Dear LMU Community:
Last fall, at the request of President Snyder and with great enthusiasm for the task ahead, our Strategic Planning Steering Committee invited the LMU community to begin envisioning together our university’s future over the next five years and beyond. Because of the disruption to our lives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with President Snyder’s approval, I write to notify you that the steering committee’s timeline is being pushed back, and the preliminary report for our strategic planning process is expected to be delivered in early September. At that time we will re-engage the community in dialogue and discernment as we had previously hoped to do this month. We will adjust the remainder of the timeline accordingly, including the subsequent release of a full draft of the report for community feedback and appropriate revision, with the ultimate goal of presenting the Board of Trustees with a proposed new plan during the spring 2021 semester.
We had hoped to engage the LMU community this month with a preliminary report describing our progress and inviting you to discern with us what LMU’s highest priorities should be. However, the present and future have drastically changed, for LMU and the entire planet, in ways that we are still struggling to comprehend. We have watched with awe as our faculty, staff, and students have stepped forward to meet this moment with such resolution, ingenuity, compassion and Lion spirit. As we contemplate next steps for strategic planning, we want to honor the accomplishments and sacrifices of those with whom we work and learn, and to harmonize our own efforts with the changed reality our community is experiencing.
When we began this process, we committed ourselves to leading an inclusive and consultative process, and we have been encouraged by widespread participation in the planning efforts thus far, including our comprehensive survey of faculty, staff, students and Board members, and the formation of the eight Campus Teams that brainstormed potential goals and actions related to some of LMU’s greatest challenges. (You can find the Teams’ reports HERE). The steering committee remains committed to completing the planning process in a way that draws on the diverse insights and commitments of our community’s members to illumine our future and help us chose wisely and well.
The steering committee will use the intervening months to review our work thus far and begin to wrap our heads around these extraordinary experiences and their implications for the future of LMU and higher education more generally. We trust the preliminary report we share in September, and the dialogue it initiates with all of you, will be richer for the added opportunity for reflection and growth.
Thank you for making LMU what it is, each day – especially in days like these.
John M. Parrish
Chair, Strategic Planning Steering Committee.