Today, I am announcing the launch of a universitywide strategic planning process to guide us through the challenging times we face and keep us focused on staying true to our mission in the years ahead. Our goal is to create an iterative, coordinated strategic planning process that draws on the extraordinary assets of the Temple community writ large. We will work in a coordinated fashion, not only toward a plan, but also to instill in the university a process that is regularly reviewing our goals in light of the changing nature of higher education while staying true to our mission. This series of initiatives will build as we look forward to 2034, the university’s 150th anniversary.
The most crucial element in the success of this planning process will be you. Over the next several months, we will hold town halls, small and large group virtual meetings, and solicit your opinions online. We have created a dedicated website for keeping you abreast of the planning efforts moving forward and ensuring both transparency and accountability.
There has been considerable thought as well as structure put into place to help oversee this effort. This initiative began with the Board of Trustees, through its Strategic Direction and Long-Range Planning Committee co-chaired by Trustee Steve Charles and myself. Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps is the executive sponsor of the planning initiative and will chair a small Executive Committee that will guide and coordinate the process. A 41-member Steering Committee includes diverse representation from all stakeholder groups including faculty, students, staff, alumni and community. The Steering Committee will drive the planning process forward, think boldly about Temple’s future, and engage the wider Temple community in a forward-looking and ongoing strategic planning process. Finally, a Futures Committee of representative deans and vice presidents will provide crucial input into the process from the university’s leadership.
This Strategic Planning Process will be the most sweeping analysis of our university and its future conducted at Temple in modern times. Some may wonder if this is the best time for such an effort, since we are in the midst of a pandemic, and while a presidential search is underway. Given the rapidly changing environment and many challenges that American universities are facing, all of which have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for long-range planning has never been more apparent. I believe we cannot defer taking charge of our collective futures, and should use this process to show prospective presidential candidates that Temple is a university that is forward-looking and does not step back from a challenge.
As I said earlier, your participation in this process is vital. Look for additional information in the weeks and months ahead to learn more about how you can become involved in this crucial effort.
Thank you for your continued support of Temple University and your commitment to this institution that you know and love. I truly believe that Temple’s long and distinguished history is a precursor to an even brighter future.
I look forward to taking this journey together.
Richard M. Englert