Strategic Plan committees to feature collegewide involvement


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Senior Vice President and Provost Stan Wearden met with chairs of the Strategic Plan implementation committees Sept. 29 to discuss the plan’s implementation.

By Campus Reporter

following months of crafting the college’s Strategic Plan, the document will now be put into action by five implementation committees.

According to a Sept. 22 email to faculty and staff from Senior Vice President and Provost Stan Wearden, committee representatives,which include administrators, full-time and part-time faculty, staff and students, have been appointed to the Universal Learning Outcomes, Columbia Core, Integrated First-Year Experience, Registration and New Student Orientation and Community Engagement committees, each of which will be implementing a part of the Strategic Plan.

Sarah Shaaban, director of Student Organization & Leadership and staff representative on the Integrated First-Year Experience Committee, said participating is an opportunity to voice one’s opinions.

“Anytime there is a new direction at a college there is an importance of having everyone’s voice heard,” Shaaban said. 

Committees are composed of a chair or co-chairs, department chair representatives, faculty and staff representatives, a Columbia part-time faculty union representative and a student representative. 

Faculty were able to volunteer at the Sept. 16 Chair’s Council meeting. Representatives were appointed by Wearden, said Sharon Ross, interim chair of the Television Department and representative  to the Registration and New Student Orientation Committee. 

Staff members could self-nominate for committees by sending a letter to the Provost’s Office detailing why they wanted to serve on a committee, Shaaban said.

According to a Sept. 25 email from Wearden to faculty and staff, the Universal Learning Outcomes Committee will develop a way to assess students’ educational experience at the college. 

Heidi Marshall, head of College Archives & Special Collections, will represent the library staff as a committee member.

“It is important that we have someone on [the committee] that can talk about information literacy,” Marshall said. “That was one of the reasons [the library] wanted to ensure we had a voice.” 

The Columbia Core Committee will propose core courses that reflect the findings of the Universal Learning Outcomes Committee, Wearden said in the email. 

“The Columbia core [should be] held not just within [LAS] but distributed throughout the college,” said Peter Carpenter, acting chair of the Dance Department and committee member.

The Integrated First-Year Experience Committee will review the new First-Year Experience program and determine how it can be improved, Shaaban said.

“We want to ensure all students are able to get connected to the college and have an overall holistic experience,” Shaaban said.

The Registration and New Student Orientation Committee will work toward making orientation and registration easier to navigate, Wearden said.

The Community Engagement Committee will conduct a study of community engagement and create a definition of community engagement to help achieve future goals, Wearden’s email said.

Carpenter said the committees are important for the successful implementation of the plan. 

“Institutions of higher education are based on principles of shared governance,” Carpenter said. “This administration is really making a commitment to shared governance through the implementation process.”

Wearden, Steven Corey, interim dean of school of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Suzanne Blum Malley, senior associate provost and Keri Walters, assistant vice provost for Academic Services all were not made available for comment. 

Jeff Schiff, interim chair in the Fashion Studies Department; Pantelis Vassilakis, the chair of the Audio Arts & Acoustics Department; Christie Asif, executive director of Career Initiatives and Azar Khosravani, acting chair of the Science & Mathematics Department all declined to comment.

Erin McCarthy, the acting chair of the History, Humanities & Social Sciences Department and Brian Marth, the executive director of the College Advising Center could not be reached for comment.