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University Plan forums announced

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 15 - December 7, 1995

Faculty Senate President Tom Sherman and Staff Senate President Wyatt Sasser have announced that open forums on the update to the University Plan will be held as follows: January 17 from 4 to 5 p.m. in Owens Dining Hall Banquet Room; and January 18 from noon until 1 p.m. (TBA); January 19 from 8 to 9 a.m. in 30 Pamplin.

"President Torgersen plans to attend all three forums to hear reactions from the faculty, staff, and students regarding a preliminary draft of the updated plan that he is developing to guide university priorities for the next five years," Sherman said. The draft will be available for review in advance of the forums (see below).

The draft, which will be presented in February to the Board of Visitors, has been developed at the request of BOV Rector Cliff Garvin. According to Sherman, it has been a major challenge to involve the faculty, staff, and students in the planning process because of the short time frame given by Garvin to Torgersen. Torgersen has pointed out, however, that a great deal of analysis, thought, and discussion concerning the future of the university has taken place during the past six years. An exhaustive, broadly interactive process was used in 1989-91 to develop the current plan, and this was followed by the Phase II and Restructuring processes, along with the review of Faculty Roles and Rewards, and a recent examination of Core Values.

Work on the updated plan began in October, following a presentation to the vice presidents, deans, and members of the Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning by educational consultant George Keller. Faculty and staff members and student leaders were invited soon afterwards to submit input from their respective constituencies. Since then, the updated plan has been the topic of discussion at several meetings. David Conn, special assistant to the provost, who is leading Torgersen's writing team, has indicated that (barring unforeseen problems) the preliminary draft will be posted electronically and distributed in hard copy to all faculty and staff members, as well as to student leaders, during the week beginning December 18.

Anyone leaving for the holidays before the publication date may request that a copy be mailed anywhere in the United States; for this purpose, an address should be provided in advance to David Conn (conn@vt.edu or mail code 0132), to whom written comments on the draft should also be directed.

Comments will be incorporated into the final draft prior to its submission to the BOV. According to Conn, a "responsiveness document" (describing the planning process and responding to the input received) will also be made publicly available. The BOV is expected to approve the updated plan itself at its April meeting.

Regarding the January forums, "there will be no formal agenda or planned presentations. The goal of the two senates is to promote full consideration of important issues and to expand involvement in important university decisions. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these forums to meet with President Torgersen and share ideas about the future of Virginia Tech," Sherman said.