Student looking at Stevens history exhibit in Ruesterholz Center

The final five years of the implementation of the 10-year Strategic Plan aims to continue Stevens’ ascent to achieve the 2012 Plan’s stated goal, to become a premier, student-centric, technological research university.

Like the original plan, this five-year “update” of the 10-year Plan sets high expectations for engagement and excellence for all key stakeholders—faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni, and friends. Like the 2012 Plan, this update is careful to focus on the “whats,” rather than being overly prescriptive with regard to the “hows.” However, the details of implementation continue to be essential and must be developed carefully and deliberately each year.

Implementation plans—developed by the member(s) of the executive leadership team responsible for achieving each goal—have been and will continue to be summarized in the annual Strategic Plan Report for review by the entire Stevens community. The “owner(s)” of each goal have in the past and will continue to provide the next year’s implementation plan for review by participants1 of an annual leadership retreat focusing on implementation. These retreats have been held each summer from 2012 to 2015,2 and will continue from 2017 to 2022. Attendees at these Strategic Planning Implementation Retreats regularly include the President’s Cabinet, the Academic Council, and will henceforth include representatives of the Faculty Senate, and key personnel with responsibility for undergraduate and graduate recruitment, fundraising, and institutional research.3

As noted above and consistent with the practice of the past five years, all goals have been assigned to a Vice President, who has the accountability and authority to ensure that: appropriate progress is made toward each goal; appropriate policies exist or are developed to enable progress; and appropriate resource allocation—within the context of the University’s financial profile and constraints—is in place to achieve the annual and culminating goals and objectives. Each Vice President will then assign goals to the relevant personnel within his or her division.

Unlike the first five years of the implementation of the Strategic Plan, the Deans and the academic leadership reporting to the Provost will have increased engagement, accountability, and authority in implementing the academic-related aspects of the Strategic Plan. As a result of the Responsibility Center Management budgeting process and through School and Department-level efforts, unit-level targets will be set, and resources will be allocated that support the institutional goals established in this Plan. Each Dean will work proactively with his/her faculty to develop School and Department-level implementation plans for the academic-related goals, and the Provost and the academic leadership will continuously collaborate with the Faculty Senate to develop and deploy Stevens-wide implementation plans for these goals. The Faculty Senate, in turn, in close collaboration with the standing committees of the faculty, such as the Academic Planning and Resources Committee (APAR), the Research and Entrepreneurship Committee, and the Institute Curriculum Committee will examine the existing implementation plan and procedures and seek input from the faculty at large.

It is noteworthy that the School of Business has created its own Strategic Plan, which has served as the blueprint for the School’s stellar progress over the last five years. The College of Arts and Letters has embarked on its own strategic planning process, and, under the leadership of newly-appointed Dean Jean Zu, the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science will soon launch its own strategic planning process. Once a new Dean of the School of Systems and Enterprises is named, the strategic planning process begun under interim Dean Anthony Barrese will be formalized. These School-level strategic plans will provide the detailed and customized implementation approaches and targets relevant to each unit.

Updates on progress and implementation have been and will continue to be provided regularly to various constituencies within the University, including at Cabinet meetings and Faculty Senate meetings. Once-per-semester Conversation with the President presentations also provide updates on implementation and progress toward goals of the strategic plan, with opportunity for discussion and questions from the community. In addition, during the period from 2017 to 2022, the Provost and Deans will present implementation and progress updates regularly at Faculty meetings and/or Faculty Senate meetings, and other Vice Presidents will provide regular updates as invited, too. The Faculty Senate and the standing committees will communicate regularly on the implementation process with the faculty at large, especially at Faculty meetings.

The Office of the President will continue to convene annual leadership retreats and, with the participation of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and participating units, issue an annual Strategic Plan Implementation Report for the entire Stevens Community. This report will provide an objective measure of progress, ensure the continued engagement of the community, celebrate achievements, course-correct if necessary, and provide the data necessary to refine implementation or address unforeseen challenges in the future.

Results of implementation efforts—as well external trends and forces—will be closely monitored, as occurred during the first five years of implementation. As in the prior period, leadership may adjust goals and tactics depending on the changing circumstances. Therefore, the Strategic Plan will continue to be a living document.

1Implementation plans for each goal are outlined in the annual strategic plan report for the following year, and annual objectives are specified in each Vice President’s “objectives letter” for the following fiscal year. Annual merit and incentive awards are based on progress toward these annual objectives.
2Because of transitions in key academic leadership positions, the annual retreat in Summer 2016 was postponed until February 2017 and used to discuss the Strategic Plan revision. It included the Cabinet, Academic Council, Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and Chair of the Faculty Senate.
3The date of the 2017 retreat has been set for Aug. 29, 2017 at Liberty Science Center.