The update will include new goals and priorities based on the work of the planning committee and the input of the Hamline community.
Though nothing is set in stone, Blair says that some the “early buzz” from the Hamline community is placing greater emphasis on experiential learning like collaborative research, volunteer experiences, and other high impact learning activities. The other area community members have indicated greater interest in is interdisciplinary programs such as combining forensics, law, and criminal justice.
There is much to do before this new plan is complete. After collecting the input from the Hamline community the committee will attempt to refine this advice into more general, terms, while adding additional information about specific proposals.
“This spring the committee will bring back the general concepts to the Hamline community so we can begin making actual decisions about what to include in the final plan,” said Blair.
The committee will present its findings back to the Hamline community this spring. For the most up-to-date information visit the planning committee webpage
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