Strategic Planning Begins Anew at Arkansas Tech

ATU Strategic Planning Steering Committee 2022
Those in attendance at the first meeting of the Arkansas Tech University 2022 strategic planning steering committee included: (front row, from left-to-right) Dr. Barbara Johnson, Irma Campos, Dr. Melissa Darnell, Stephanie Duffield, Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Rachel Broussard, Dr. Mary B. Gunter; (back row, left-to-right) Wyatt Watson, Dr. Blake Bedsole, Leo Cantu, Dr. Jason Warnick, Dr. Jeff Robertson, Richard Harris, Shirley Bonner and Dr. Christine Austin.

Arkansas Tech University initiated a new strategic planning process by conducting the first meeting of its strategic planning steering committee on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The committee includes representation from ATU faculty, ATU staff, the ATU student body and the community. The committee’s charge, as provided by ATU President Dr. Robin E. Bowen, is to lead a process that will result in a strategic plan with three-to-five major and measurable goals and a life span of no more than three years.

The forthcoming iteration of the ATU strategic plan will support the existing ATU mission and vision statements, and it will seek to build upon the stretch goals that were developed at the end of the previous strategic plan.

ATU previously initiated a strategic plan process during the 2015-16 academic year. That plan was approved by the ATU Board of Trustees in May 2016 and has served as a guiding document for the institution ever since.

The forthcoming ATU strategic plan will be designed during the spring 2022 semester through a combination of data review by the strategic planning steering committee, identification of priority areas that should be reflected in the strategic plan, development of working groups to draft reports on the priority areas and a series of open forums to engage the university community.

The steering committee’s schedule calls for submission of the final draft of the strategic plan to ATU Faculty Senate, ATU Staff Senate, ATU Executive Council and other groups as identified in April 2022.

After review of feedback from the open forums and the leadership groups on campus, the steering committee will submit the strategic plan to Bowen in May 2022. The ATU Board of Trustees will have an opportunity to review the plan and the option of adopting it during its June 2022 meeting.

“Thank you for your service on this steering committee,” said Bowen, who will work with the strategic planning steering committee in an ex officio role. “I am excited to collaborate with you on this vital project for Arkansas Tech University.”

Members of the ATU strategic planning steering committee are: Dr. Christine Austin, director of assessment and institutional effectiveness and professor of student affairs administration (ex officio); Dr. Blake Bedsole, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success; Shirley Bonner, assessment coordinator at ATU-Ozark Campus and ATU-Ozark Staff Senate member; Rachel Broussard, special event coordinator and Staff Senate member; Irma Campos, Graduate Student Council vice president; Leo Cantu, senior vice president for Bank OZK in Russellville; Dr. Melissa Darnell, associate professor of nursing and Faculty Senate member; Katy Dodd, workforce education faculty of English at ATU-Ozark and ATU-Ozark Faculty Senate member; Stephanie Duffield, ATU Board of Trustees vice chairman; Dr. Mary B. Gunter, distinguished professor of educational leadership and chief of staff (committee chair); Richard Harris, Russellville mayor; Dr. Barbara Johnson, vice president for academic affairs; Brittany Shannon, Student Government Association president; Bruce Sikes, ATU-Ozark chancellor; Dr. Jason Warnick, professor of psychology and director of the ATU Office of Distinguished Scholarships (ex officio); and Wyatt Watson, director of institutional research and effectiveness (ex officio).