Update on J-School Strategic Planning

Fall Welcome 2016

Dear Colleagues: This is your latest update on the NEXT strategic planning process for the J-School.

Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 16, 2016) — Your NEXT planning team met just two days after the momentous U.S. election and accordingly spent some time diving into the implications of the election for the profession of journalism and the planning process itself.

All agreed that the events of the past few weeks bring journalism into the center of a red-hot debate about the proliferation and protection of democracy and that the times validate more than ever the need for courageous and decisive planning, starting with a re-dedication to the enduring underlying principles of journalism and strategic communication.

If you are new to the scene or haven’t kept up on the planning process, here are links to the original announcement and the subsequent blog updates posted by the NEXT planning team.

Suffice to say the plan has been taking shape through a steady drumbeat of outreach and collaboration.

Most recently, the eight priorities identified in the Aug. 26 faculty and staff retreat were organized into three related working groups. Each group was chaired by NEXT planning team members and more than 50 faculty and staff contributed throughout the planning sessions. The majority of these sessions (up to four separate meetings for each working group and many side-bar discussions) took place in September, October and early November, with draft plans submitted by Nov. 4 to Dean Kurpius and facilitator Sandra Herron.

Here are the three major planning focal points:

  • Missouri Method Planning Sub-Team: Provide input to the strategic plan to address the following question: How will the J-School reimagine the curriculum – including course delivery options, research integration and newsrooms – to prepare the best graduates for public service in a changing industry?
  • People and Culture Planning Sub-Team: Provide input to the strategic plan to address the following question: How will the J-School attract, develop and retain a diverse set of faculty, staff and students and drive a culture of shared values?
  • Organization Planning Sub-Team: Provide input to the strategic plan to address the following question: How will the J-School align structure, processes and resources (including alumni) to maximize accountability and productivity?

The three sub-teams returned 12 goals, 27 strategies and 116 key initiatives. These are currently being integrated, pruned and sequenced to eliminate overlap and to make linkages where appropriate.

By the time this blog is posted, Dean Kurpius will have already personally updated faculty and staff. The plan rollout will occur when everyone returns from the end-of-year break in mid-January 2017. At that point, we’ll move into the execution stage when various standing committees and new groups will pick up specific plan assignments.

One thing to keep in mind: This plan is a living document. It is a well-thought-out starting point. Its original timeline is set at five years, but it will be reviewed every year in a very active way. We know it’s easier to change direction once you have forward motion. We want to seize the momentum and set it to work for us.

As always, members of the NEXT planning team, the dean and Sandra Herron are available to field your questions or suggestions.

On behalf of the NEXT planning team, respectfully,

Dave Senay

NEXT Planning Team

Updated: October 9, 2020

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