University strategic goals highlight diversity, inclusion, sustainability

The Strategic Planning Committee will finish reviewing feedback during the upcoming spring semester.

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The Strategic Planning Committee will finish reviewing feedback during the upcoming spring semester.

by Ashley Na, Staff Writer

San Diego State proposed  five priorities that will shape the university’s future through strategic goals in an email sent to students Nov. 22. 

The Strategic Planning Committee consists of administrators, faculty and student representatives. 

The group deliberated about the future for SDSU over the next half decade, the strategic goal for the campus and the future of SDSU. They started discussions last spring semester.

Two of the university’s five strategic plans focus on campus expansion and education, with the goal of providing access to success through transformational experiences inside and outside the classroom for undergraduate, graduate and adult learners.

Two other goals focus on diversity and inclusion. The university intends to forge its own distinct identity as a premier Hispanic-serving, Research I university and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in research and teaching.

The university’s fifth goal focuses on environmentalism, developing innovative and sustainable practices that meet the university’s scholarly, teaching, community and athletic aspirations.

Chief Diversity Officer Luke Wood said the committee has been working to bring the community together. 

They held kick-off events in September that resulted in nearly 4,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni participating in either in-person, roundtable sessions or online feedback to provide their insights regarding the university’s  strategic direction. 

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Salvador Hector Ochoa said each committee member was asked to review data and provide interpretations to focus the group’s efforts. 

“Everybody’s interpretations were aggregated together and the consulting firm provided us direction of (what), based upon all the input, the five strategic parties would be,” Ochoa said. “It was a very good discussion. I think we captured what we believe (were) the five priorities.”

Wood said the committee wanted to be responsive to the university resolution that asked them to have a diversity plan. 

He also said it was an organic process that required the committee to go out, listen to the community and identify the priorities as a team. 

“What we’ve done so far is we created proposed strategic priorities and descriptions that go along with each of those priorities,” Wood said. “We have now sent out the email to campus asking for feedback and we are receiving feedback already. We will then review this feedback at a forthcoming meeting, to see if there are any modifications to the descriptions and priorities.”

Ochoa said the process of reviewing feedback, to be finished during the upcoming spring semester, is important  to see if modifications or changes to any priorities are needed. 

Additionally, Ochoa said once priorities are finalized, the committee will invite other people from the academic community to participate to develop activities and goals.

“I’m genuinely excited,” he said. “In this process, I have learned a lot, and I think this is an incredible opportunity. We want to develop a strategic plan that is unique to SDSU. Not one that you can find that could be anywhere (else).” 

Assistant News Editor Michael Cline contributed to this story.