Entrance-Torch HERO

Past Events

Planning Team Meeting #1

The strategic planning committee met on Thursday November 11 to begin the work of reviewing and organizing the over 1000 ideas that have been submitted by campus members through the strategic thinking phase of our planning process. This work will continue over the next couple of months as the planning committee and the theme teams begin to identify concrete ideas that will help move Valpo toward being a thriving institution. 

Campus Conversations: Becoming the Best Versions of Ourselves: Strategic Planning, Faculty, Curriculum, and Change

Conversations for faculty led by Amy Buckenmeyer and Jennifer Prough

How can faculty become the best version of ourselves here at Valpo? What are our strengths? What are the barriers or obstacles limiting our successes? Have you ever wondered why we often have good ideas that seem to stall before implementation? Why is it that we have the propensity to hurry up and wait? Who or what are we waiting for? Are there changes you want to be a part of?

The biggest takeaway for me was that the faculty who came felt heard, and left with a sense that if we want our voices heard in the strategic planning process, we will need to participate in that process even when/if we are a bit skeptical. The groups that left said they would spread the word. 

Please use the link above for a more detailed summary.

National Councils and VUAA Board

During Homecoming Weekend 2021, Executive Director of Strategic Planning, Kevin Goebbert, and the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Joseph Bognar, met with the National Councils and the VUAA Board during their plenary session. The event included an overview of the strategic planning process, brief discussion of trends in higher education, and two activities related to the merging themes of the Unparalleled Experience and Unmistakable Value.

Specifically, they responded to the following two prompts:

  • Thinking back to your Valpo experience, what were the most meaningful experiences you had both in and out of the classroom.
  • How would you describe the value of Valpo? Why should someone choose Valpo today?

Feedback from the Event

Community Day

Community Day was attended by over 200 faculty & staff on Tuesday, September 21st at the Harre Union. After an inspirational welcome by President Padilla, Credo Senior Consultant Matt Trainum reviewed the characteristics of thriving institutions and asked each table of participants to brainstorm & record their ideas revolving around the following themes: 

  • Unparalleled Experience
  • Uncommon Relationships
  • Unmistakable Value
  • Distinctly Valpo
  • What’s Missing?

All of the information and ideas were transcribed and compiled and will help to refine & update the themes that were discussed. These themes will be the focus of upcoming Campus Conversations, which will be hosted by Leadership Team members and will be held at a variety of on-campus locations throughout the months of October and November. 

Community Day Slides

Link to data generated from Community Day

Open Houses

In mid-September, three Open Houses (one with a virtual option) were organized by the Executive Director for Strategic Planning and the Chair of the Strategic Planning committee, each led by 2-3 members of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team. The meetings were held at different times and locations around campus. Faculty were invited to discuss and share their thoughts and opinions about the upcoming Strategic Planning process as the institution headed toward the official introduction at Community Day.

An outcome that resulted from these discussions was the need for the campus community to have some time to talk about change, impediments to change on campus, and our overall institutional identity. These conversations will take place in a variety of ways over the course of October, November, and December, including three specific conversations with faculty on becoming the best versions of themselves, focusing on change and the curriculum.

SEAC Meeting

On Wednesday, September 8, Executive Director of Strategic Planning, Kevin Goebbert, and the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Joseph Bognar, met with SEAC at their monthly meeting to give an overview of the strategic planning process and gathered feedback on the most important Bold Questions from the staff perspective.

Fall Faculty Workshop

On Thursday, August 19, the first half of the faculty workshop was spent in conversation around strategic planning and a series of activities related to the set of fifteen bold questions that were developed by the strategic planning leadership.

Bold Questions Document

Faculty Responses indicating the most important questions

Open Responses: What do they want to be a part of the strategic planning process.

As a result of this event, the strategic planning leadership is looking back over past strategic plans to identify what went well as the result of recent strategic planning efforts at the University. As of October 2021, that analysis and report is still being drafted.

Leadership Team Retreat

On August 12 & 13, the President’s Cabinet along with members of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team took part in a retreat facilitated by the strategic planning consulting firm, Credo. The day and a half retreat formally began the Strategic Planning process and covered trends in higher education, the characteristics of thriving institutions, and initial brainstorming about strategic actions the University should allow it to more fully live out its mission and vision. As a result of this retreat an initial set of organizing themes were identified by our consultant group, which will be revised through interactions with campus members at the Community Day event and with the Board of Directors at their October meeting.

Link to Draft Themes

July Board Meeting

At the July 2021 Board of Directors meeting, there was a presentation by our Credo consultants on the current trends in higher education, followed by two activities having the board work through a series of bold questions that were developed by the strategic planning leadership in conjunction with President Padilla and Provost Johnson. The intent of these questions was to help frame discussion related to our overall strategic planning efforts through identifying critical areas for the University community to consider deeply as we work to develop the vision for becoming a thriving institution. Through considering these questions and actively participating in robust discussion will allow us to create a shared vision for the future of Valparaiso University as we work to fulfill its mission to prepare students to lead and serve in the world.

As a result of this event, a brief survey was drafted and given to the members of the Board to dig deeper into the critical areas of Institutional Identify (including its Lutheran Character), Employee Compensation, and University Partnerships. The results of the survey helped craft the strategic planning activities at the October 2021 meeting.