Strategic planning: Moving forward

The College took a major step forward recently when our Strategic Planning Committee recently concluded two days of intensive meetings at out East Campus. The committee did a great job of hammering out a solid framework of student-centered initiatives for the College to undertake over the next several years.

In opening the group’s meeting, I noted that a key element for success is recognizing the College’s “mental mindsets,” the term that organizational thought leader Peter Senge’s used to describe an organization’s deeply embedded beliefs. We need to identify those mindsets that might be impeding real change at PCC.

I also emphasized understanding the local, regional, national and global context of education, both today and in the future; and most importantly, the need to create a system for learning that puts students first.

The work of the Strategic Planning Committee is the next step in an important, ongoing process that began with the PCC Futures Conference in February. [The common themes emerging from the conference are available here.]

PCC has many excellent programs and services for students. We need to identify the elements in those programs that make them successful, and, moving forward, infuse them into our institutional DNA.

Of course, our initiatives have to be flexible and adaptable; history is replete with examples of plans that went awry because they did not account for rapid change. This is especially true in education. That means constantly listening, especially to students, and taking diverse viewpoints seriously.

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Our strategic planning process is built around helping students succeed. Helping our students achieve their dreams is why we do the work we do. It is why this institution exists. As chancellor, I am determined to returning Pima to being the kind of student-centered College it once was.

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