The strategic planning retreat has come to a close. The event wrapped up with the group leaders from the breakout groups reviewing any changes that were made to the strategic goals. The presenters went line by line, action item by action item through the seven strategic goals of LMU. And though the numbers dwindled as the event went on, I’m confident that everyone who attended knows more about the University and its mission and goals than they did when the retreat began.
There were many take-aways for me, but my top 5 follow.
1. LMU is building – count them – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 new residence halls by 2013. I knew that there was space for five new buildings behind Shelton and Langley and two of the five spaces were already taken. Looking at the progress on the two residence halls under construction I have not been confident that the two would be ready by this fall. However, in the facilities section of the strategic plan outlined that the two under construction would be complete this fall and the three others would be complete in fall 2013.
2. With the availability of more undergraduate housing, my next take-away makes complete sense. My focus and the focus of the admissions team has got to be on undergraduate recruitment. Many of the presentations alluded to the fact that we have to target higher achieving students and LMU instituted new admission standards this year. The talk in many circles was marketing and how best to attract those higher achieving students. It’s going to be a fun year, focused mainly on undergraduate recruitment. The challenge for me is going to be to find a why to focus on our traditional undergraduate student while continuing to market our grad programs.
3. There are a lot of new faces on campus. It’s a meeting I have attended for six years and I’m still surprised when I don’t know everyone in the room.
4. There is never a dull day at LMU and the same can be said for strategic planning.
5. Just when you think that LMU has added the last big program for a while another one crops up. The College of Veterinary and Comparative Medicine has been in the plan for a while, but I really felt that would be the peak of our growth at least for a couple years. I was wrong, there are several more programs in our not-too-distant future!