Department Hammers Out the 2020 Action Plan

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In January, all full-time faculty members and office staff attended a two-day strategic planning session with Dr. Larry Long, Dean Emeritus of the School of Communication, Illinois State University. During this time, focused discussion occurred on four topics: academic excellence, diversity, community engagement, and infrastructure. Department of Communication professionals split into four groups discussing many different topics. These were generally things the department felt they should be working on and developing.

Department of Communication, Dr. Helen Sterk states that after the massive brainstorm, “the topics were winnowed down from many to just a few.” Under each of the four goals, there are now action steps as the strategic plan begin to take on life. Clearly defined directives accomplish the goal of each particular mean. Successfully accomplished means produce the success of the strategic action.

The strategic plan was prompted by our department’s Advisory council. As the newly developed plan was presented to
the council, they praised the plan as professional and focused. Dr. Sterk thinks the plan will make a solid difference in the
department.

The following summarizes the strategic actions to be taken.
Strategic Action 1: Foster Academic Excellence
This includes the means of improving the balance of skill and theory, offering more collaborative learning opportunities, as well as improving Honors Curriculum.
Strategic Action 2: Promote a dynamic & diverse university community
The Department will reach out to Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion to aid in better understanding and crafting a definition of a dynamic and diverse university community. Once the definition is set, a plan will be laid in place.
Strategic Action 3: Improve quality of life for our communities
This particular action refers to the increased understanding of community needs, then meeting needs that can be set as
realistic goals through researching many different sources in our local area.
Strategic Action 4: Support the core mission with a robust campus infrastructure
This action focuses on generating sources of revenue from external, University, PCAL and Department sources.

WKU’s Department of Communication is a highly respected and accomplished powerhouse, with faculty earning prestigious awards for top papers and research efforts. Have no doubt, once our department implements and executes the structured action plan, the results will demand attention within academia. Specifics of the plan can be obtained through the Department of Communication Office located in the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center, Room 130.

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