Strategic Planning at the GC
Building the Strategic Plan: The Planning Process
The Strategic Plan is the result of a broadly collaborative effort to develop and implement the Graduate Center’s vision for the next five years. Guided by CUNY’s historic mission to educate and serve the New York community and by the Graduate Center’s specific mission to prepare scholars and researchers in its nationally recognized doctoral programs, the Strategic Plan seeks to chart a future for the Graduate Center for the next five years while taking into account the changing landscape of graduate education in which it must operate. Using the CUNY Master Plan (2008–2012) and the 2010 Self-Study as a foundation, this Strategic Plan is the outcome of a process of extensive, systematic consultation with multiple constituencies and outside experts.
Convened by President Kelly in spring 2010, the Strategic Planning Council was charged with overseeing the process of developing the Strategic Plan. A preliminary meeting was held in March 2010 during which two committees were staffed: the larger Strategic Planning Council, co-chaired by Provost Chase Robinson and Professor of Economics Linda Edwards and comprising faculty, staff, and students, each representing key areas of operation, which would oversee the work of different task forces; and the Academic Task Force.
With the intention that the plan arise from broad academic goals, the Strategic Planning Council charged the Academic Task Force with identifying the initial areas of focus for developing strategic goals. While the Strategic Planning Council held meetings with an External Advisory Panel and an Alumni Advisory Panel, the Academic Task Force convened meetings with program executive officers and center directors to gain input and identify strengths, weaknesses, and potential areas of growth.
The Academic Task Force then produced a report for the Strategic Planning Council in which it identified the following five major areas of focus, stated in the form of working propositions:
• In admissions and student support, the Graduate Center will continue to promote excellence and access.
• As changes take place in employment patterns, especially in higher education, the Graduate Center will innovate so as to prepare our students to maximize their professional prospects—inside and outside of the academy.
• Student and faculty recruitment, student employment placement, sponsored research and contracts, and development—indeed, virtually every activity that takes place at the Graduate Center—will benefit from a clearer and more widely promoted “brand.”
• Long-term prosperity will be achieved by allocating our resources transparently and strategically, and by diversifying our budget, the whole being driven by a coherent academic strategy.
• The Graduate Center will continue to evolve as a center of advanced research and Ph.D. training that features exceptional disciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship by leveraging its current strengths, the academic and cultural capital of New York City, and CUNY’s scale.
Using these working propositions of the Academic Task Force as a springboard, members of the Strategic Planning Council charged task forces in their respective areas of operation to produce reports addressing these five areas of focus. The Task Force Reports were submitted to the Strategic Planning Council for review and the revised reports were posted on the Strategic Planning website. A draft Strategic Plan, crafted from these Task Force Reports, was posted on the Strategic Planning website in September 2011 and presented for comment to the President’s Cabinet, the Central Faculty Steering Committee, the Doctoral Student Council, the Council of Executive Officers, and the Graduate Center community at the President’s October Community Meeting. The draft Strategic Plan will be revised to take into account the various comments from this outreach process and the final plan, upon approval of President Kelly, will be presented to the Graduate Council in December.
Strategic Planning at the GC