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The Daily Wildcat

 

Never Settle brings points of discussion to Faculty Senate

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Brittan Bates
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In a Faculty Senate meeting held on Monday afternoon, UA staff expressed a lack of knowledge about what Never Settle means for their colleges specifically. According to audience participation at the meeting, the strategic plan itself leaves many with questions about its relevance.

At the meeting, a brief recap was given of the process that generated the current Never Settle plan. Barbara Bryson, vice president for strategic planning and analysis, gave a brief history of the last year-and-a-half of Never Settle.

Senate members were asked to take part in a discussion stating how each felt about Never Settle. They were asked to respond to questions by raising their hands.

Questions included, “How would you describe your familiarity with Never Settle?” and “How much do you feel [it] can influence your professional life?”

The options to vote ranged from not at all, a little bit, some, a fair amount or a lot. Most senators refrained from answering.

Bryson said she and Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee co-chairs Mika Galilee-Belfer and Randy Richardson want to find ways to knit together the Never Settle plan and its processes throughout the university; they also want to find ways to get feedback in order to improve, learn, acknowledge accomplishments and set new goals.

“One of the major critiques concerning strategic planning is that the administrators create beautiful plans,” Galilee-Belfer said, “but that doesn’t necessarily suggest alignment with what’s happening in college and units within the college.”

Galilee-Belfer added that one of the most important pieces of the Never Settle strategic plan is comprised of the alignments included across colleges.

After each question, Faculty Senate members were then asked to discuss within their own sections.

Other questions included how Never Settle affects their professional lives and what the UA can do to expand their understanding of Never Settle.

Faculty Senator Ricardo Valerdi said he wanted them to make it more meaningful to him and the work he’s doing. He said that a less exhaustive and more condensed summary of what Never Settle means for him and his college specifically would be the most helpful.

Other senators agreed and said making it more relevant to each person and college could greatly increase understanding.

Faculty Senator Barbara Mckean said one of the things she discussed with her table group is how the plan can provide spaces of opportunity in teaching and scholarship. She said her favorite comment raised was in regards to how the plan was going to make them happy. 

“There’s a tremendous amount of cynicism around just the words ‘strategic plan,’” Mckean said.

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Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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