Feedback sessions mark pivotal next step in the strategic framing process

Entire campus community is urged to provide feedback during in-person or virtual sessions or through an online form

The Strategic Framework process, which began last fall, is nearing another milestone as the five thematic working groups prepare to share the first phase of their work in a series of feedback sessions during the week of February 20th (full details here).

Over the past month, working groups, each led by two co-chairs and composed of faculty and staff from across the University, have been evaluating current University practices, identifying best practices across higher education, and developing a vision for where Wake Forest should focus moving forward. The next phase which focuses on eliciting feedback from Wake Forest faculty and staff is of critical importance. As President Susan R. Wente stated in her Nov. 30 blog post, “Continued input is essential to this process — the who, what, why and how of Wake Forest can only be answered by the we!”

According to a few of the working group co-chairs and members of the Core Planning Team, the radically collaborative nature of the strategic framing process has been both challenging and rewarding. They are encouraged by the thoughtful, forward-thinking ideas being generated as each group considers how Wake Forest should position itself as it moves into its third century.

“I have seen colleagues from across the university, many of whom did not know each other prior to becoming involved in the strategic framing process, come together to think openly and with great care about the future of Wake Forest University,” explained Ana Iltis, co-chair of the Research, Scholarship, Areas of Excellence Working Group and Director of the Center for Bioethics, Health and Society and Professor of Philosophy. “The unbelievably hard and thoughtful work that has been invested in this process already is stunning. Even though these groups have incredibly wide representation, we’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about what and how we’d like to learn from everyone else – faculty, staff, and students. We want more than wide representation. We hope for universal engagement with the future of Wake Forest. It will be so helpful and important for all of us to take the opportunity to provide feedback and input through any of the mechanisms available.”

“Our strategic framing process has been iterative and messy given our goal to include multiple voices and perspectives across the Wake Forest community,” noted Phil Anderson, co-chair of the Strategic, Sustainable Partnerships Working Group and Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Business. “I struggled during the early parts of the process, but overall we’ve made tremendous progress on a tight draft deadline. It’s been important for students, staff, and faculty to contribute because good strategy-making is inherently a team sport. The upcoming listening sessions are another opportunity to shape Wake Forest’s direction for the next decade.”

Provost Michele Gillespie said that she’s thrilled with how the process has developed over the past couple of months. “It has really been incredible to see these groups come together and ask challenging questions, engage in thoughtful dialogue, and be really intentional about how they are thinking about our goals for the University,” Gillespie said “I’m so grateful for the dedication of our working group members and the amazing work they have done and continue to do. As we continue the ideation phase and begin to consider sequencing, feasibility, and implementation, now is the time that we hear as many perspectives as possible as we form our vision for the future. I look forward to seeing colleagues from across campus next week!”

Members of the Wake Forest community are strongly encouraged to participate in feedback sessions next week. Both in-person and virtual formats will be available, with sessions structured to allow faculty and staff to participate in multiple sessions depending on their interests. See the full details here.

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