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Aerial view of Bender Library and McKinley building

Looking Ahead

A decade ago, AU came together around a strategic plan called “Leadership for a Changing World.” And thanks to the leadership of my predecessor, Dr. Kerwin, as well as many people across campus – some who are still here and some who have moved on – today, AU is on the verge of a transformational era. And as a community, we are working on a plan to get there. We want this plan to be rooted in who we are, and to capture both the essential aspects of AU and our boldest aspirations.

My listening tour during my first six months contributed to this work. I heard from faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents, spoke with more than 1,000 people in total, and discussed these issues at a Fall Leadership conference and the Ann Ferren conference. I heard many answers to three questions: What distinguishes AU? What one thing at AU should change? What one thing at AU must stay the same?

Our goal is to have a new, five-year plan ready to announce this fall. Continuing to root our strategy in the community, we have three things to do between now and then:

First, we’re developing a clear statement of our mission, vision, and values – with input from many members of the community who shared their thoughts throughout the summer and fall.

Second, we’re conducting a full analysis of AU’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats the University faces (this is commonly called a “SWOT” analysis) in partnership with the Education Advisory Board.

And third, our new, University Strategic Planning Committee, with representation from across the University, will develop strategic imperatives based on the results of the SWOT analysis. They’ll also set up a system of subcommittees to develop the major components of each strategic imperative. All of this will happen with a lot of input from the broader community. We’ll make sure there are ways for people on campus to get engaged, as well as technological ways for people off campus.

I hope you’ll join this effort. You can keep track of our progress on this website.