This upcoming CSUDH Strategic Plan is set to be centered around students. Photo from CSUDH Smugmug.
By Chaz Kawamura, Staff Reporter
The CSUDH 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, one of the university’s biggest propositions, which re-examines the campus overall mission and goals is currently in the works. According to the plan’s website, it will identify the requirements needed in order to, “establish CSUDH as a nationally recognized model for a public, metropolitan university.”
The plan builds on the previous five-year plan along with the gathered research that identified additional institutional initiatives the university will be working towards in the next few years.
The plan is expected to be executed in four different phases. Phase number one, which is where the committee currently resides, consists of having external information/data collected and reviewed, hold community town halls and inform the community about opportunities for participation. Phase number two, which includes crafting, testing, and finalizing the framework. Phase number three, that includes the actual strategic framework rollout and celebration. Phase number four, which is the development of the strategy and execution of the work plan.
But this is not the first strategic plan in CSUDH history, school archives show two additional plans that have been previously implemented, the last Strategic Plan was from 2014-2020, which was created under the leadership of former CSUDH President Willie J. Hagan. The former plan had a total of 6 goals that range from focusing on student success to creating innovative learning environments.
This coming after the recent appointment of the University Planning Committee (UPC) at CSUDH, which will be in charge of coordinating and communicating the campus planning efforts, with consideration of the already existing academic, financial, and technological plans.
However, even though there is hard work being done in the formation of the strategic plan, the closing of the campus a year ago, has been a barrier for the committee to conduct their meetings, and has limited the ways they can reach out to get input from the CSUDH community. With the pandemic, currently there will only be 8% of in person classes for the next semester.
The experience and expertise of the people that make up the committee will assist in assembling, overseeing and executing the plan while also facilitating the future version of what this plan can look like.
The committee, which has not yet been finalized, will consist of collaborators from the Chief of Staff to the President, one student appointed by the President’s Cabinet, and nine additional members consisting of faculty, staff, and administrators. One of those members is Matthew Smith, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, and also one of the co-chairs of the committee.
Currently, the committee is in the “starting the conversation” phase of the Strategic Plan Timeline, which consists of roadmapping, conversating in meetings and forums, and finalizing the strategic plan. After the conversation stage, they will then go to the actual finalizing of the plan to present to CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham, for approval and begin its implication in the Fall of this year.
Smith, who was a first generation, low-income student. Also knows the importance of community and mentorship within the educational field. According to Smith, his commitment to the education of young people of color, is the inspiration behind taking on the role of helping formulate the new strategic plan.
“I would not be here today if it were not for people in my community,” Smith said. “I see who I am today and what I have as a community effort. That’s the way I wanted to approach this strategic plan.”
“Our major changes have come in terms of how we engage with people. What people think is really important for this campus. We want to make sure we give opportunities for people to join online, said Smith. “It is about us trying to be more creative and innovative in how we bring people along in this process.”
One major focal point that Smith said is a very important factor in making the strategic plan as a whole is having it be student centered. This being one of the reasons why Smith is so passionate in working on this strategic plan.
“I believe in making things student centered. I knew our community would own this process. But you also have to be willing to learn as well,” said Smith. “Being open to learn from our students, faculty, and staff. I saw this as an amazing opportunity to advocate for students.”
Being student centered, there are ways that students can get involved and voice their opinion. One way is to go to the CSUDH Strategic Planning page and sign up to attend a student-only stakeholder meeting and complete a survey and/or submit a video of feedback for the committee. By doing the survey, you have a chance to win a $25 gift card for either Amazon or Doordash.
This could mean a better future for CSUDH as a whole, and with Smith and his fellow committee members at the helm. This strategic plan could be for the better of the school, its faculty, staff, and most importantly, its current and future students.