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Committee eyes progress of 2020 vision

By Emily Crane
On January 14, 2013

Since August, the members of the 2020 planning committee have been working behind the scenes to begin giving shape to the 2020 plan: a set of ambitious goals for what Miami University should look like in the year 2020.

The committee is made up of students, faculty and staff from a variety of divisions across the university and led by Jim Kiper, professor of computer science and software engineering and Phyllis Callahan dean of the College of Arts and Science.

The committee has divided into five teams to tackle the plan's main target areas: Innovative Learning and Discovery, Transformational Work Environment, Global Engagement and Inclusive Culture, Dynamic Organizational Design and Effective Partnership and Outreach. These teams' first task has been to define objectives for their target area and establish metrics for tracking their implementation, according to Kiper.

"The Board of Trustees wants to monitor whether we're making progress we need to be able to say, 'Here's evidence that we've achieved or not achieved our goal,'" Kiper said.

The teams have been collaborating to create two levels of measurable outcomes, Kiper said.

There need to be both higher-level metrics that President David Hodge can use to objectively evaluate the success of the plan with the Board of Trustees over the next seven years, and lower-level metrics that measure the progress made within the various divisions of the university.

However, all members of the committee, including students, have remained involved in discussing both higher and lower level metrics, according to Kiper.

Student Body President, John Stefanski said he couldn't agree more.

"There was definitely a concerted effort on the part of faculty to listen to all I had to say," Stefanski said. "We did a great job of representing the student perspectives on what Miami should be aiming for in the next six years. In these meetings, I wasn't treated as a student; I was treated as an equal."

The teams have received some initial feedback from the Board of Trustees and are preparing final drafts of these objectives and metrics that they will soon release to the wider university community for feedback, according to Kiper.

Deedie Dowdle associated vice president of University Communication and Marketing has been helping the committee coordinate its communication with the public and set up forums for input from students, faculty and staff.

"We're there as a resource to encourage communication among the different audiences," Dowdle said.

Among their significant contributions has been the creation of a website: Students can visit this website for a complete list of the target team members, the minutes from their meetings, as well as a rough timeline for the creation and implementation of the 2020 plan. The website also has contact information for providing feedback throughout the process.

As the plan takes a more concrete shape in these next few weeks, the committee will begin to set up forums to more intentionally seek input, Kiper said.

Look in the Dec. 18 issue of The Miami Student for more information about the 2020 plan.

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