By Amber Tortorelli
“What does it mean to be a Warrior?” That was the question on President Marcia Welsh’s mind when she first approached the creation of a new strategic plan for ESU back in 2013.
For years the title of “Warrior” was closely associated with ESU sports and student athletes, but left the rest of the campus, as well as the members of the wider Stroudsburg area out of the picture. A major part of the 2014-2017 strategic plan focused on expanding the definition of what it means to be a Warrior.
For Welsh and the rest of the strategic planning committee, the construction of a strong campus community was essential to the future success of the university and its students. Now, going forward, it is looking like the integration of the campus community into the larger Stroudsburg community will be a large focus of the next strategic plan. “We had to focus on building our own community first,” says Welsh.
In many ways, the new strategic plan is a natural continuation of the current one. In addition to the goal of establishing a strong sense of community, the three other primary goals of the first strategic plan (student success and satisfaction, a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship, and an innovative faculty) are expected to maintain a primary focus in the new one.
Modernizing the classrooms will also be another focus of the plan.
“Have you seen the room with the slide rule on the wall?” Welsh said while shaking her head, “to me, that’s not a twenty-first century classroom.”
With the addition of the G3 Lab and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, the university is making strides towards modernization, but students can expect even more in the coming years.
Spearheading the formation of the new plan is the Strategic Plan Innovation, Renewal and Implementation Team (SPIRIT). The group is made up of members of the ESU faculty, staff and administration. In addition to SPIRIT, roundtable discussions open to all students, staff, faculty and community members will be held as the new plan begins to take shape.
According to Welsh as well as other faculty and administrators, student involvement in the construction of the new plan is crucial. Differing perspectives, they point out, is necessary in all successful collaborations.
“Get involved-it’s your campus,” said Welsh.
The next roundtable meeting is today from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Lower Dansbury.
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