Solicit and Acknowledge Stakeholder Feedback
Identify and Meet with Stakeholders
Who are the stakeholders for the center? Identifying those with a vested interest in the work of the center, either as recipients, volunteers, or oversight, is a necessary part of developing a statement of the purpose of the center. Stakeholders may include:
- administrative or institutional leaders to whom the Center is accountable;
- potential faculty and staff volunteers;
- potential collaborators in other offices, centers or institutions;
- potential beneficiaries; and/or
- an existing or newly formed Advisory Board.
Dr. Toolin's essay includes a broad cross section of example stakeholders and their contributions to the planning process.
Once stakeholders are identified, organize a series of meetings or other fora to gather information about what the center's vision and mission should be. Use of multiple formats can help ensure that all voices are heard. It is often better to gather this information in small groups in the beginning and then bring larger groups together later on as part of refining the statements constructed from the feedback. Consider the role of the advisory board, industry partners, and individuals on campus as well as when and how to include them in participation.
The Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives executed a rigorous process of involving their stakeholders in developing their vision and mission.
In broadening the center's scope, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development made extensive use of their stakeholders to help shape the resulting new center.
Align with Important Local Contexts
This is also a good time to investigate the role of existing centers and units on campus to idenfity unmet needs or gaps that your center can address as part of its mission.
The Center for STEM Education at UNCC matches the STEM and education resources of UNC Charlotte to the needs of the surrounding schools to improve K-12 mathematics, science, and engineering education in North Carolina.
The Center for Research in SEAD Education recently underwent a major shift in vision and mission. The local context played a large roll in determining what the newly reformulated center looked like.
Acknowledge Individuals Involved
To gain credibility for the Center and its work, publicize the people involved in developing new or revised vision and mission statements. This can be particularly powerful if some of the contributors are in positions of power; e.g., provosts, deans, etc.
Provide opportunities for center staff and volunteers to present about the visioning work outside of the group and be recognized by their peers. This positions them as champions of the effort and can be professionally beneficial. This can also provide an opportunity to unify messaging around the vision and mission.
In the Office of Teaching and Learning's work around disseminating evidence based teaching methods across campus, they have made use of their whole team in presenting and talking.