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Planning initiative requires input from all


Editorial

In an email sent out to the student body last week, President Robert L. Barchi announced his intent to begin a process that would formulate a vision for the future of the University. “In the past month,” Barchi wrote, “we have achieved several major milestones ... Let’s capitalize on this momentum.” Using interviews, surveys, focus groups and input from members of the University community, Barchi and a team of administrators from the University’s three campuses will work to locate challenges and develop a long-term plan for the school and its constituents.

Barchi’s “strategic planning initiative,” as he noted, comes just at the right time. Recent developments this semester — including the approval of the University’s merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry, acceptance into the Big Ten along and Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and the approval of a $750 million higher education bond act — have positioned the University at a uniquely advantageous point in its 246 year history. These developments have brought with them massive opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and a cohesive, long-term vision is necessary for their proper implementation and incorporation. They’ve also set this year’s initiative apart from those carried out under previous University presidents.

But the ability of such a plan to capitalize on these successes in a way that caters to the interests of the University community depends largely on the input received from the University community. To this end, students, faculty and University members have been given an important responsibility. Active engagement in this process from all levels of the University community is required to ensure that its results reflect the nature and interests of the institution as a whole. Students especially ought to involve themselves in the input process.

While using other renowned research universities and their programs as benchmarks — as Barchi plans to do — is useful, it is important that Rutgers’ own vision is unique to the composition of its own community. It goes without saying that the University’s diversity is an asset, and any plans for its posterity should reflect this diversity. Going forward, administrators at the helm of this initiative should keep this in mind.


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