Dear College Community, 

I am excited to share that we have completed the initial phase of the College of Engineering’s strategic design process. Following is an executive summary of our progress, including an announcement of next steps and call for volunteers to join strategic planning Work Teams.

Our Progress: Phase I Complete

With the assistance of Greenwich Leadership Partners, Phase I focused on discovery and framing through a comprehensive data review that enabled us to gain a deeper perspective on the college’s past and present. Joining the early effort were college leadership and many of you—thought leaders and members of our community who came together for interviews and focus groups to share your thoughts and experiences.

This initial phase revealed our collective assets as: the Drexel legacy for learning; a distinguishing co-op experience; the potential with Drexel’s recently acquired R1 status; and ever-present connections to place and practice. It also became clear that we must address the challenges of the quality of our physical infrastructure and the overall college experience for our entire community; increase transparency surrounding resource allocation; and improve engagement as we emerge from an intense period of leadership transition.

Advancing to Phase II

Understanding this context for our work, we will advance to Phase II of planning, prototyping, and testing by focusing our efforts within three broad thematic areas: 

  • the cultivation of talent, which addresses the quality of the student and faculty experience from recruitment to development at all levels, and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion; 
  • a distinguishing value proposition, which focuses on identifying ways to innovate across our curriculum, pedagogy, co-op and industry relationships, and areas of research excellence; and 
  • aligned means and conditions, in other words, how we will make visible and integrate our organization to execute on vision, improve and leverage physical assets, and increase funding.

Call for Strategic Planning Work Team Leaders

To plan our next steps and path forward, I am calling for the formation of Work Teams. Each Work Team will consist of eight to 12 individuals from across the college, representing our collective community of faculty, staff, and students. Each team will also be assigned two co-leads who will maintain responsibility for their Work Team’s overall process, coordination, and output, as well as act as liaisons with a dean’s appointed Strategic Design Team. 

Our future success is dependent on your engagement in our work, and it is important we have thoughtful, substantive input from stakeholders across the college. Please consider volunteering for one of the Work Teams as a participant or co-lead, or nominate a colleague to serve by completing this form by May 23.

We will have a half-day kickoff event on June 11, 2019, open to the entire college community, where Work Teams will also meet for the first time together and receive their charge—so please save the date!

Building on Our Legacy

I’d like to take a moment to thank the individuals in our community who helped organize our early work, including those who conducted interviews and attended focus groups, as well as the initial Strategic Design Team of Michele Marcolongo, department head and professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Kathryn Meier, assistant dean for strategic initiatives and innovation; Linda Lee, senior director, finance and administration; and Ian Marcus, special projects director. Together with the new community of Work Teams, we will advance through this important process.

As our strategic design work unfolds and we envision a new continuum of engineering research, education, and practice, we stand ready to build on our legacy as a cornerstone of Drexel University. I look forward to your partnership as we reimagine our future.

Sincerely, 
Sharon L. Walker, PhD
Dean, College of Engineering

P.S. Remember to bookmark the Strategic Vision webpage to follow our progress!
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