The planning process that culminated in the completion of the strategic plan began in the summer of 2015. Board of Trustees Chair Allen Green and newly-appointed University President Dick Merriman consulted with trustees, administrators, and staff to determine the best means to undertake an inclusive planning process.
As a result of this consultation, the University engaged Dr. Carol Christ, president emerita of Smith College and a consultant with the Association of Governing Boards, to stimulate and lead campus conversations about the planning process. Dr. Christ visited the campus several times in the fall of 2015 and early 2016, meeting with the Board of Trustees and with faculty, staff, administrators, and students. In discussions with President Merriman, she shared her findings and recommendations (see Principles of Planning, below).
Dr. Christ’s recommendations have informed the planning work undertaken since December 2015. The entire University community participated in a planning discussion in early January 2016. Members of the University’s administration and faculty who facilitated those January discussions participated in a similar planning retreat with members of the Board of Trustees later in January. At their January meeting, Mount Union’s trustees formally authorized the creation of a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, chaired by President Merriman, whose members included:
- Trustees: Allen Green, Scott Gindlesberger, and Laurence Talley
- Faculty members: Jamie Capuzza, Danielle Cordaro, Jeff Draves, Osama Jadaan, Michael Kachilla, Lonnie Lowery, and Matt Volansky
- Administrators: Jesse Cunion, Pat Draves, Melissa Gardner, Pat Heddleston, and Rich Jackson
- Staff: Andrea Williams
- Students: Jesse Wynn and Sharita Johnson
The Steering Committee met regularly beginning in February 2016 and continued through October 2016. As it developed the draft plan, the committee reached out to the campus community through topic-focused working groups, focus groups with students, and invitations for suggestions and input to ask for involvement, information, and perspective. The plan was presented for and received both faculty and trustee approved in October 2016.