Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger has been working with faculty, staff and students since March to develop a plan for the future of the University.
On Monday, he kicked off his “Road Map to Success” at 3 p.m. in the Mandela Room.
The Road Map is a large-scale plan to advance the academic and operational excellence and growth of the University. The initiative is a collaborative effort between administrators, students and faculty.
Standing in front of 300 participants, Stenger made his overall goal clear.
“We will strive to be the premier public university of the 21st century,” Stenger said.
He told the attendees he chose a collaborative process because more people means more brains, teams blend experts and novices, and great ideas will attract new investments.
“The breadth of input on this is going to ensure that we’ve got really great ideas coming in,” said Donald Nieman, provost and vice president of academic affairs.
Stenger said that the University needs to grow to meet the demand from high quality applicants, increase diversity and improve quality of life in New York’s Southern Tier.
According to Stenger, the Road Map would not be possible without the support of Governor Cuomo and SUNY 2020, which gives the University fiscal certainty for five years.
The Road Map includes nine “teams,” each dedicated to a different aspect of Stenger’s overall goals.
Stenger asked the teams to develop visions into “3-I’s” — initiatives, innovations and ideas.
He defined initiatives as ongoing concerns, innovations as issues requiring one-time funding, and ideas, which will require further research before becoming either initiatives or innovations.
The teams are scheduled to draft their “3-I’s” by mid-November and finalize the plans by mid-December.
Steven Knepp, a resident director in Hinman College, is one of the “Infrastructure” team members. Knepp said he finds the collaborative effort of the Road Map promising.
“Like the statistics showed … this is not just a faculty committee, it’s not just a staff committee, but it’s all the stakeholders involved in making Binghamton great,” Knepp said.
Becca Platsky, an intern working with Stenger to coordinate the Road Map, seconded Knepp’s beliefs.
“There’s so much brainpower,” Plastky said. “I think the best ideas are going to come from groups that you wouldn’t think had anything to do with each other.”
Platsky is a graduate student studying accounting and one of four interns from the School of Management working with Stenger to organize the Road Map.
“Over the summer we were responsible for developing the structure for which the Road Map teams would meet and create their ‘3-I’s,’” Platsky wrote in an email. “We built the teams, ensuring a good mix of all types of University stakeholders.”
Platsky said the interns were also responsible for booking rooms on campus, communicating with team members and dealing with Basecamp, the project management website the program will use.
Stenger noted the amount of work that went into the development of the Road Map.
“It took a lot of planning to plan the plan,” he said.
Stenger ended his presentation with strong encouragement for participants.
“I’m putting the future of this University into your hands, so go get ‘em. Knock ‘em dead,” he said.