How We Got Here
To identify and set priorities in alignment with the university’s strategic plan (Educate. Connect. Elevate), as well as respond to opportunities and challenges highlighted by the pandemic, the Division of Academic Affairs held a major retreat in February 2021. Designed to be comprehensive, inclusive, and bottom-up, planning for the retreat began in September 2020, involved 10 working groups (each focused on a specific topic) and more than 120 participants. With more than 160 attendees, the retreat focused predominantly, but not exclusively, on the recommendations produced by the 10 working groups. To ensure transparency and full participation, the discussion summaries and recommendations that emerged from the retreat were shared widely to faculty and staff throughout the university for comments and feedback. Based on these multiple levels of recommendations and feedback, Academic Affairs identified six goals and priorities to guide decision-making and help position Illinois State as a competitive and innovative university.