Throughout LSA’s long history, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have innovated inside and outside the classroom, coming up with new ways to conduct research and think about fostering the next generation of thinkers, creators, and contributors to the world. They’ve invented programs that have become models for higher education worldwide, such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, the Comprehensive Studies Program, the Kessler Scholars, gamified lecture courses, and the LSA Opportunity Hub. Yet as the world continues to change, facing ever more complicated and interconnected challenges, it is clear that LSA must focus its energy and influence in the places it matters most. It needs to be extremely clear about its mission.
In the summer of 2019, Anne Curzan, the incoming Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, was struck by the similarities between the mission statement of the college and the mission statement of the University of Michigan. In fact, they were nearly identical. “Now, let me be clear in saying that the University has a very good mission statement,” Dean Curzan is quick to add. “And of course LSA’s mission should align with that of the overall institution in which we reside.”
Yet, it seemed clear that “the types of work we do at LSA, the kinds of questions we ask, the set of values we use to guide our decisions—these things make us different. They deserve to be named and celebrated.” So, with support from local strategic planning firm Bridgeport Consulting, that’s exactly what Dean Curzan invited the LSA community to do.
The challenge? Design a fully participatory process—one that maximizes the opportunity for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders to shape the future of LSA. Gather the inputs needed to articulate statements of vision, mission, and values that define the college’s aspirations and can serve as decision-making guides for the future. From there, identify the key strategic priorities that will clarify, galvanize, and align resources toward the work ahead. Get it all done by the end of the academic year. Oh, and one more thing: Make it fun.
The strategic planning effort is being guided by input and insights from across the college:
LSA Opportunity Hub Director of Learning, Data, and Assessment
Professor and Louis Evans Chair of U.S. History
Chief Administrator for Philosophy
Associate Dean for Social Sciences; Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies
Lecturer IV of Economics
Director for Academic Technologies Services
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Academic Affairs
Founder/President, Second to None
Director of the Museum of Natural History
Chair and H.C. Carver Professor of Statistics
Director of Marketing and Communications
LSA Student Government President and Undergraduate Student in Economics and Political Science