From the Dean…
Over the past three years I have watched Auburn’s new strategic plan unfold beginning with the comments from the university-wide meetings held during 2004-05. I remember reading them as window into the University I was about to join and trying to use them to understand its strengths, its weaknesses, its hopes and its worries. Since then, there have been dozens of meetings involving everyone including the Board of Trustees. An able facilitator, Richard Messina, joined the effort under President Richardson and continued to see it through with President Gogue. Now at last Auburn has a plan and it seems to me our plan adopted just last year is a good match.
Auburn’s plan outlines these strategic priorities:
- Elevate undergraduate education and enrich the undergraduate experience.
- Build the foundation for a stronger and larger funded research enterprise.
- Expand the impact of the University’s extension and outreach activities, better serving our communities and the state.
- Redouble efforts to support, develop and strengthen our people.
- Commit to continuous improvement in strengthening our management approaches and increasing our efficiency
- Continue to dramatically expand the endowment, annual fund, and gifts to the University to support academic excellence and increase scholarships.
The next step for the University is to further refine and develop a list of 34 action steps for the coming year. Each of them will be assigned to someone and in many cases committees and task forces will be formed.
Our plan is similar in structure and seems to support the University’s priorities. The “Strategic Directions” in the Libraries’ plan include:
- Develop, implement, and maintain user-driven services that are responsive, highly collaborative, and broad-based to meet diverse user needs.
- Build and maintain a robust technological infrastructure that is responsive to the changing needs of the Libraries’ users and employees and that will support increased flexibility in the delivery of resources.
- Build and sustain collections that support the university mission and provide convenient, seamless access to information resources in optimal formats.
- Redesign the Libraries’ space to provide a dynamic, comfortable learning environment that is conducive to productivity, yet flexible enough to meet the varied needs of our staff and users.
- Recruit and retain well-trained, diverse and talented staff who are dedicated to the mission of Auburn University and Auburn University Libraries and to the service of the Libraries’ users.
As I’ve met with librarians and staff over the past few months, I’ve asked if they could see themselves in our plan. Is it a framework you can use to guide your contributions to the Libraries and the University. I hope over the coming months it will be possible to refer to the plan as each of you prepares your annual summary of accomplishments and outlines your goals for the coming year in the evaluation process. Only through use will we know if our plan is a good guide to building the future of our Libraries.