Following up on President Joyce McConnell’s “five minutes with SOURCE,” Jenelle Beavers, vice president for strategy, sat down to discuss her role in the Courageous Strategic Transformation plan and its impact across Colorado State University.
You’ve had a unique role in the Courageous Strategic Transformation process up to this point, as the person charged with synthesizing thousands of voices and perspectives on big questions like what CSU’s values are, what are our strengths, what do we want to do better … What really stood out to you about that process?
It’s incredibly ambitious to include thousands of people in a strategic planning process! I’m thrilled with where we’ve landed. Leading this process for the whole campus has been incredibly rewarding and I’ve enjoyed collaborating with all segments of our campus community.
I’m most struck by the consensus that emerged around our values and priorities. It made it easier when it came to the drafting process because the community really shares the goals and strategies articulated in the plan and they are bolstered by our common values and commitments.
Now that President McConnell has presented a comprehensive plan and operational framework to the Board of Governors of the CSU System, what’s next in the process? What should our community expect to hear more about and to do in the coming months?
The President will do a webinar soon to introduce the campus to the plan. I really hope everyone attends, but for those who can’t, we’ll record and post it at courageous.colostate.edu. We’ll seek volunteers for the campus-wide team who will guide our financial excellence group, a key component of the implementation process. And I’ll work with senior leadership to prioritize and articulate next steps and provide guidance on accountability to the campus.
The University community will be invited to a series of webinars focusing on specific areas of the plan, and I expect we will also call for volunteers to serve on some additional across-campus work groups. We’re planning a monthly newsletter for the campus community to keep people apprised and there is an updated comprehensive website in the works! The new website will include a frequently asked questions section that we’ll keep up to date, so we welcome questions about Courageous Strategic Transformation that help us identify aspects that need to be fully explained, clarified, or highlighted.
Last fall, the President’s Office sent out a call for Inspiration Proposals around Courageous Strategic Transformation. What kind of proposals came in? What’s the plan for those? And will you be doing another call for Inspiration Proposals soon?
One of the best parts of my job is hearing about the fantastic research, learning, and engagement at CSU, and that was what happened here. We got more than 100 Inspiration Proposals! Even more exciting, we received proposals from faculty, staff and students, and the proposals are all inspiring, interdisciplinary, and consistent with our “Green and Gold” vision. We are in the process of reviewing the proposals and aligning them to specific strategies in the operational framework. Everyone who submitted a proposal can expect to hear back about their proposal this month.
“One of the best parts of my job is hearing about the fantastic research, learning, and engagement at CSU, and that was what happened here. We got more than 100 Inspiration Proposals! Even more exciting, we received proposals from faculty, staff and students, and the proposals are all inspiring, interdisciplinary, and consistent with our ‘Green and Gold’ vision.”
And I’d love to be able to do another call once we’ve gotten through this round. I’m excited for our community to share out their proposals and progress as we move forward.
With Courageous Strategic Transformation as a clear blueprint, many units across the University, including divisions, colleges, and departments have been doing their own strategic planning and visioning. How will those plans and visions be realized as part of Courageous Strategic Transformation?
It is so important that divisions, colleges, and departments align with the Courageous Strategic Transformation, because the plan has been built to be the North Star for us to follow as a community. The key tenets of our implementation are that budget empowers strategy, culture drives excellence, and mission shapes decisions.
So, for units who already have an up-to-date strategic plan, we’d like them to review their plans to ensure alignment, make changes if necessary, and shift priorities if required. For units who are in the process of planning, or just getting started planning, the Courageous Strategic Transformation will serve as a powerful blueprint for their process. I’ll be working with leaders on their unit-level planning processes to ensure that our entire campus is aligned with our Green and Gold vision. We also want to ensure that we are working toward our shared goals and refining strategies and key performance indicators articulated in the first version of the Operational Framework.