Ohio State’s Strategic Plan: Time and Change

At its meeting on Oct. 5, 2017, the University Senate was honored with a visit from the chair of the Board of Trustees, Alex Shumate. He talked about the board’s role in governing the university and shared his thoughts on the new strategic plan, Time and Change, which evolved over the course of a year and was built on broad input from the university community. He noted that the plan—approved by the board and now in a final written form—is a living document that will be continually refined to remain current and relevant. Chairman Shumate said the board tries to put the university in the best possible position to achieve its goals today and “even higher marks in the future.” He said one role of the board is to make sure the university has sufficient resources and uses them efficiently and effectively.

President Drake joined Chairman Shumate in describing the plan and fielding questions from the senators. He used the analogy that the strategic plan is like icing on a cake, with the cake being our already successful and substantial business as usual, and the icing being the additional investments that will elevate the university and move it even more boldly into the future.

When asked about the continuing role of the board in the strategic plan, Chairman Shumate said the board focuses on strategy, policy and being a positive resource for the university and will leave operations and management of the plan to the administration. However, he said the board’s committees will continue to look into different aspects of the plan and ensure that sufficient funding is in place to fully implement it. Dr. Drake praised the board for helping guide the university—and for asking tough questions and holding the university’s “feet to the fire”—but leaving implementation to the “people who are here doing the work all day, every day.”

In the coming year, the Senate looks forward to more opportunities to work with the board to better understand our respective roles and align our strategic priorities.

More information about the strategic plan is available at https://president.osu.edu/strategicplan/.