SDSU launches Strategic Planning Team to develop long-term vision


Jeanette Giovanniello

SDSU President Adela de la Torre speaks about the university’s long-term vision at the Strategic Planning Team kickoff event.

by Jeanette Giovanniello, Contributor

San Diego State launched a Strategic Planning Team to invite students to help determine the future of the university during a period of development.

The team has begun a planning process to build a vision for the long-term future at SDSU, according to President Adela de la Torre. She said the input of students will always take priority throughout the process.

“What will not change is our focus on transforming student lives as we have done for the last 122 years,” de la Torre said. “The heart of SDSU’s success has always been about transforming student lives, and that will continue to be the case as we move forward.”

The kickoff event, held on Sept. 23, featured SDSU administration members speaking alongside the planning team, stating their visions for the process and concerns they plan to address. 

The administration specifically put a spotlight on SDSU’s diversity. 

Mark Wheeler, Chair of the University Senate, said he wanted to shape general education curriculum to emphasize how the land students learn on was taken at the expense of the Kumeyaay people

“We must plan strategically to educate ourselves and our communities about the truth of these horrific crimes against humanity and their continued legacy and trauma in the present,” Wheeler said. “This would be a way to help our world heal.”

In February 2018, the University Senate signed a resolution to create a university diversity plan, which will feature individual plans for each department within SDSU. By 2020, the university will sponsor diversity training and support for professors within each educational department, according to SDSU’s diversity website.

The strategic plan will directly respond to the Senate’s resolution to ensure diversity inclusion plans are clearly defined across campus,“  de la Torre said. 

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer J. Luke Wood said he sees the future of SDSU being more inclusive and more innovative for all students.

Wheeler also suggested a new mission statement, dedicating the university to “truth, love and justice” and creating leaders through transformative research and public service. 

After the kickoff, students, staff, alumni and community members were welcomed to attend the group sessions to give their input and suggestions for future plans at SDSU. The strategic planning team consultants will analyze the data and turn feedback into five strategic priorities,  Provost and Senior Vice President Salvador Hector Ochoa said.

“While there will be many good ideas to come forward, it is important to have a laser focus in order to move this university forward,” Ochoa said. “At the end of the day its not only about having priorities, it’s about setting measurable benchmarks.”

Psychology freshman Natalie King-Shaw said the Strategic Planning Team’s ambition to plan through collectives was well done.

It’s important for us students to realize that our voices matter and that we have a say in what goes on in the future,” King-Shaw said. “It shows that SDSU cares about what the students have to say and what we want to see happening in the community.“

After all the group sessions, a document will be made regarding the strategic plan, the diversity plan and the plan for the Mission Valley campus project, Wood said.