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Update on Strategic Planning (Feb. 1, 2019)

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Our strategic planning efforts have continued since the end of the fall semester. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee began studying and synthesizing the Working Group Reports immediately upon their submission in early December. Throughout the winter break and the first several weeks of this semester, the Steering Committee – and its subsidiary Executive Committee – have been writing, discussing and revising the first draft of the strategic plan.

It’s important to emphasize the word draft. The document is still very much a work-in-progress. We want and need your feedback. As you read through the document, please bear in mind that a strategic plan is intended to provide a roadmap or framework for strategic thinking and decision-making into the future. It is not meant to be an aggregation of the tactics necessary to implement the plan. Tactics come later. Once the final plan is in place, we will identify the individuals, offices and broader stakeholders responsible for the various initiatives, and they will pursue the tactics necessary to carry out the plan over the years to come.

We want to draw your attention to three items as you review the plan:

  1. There has been understandable concern throughout this process that when the Strategic Commitments were announced in September 2017 and the Strategic Priorities in April 2018, the plan was a “done deal” without room for refinement, let alone wholesale additions, deletions and revisions. The Steering Committee has made significant changes to many of the commitments and priorities and, as you will see, assumes that initiatives in addition to those it has identified (but not yet assigned timeframes) might arise through campus discussions this spring.
  2. The four Working Group reports provided the foundation not only for the revised commitments and priorities, but for the initiatives and the context-setting discussion sections of this draft. We believe that members of the Working Groups will see many of their thoughts incorporated in this draft – sometimes as near-verbatim excerpts and in other instances as broad concepts woven throughout the document.
  3. While the Steering Committee has discussed the conclusion of the document, we felt it was important to hear from students, faculty and staff before drafting that section so that your feedback can inform how the plan points to the future and the strategic thinking that will occur beyond April 2019. Thus, as you will see, the conclusion remains to be written.

You can view the draft strategic plan by clicking here.

Members of the Steering Committee will be available on Monday, Feb. 4, from 2-5 p.m. in Walls Lounge to discuss your initial thoughts regarding the draft strategic plan.Recognizing that you will have had the draft plan for only a short time as of Monday, this is an informal, drop-in opportunity to share your immediate reactions and, importantly, to ask questions regarding material included – and not included – in the draft plan.

There will be many additional opportunities to provide feedback throughout the next several weeks, as listed here. You will soon be able to offer your feedback online, too. We will share more details on that as they become available. Finally, members of the Executive Committee and Steering Committee would be pleased to attend office, department, college, governance and other meetings to discuss the draft strategic plan. If you would like to schedule such a discussion, please send an email to

Your input on the strategic plan is necessary for its success. We want to ensure that you have ample opportunities to provide your feedback and engage in sincere conversations on these important topics as the Steering and Executive Committees continue their work. If you have any questions regarding these events, please reach out to any member of the Executive Committee or email

We look forward to continuing this important conversation about Bucknell’s future.

Thank you,

John Bravman, President
Bill Kenny, Faculty Chair

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