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Unit Dialogs

The Strategic Planning Teams sends everyone a big THANK YOU for participating in unit dialogues and idea labs this semester! Putting your great minds together has helped identify three big strategic themes -- people, processes, and culture -- that the plan will emphasize for UW’s near-term investment and focus. A first draft document is scheduled to be available near the beginning of June, which will provide students, staff, and faculty the first opportunity to provide feedback. (We know - it's summer! So, there will also be a structured process for feedback in the fall). If you didn’t get to participate in dialogues or idea labs, or has more to say, please send comments to any member of the Strategic Planning Council. Thank you again for continuing to help make this a complete document that truly represents our campus community

As you have heard, a group of intrepid strategic planners is now helping UW craft its new Strategic Plan. (ICMYI, our current Strategic Plan, “Breaking Through 2017-2022" is about to expire.)  This spring, we are conducting dialogues with every unit on campus.  


What can you expect in Strategic Planning Unit Dialogues?  How should my unit prepare?  

A group of 3-4 members of the Strategic Planning Team will facilitate two discussions with your unit. This team includes faculty, staff, and students trained as facilitators and notetakers. They will not be presenting to you, or driving the conversation - they will be facilitating your conversation amongst yourselves.  This is a space for your unit to have a dialogue about the future of your unit and UW.  The outcomes from your dialogue sessions will be used to (1) identify cross-cutting university strengths and priorities, and (2) identify mechanisms that support and mechanisms that hinder your unit’s success. Importantly, we will be circling back to you after each stage, to ensure we are accurately incorporating the priorities, ideas, and challenges of your unit. 

Your unit  contact person should forward the unit dialogues invitations and attached info to ALL unit members – staff, faculty (of all kinds), and graduate students (as appropriate).  It is important for us to hear all of our community’s perspectives.

What you’ll be doing with us 

1. Preparation

  1. What: Please skim this brief orientation document and read the following article PDF: Stop Playing It Safe: The Peril of the Generic College.
  2. Who: Academic units
    1. When: ideally before Spring Break
    2. What: in an upcoming unit/department/program meeting with your unit, review your unit’s Strategic Visioning documents together.  If you need access to your SVA from last Spring, contact  
      1. Have a discussion with your faculty and staff about it. What has changed? Are there opportunities that have emerged since you submitted your documents? Are there challenges that have emerged?  
      2. Gather up your discussion notes to bring to  Unit Dialogue meeting #1. 
  3. Who: All units 
    1. When: By March 4, 2022 EOB
    2. What: Schedule your dialog sessions with us. Fill in relevant info on this Google Sheet link to tell us the best contact person in your unit to schedule these meetings and what modality your unit prefers for these dialogues (Zoom only, face-to-face only, or hybrid). Please also specify whether you have department managed space that you will use for the dialogue or need a different meeting location. That will help us get all our tech- and space-ducks in a row.🦆🦆🦆 
    3. You will receive a contact from either Lindsay Madorin or your Strategic Planning Team group to finalize your meeting schedule.

  2. Unit Dialogue Meeting #1: Mission Discussion (March) 

This session will be facilitated by the team we discussed above, and will focus on connections between your unit and the UW mission. The session will work through the following discussion points. 

  1. What does UW’s mission of providing transformative learning opportunities (teaching), creation and innovation (research) and societal engagement and impact (service) mean to your unit?  
  2. What are your unit’s contributions to the mission, as laid out in your Strategic Visioning Analysis or other departmental goals you’ve set? 
    1. What is working? What isn’t working? How Is your unit contributing? Is your unit contributing too much? 
  3. How is the University getting in the way of your ability to support the mission? 
  4. What is the University doing to support your contributions? 
  5. Expectations for next meeting – Review of Pillars and departmental strengths/building to the future. 
    1. Before your second dialog meeting, we ask that everyone in your unit reviews President Seidel's Pillars. This presentation link provides a nice overview. 

 3. Unit Dialogue Meeting #2: Identifying Priorities (April)

  1. Quick overview of UW’s 4 Pillars How do you see your unit connecting to these pillars? This is an opportunity to dream big!! – please refer to this article: Stop Playing It Safe: The Peril of the Generic College we asked you to read previously!
  2. For academic units:
    1. What do you see as the most crucial or important elements of gen-ed for your students?
    2. What role does your department currently play in gen ed? What role should you play?
  3. For all units:
    1. If time, money, and resources were not an obstacle, how do you envision your work and your unit building on the 4 Pillars?
    2. What strengths does your unit have that should be embedded in the upcoming strategic plan?    
    3. What cross-connections should we be exploring here, at UW and in this strategic plan?  
    4. What is missing from the current framing of the Pillars and current approaches to UW’s mission? What strengths that UW or your unit already has may be overlooked unless we flag them for attention and follow-up? 
    5. What processes that support these priorities are missing or are in place but could be better?  

During both dialogue meetings, notes will be taken in real time on a Google Doc template that will help us analyze outcomes. Please identify one (or more) of your colleagues who will log into the Google Doc during the meeting to check accuracy and comprehensiveness. Doing so will help us fully reflect what happens in the meetings.

Contact Us

Office of Academic Affairs

1000 E. University Ave - Dept 3302

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766.4286

Fax: (307)766.2606

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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