Implementation of Strategic Foresight Recommendations

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I have shared with you the recommendations from our three strategic foresight committees, and now I want to outline my decisions about our next steps in implementing those recommendations.

The broadest themes are (1) improved communication and collaboration about everyone’s work; (2) greater role for faculty in decisions affecting them and the School; (3) more transparent, efficient, and effective administrative operations; (4) shifting certain tasks from faculty to free their time for higher-impact work, and (5) selected strategic program investments in public leadership and work with court officials.

What follows are some of the highlights.  I have prepared a detailed memo about the recommendations and their implementation, but experience suggests—surprisingly—that not everyone reads my memos, or at least not necessarily word for word.  For anyone who wants the full story, the information is available here.  The bulleted items that follow reflect my decisions about how to meet many of the interests reflected in the recommendations.  Underlining indicates a new committee, activity or program.

Many thanks to everyone who was involved in the process, especially to the committee members and their chairs—Bill Rivenbark, Kara Millonzi, and Shea Denning.  Everyone had the opportunity to participate in multiple ways, which was important.  I’m very happy with the results because they will improve our work and increase the School’s impact.


Greater Communication and Collaboration among Faculty on Issues of Common Interest.

  • Create Academic Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) of faculty members to focus on issues surrounding reappointment, promotion, and tenure—including the role of faculty advisory committees.
  • Consult at Faculty Meetings about filling new or existing faculty positions rather than with the Dean’s Advisory Committee.
  • Create Agenda Committee for Faculty Meetings and shift schedule to quarterly meetings in order to focus more on policy issues and to provide faculty members with a greater voice in decisions affecting the School.
  • Create new monthly “Faculty Lunches with the Dean” and blog about them to help faculty and others learn more about the work of their colleagues.
  • Charge new Director for Strategy and Innovation with developing ways to keep faculty informed about high-impact trends that could be important for the School.


Greater Communication to Learn about Everyone’s Work and How it Supports Our Mission as “One School”.

  • Create Community Conversations Committee to plan annual joint faculty-staff conversation similar to the sessions facilitated by Rebecca Ryan. The goal is to promote greater understanding of how everyone contributes to the mission, as well as to produce even greater alignment between faculty and staff in working together as “One School.”
  • Change FED meeting to Information-Sharing Meeting and shift schedule to quarterly meetings focused on helping people see how their work connects to the work of others at the School.


Clarify Administrative Roles and Improve Operational Procedures.

  • Update the School’s organizational chart and provide an accompanying document that briefly explains the roles of administrative positions.
  • Finalize the entrepreneurial initiatives policy and explain at an Information-Sharing Meeting how it supports the School’s mission, especially in expanding our capacity without state funds.
  • Charge new Associate Deans for Operations and Administration to work with Division Managers on streamlining and clarifying all support operations so that they work more effectively and efficiently for everyone. This charge will include working to reduce costs and generate more revenue.
  • Charge new Associate Dean for Operations with conducting a comprehensive review of how we support faculty in planning and administering programs.
  • Charge new Associate Dean for Administration with evaluating and completing work on a new business model for the School.


Reduce faculty time spent responding to advising requests and certain teaching and conference administration obligations in fields with the highest demand.  Find ways to increase faculty time for higher-impact teaching, research, and advising.

  • Create a two-year subject-matter assistant pilot program in criminal law and local government law to support the research and advising work of the faculty, and possibly to undertake a limited amount of basic teaching.
  • Develop and implement policy requiring faculty members to take R&D time annually to engage in intensive and concentrated work—field work, research and writing projects, course development, innovation projects, or other similar kinds of work.
  • Pilot new curriculum developer/client specialist position to supplement support provided by existing program managers by assuming responsibility for higher-level planning and coordination that in many cases now is done by faculty members.


Develop strategic initiatives that respond to the most important trends identifies during the strategic foresight lab.

  • Develop an expanded curriculum for the Judicial College that more closely resembles a traditional tiered educational curriculum as a step toward a longer range goal of creating certification designations for judicial officials.
  • Create a Center for Public Leadership to offer expanded instruction, advising, and research to public organizations at every level of government, including judicial officials.


Focus on developing the Applied Public Policy Initiative (APPI), our highest priority from the last strategic planning process, and explore whether to include an expanded role for data, possibly even a data center, under the organizational umbrella of APPI.

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