The dean created four workgroups in 2012, reflecting our core functions (education, research, community service and applied public health) and commitment to diversity and social justice:
- Educational Excellence Workgroup
- Research Development Workgroup
- Community Service and Applied Public Health Workgroup
- Diversity and Social Justice Workgroup
Each workgroup was composed of faculty, staff, and students. The Leadership Council charged the workgroups to conduct internal and external environmental assessments, as relevant to their focus area, and to develop recommendations, including goals, objectives and five-year targets, for the strategic plan. The dean presented each workgroup with a number of questions that served as a starting point for their discussions. The associate dean for quality and planning served as a resource for the workgroups, providing the college performance data for each of their respective areas, attending initial organizational meetings, and facilitating the process.
The workgroups reviewed materials and held meetings over 2012 and reported their initial findings and recommendations to the Leadership Council in December 2012 and then to the college faculty/staff meeting on February 8, 2013. The initial recommendations of the workgroups were distributed electronically to the college list-serve for feedback and input. Following input, the workgroups presented their final reports to the dean in March 2013. The workgroup chairs were also invited to present and discuss their final recommendations at meetings of the Leadership Council in spring 2013.
The Leadership Council charged each department, during the 2012/2013 academic year, to convene a meeting with, or seek input from (in person, or by electronic means, or both) a broad cross-section of professionals working in their fields. Each advisory committee was asked to provide input regarding the following questions:
- What knowledge and skills will (your profession) require in 5 years?
- What issues should all (your profession) graduates be able to discuss?
- What things should all (your profession) graduates be able to do?
- What tools should all (your profession) graduates be able to use;
- What problems should all (your profession) graduates be able to solve; and
- What characteristics should all (your professions) graduates be able to exemplify?
The goals were to assure that existing curricula were adequate to meet the needs of the workforce, and that any new trends, needs or demands in the field were identified. Each department chair presented and discussed his/her professional advisory committee report at the LC retreat on January 15, 2013.
The Leadership Council also called for the creation of three community advisory committees, each to be asked one basic question. The Committees include:
- Public Health Practice Advisory Committee
- Alumni and Students
While not an official advisory committee, Dr. Mike Stoots and Dr. Randy Wykoff met with current and former commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Health following their participation in the Commissioners Panel as a part of the Leading Voices in Public Health. They responded to a single question What Should Our Students Know? In attendance at this discussion were Commissioner John Dreyzehner, and former Commissioners Susan Cooper, JW Luna, Fredia Wadley and Jim Word.
Additional Student Input
The college Recruitment and Retention Committee convened a focus group and conducted a survey of current students to identify reasons that students chose to come to ETSU and what, in their opinion, helped to distinguish ETSU from its competitors. This analysis also involved the students in conducting a SWOT analysis of the college. The committee chair presented the student survey and focus group report to Leadership Council on October 18, 2013. The Student Council also conducted a student engagement survey and presented the report of this survey to the dean on October 9, 2013.
Formulation of the Plan
The LC held two retreats, facilitated by the associate dean for quality and planning, in summer and fall 2013, to review and discuss the reports of the internal workgroups and the advisory committees, as well as student, alumni, field preceptor, and employer survey reports. The associate dean incorporated all reports and discussions into a detailed and comprehensive strategic plan, with goals, specific objectives, outcome measures/indicators, and targets for 6 focus areas: education, research, service and applied public health, diversity, workforce and resources. The LC further discussed the plan and disseminated to the college stakeholders for input. Following an iterative process of input, review, and revisions, the strategic plan was adopted in spring 2014. Program-specific recommendations were referred to the relevant department or degree coordinator for review and incorporation.