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Graduate College begins strategic planning process

More than 30 Graduate College employees gathered for the staff retreat held in the Illini Union on December 9, 2015. Dean Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko led staff members through a collaborative brainstorming session that addressed two questions:

  • Why is graduate education important for the nation, world, and our university?
  • What are the key roles played by the Graduate College? (Are there things we should be doing but are not?)

Staff members worked together in groups of 5-6 to independently contemplate the questions. Then facilitators helped synthesize the ideas into themes. Finally, each group shared answers with the room and a final list of themes was compiled for each question. Themes ranged from knowledge preservation and innovation to the importance of fostering an inclusive higher education experience.

This is the first in a three part visioning exercise for the Graduate College that will result in a new mission statement and unit metrics. Part two will include a survey to gain input from the broader campus community. Part three will address how to measure success in meeting the mission.

Graduate College staff individually jot down answers to one of two brainstorming prompts.
Dean Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko joins staff members for the last step of the group brainstorming activity.
A group facilitator leads staff through the categorization of their responses into themes.