It's Planning Time!

November 21, 2016
Merith Weisman
Merith Weisman

What will the future of the CCE and civic learning at SSU be? We need you to help determine the direction that we will take for the next five years. Here's how:

  • We need YOU to complete the survey.
  • If you are contacted requesting an interview, please respond.
  • Community partners: Apply to participate in the Strategic Planning and Civic Action Planning meeting on February 23, 9am-3:30pm in Student Center Ballrooms B & C. Thirty-six representatives of community organizations will join us to discuss, connect, and plan the future of the CCE and civic learning at SSU. Unfortunately, because space is limited and because we want to provide for balanced representation, not everyone who applies will be able to join us.
  • A team of students in the SSU Masters Program in Organization Development led by Susan Larson-Bouwer will compile the plan using all data collected through the planning meeting, the surveys, and the interviews by early March.
  • The draft will be available for comment for two weeks before submission to the Provost and President for approval.
  • Once approved, the final plan will be submitted to the CSU Chancellors Office and Campus Compact, as well as published on the CCE website.

Please note that because we want you to be as honest as possible, I will only see reports of the compiled results of the survey and interviews. Additionally, I will not be attending the planning meeting beyond welcoming, lunch, and the report-outs at the end of the day.

Please join me in thanking Susan's team and Vic Liptak, a doctoral candidate at CSU Fresno, for all their help.

To provide some background, you may know that the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) receives funding and support from the CSU Chancellor's Office (CO). The CO also requires that the CCE have a Strategic Plan. Although ours has been expired for several years, you can see it here. We are now undertaking a new Strategic Planning process.

At the same time, we are undertaking developing a Civic Action Plan for SSU. Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Sonoma State University is a member. In 2016, Campus Compact had its 30th anniversary and issued an Action Statement which President Armiñana signed. Included is:

These are commitments we make to each other with a recognition that our goals for a thriving and sustainable democracy cannot be achieved if we act alone--and that they cannot be denied if we act together. Our success over the last thirty years gives us confidence that we can build a world in which all students are prepared for lives of engaged citizenship, all campuses are engaged in strong partnerships advancing community goals, and all of higher education is recognized as an essential building block of a just, equitable, and sustainable future. In affirming these statements, each of us makes a commitment to develop a Campus Civic Action Plan within one year after March 20, 2016, or the date thereafter on which we become signatories. Our Civic Action Plans will state the actions our campuses will take as we move forward with a renewed sense of urgency, along with the impacts we expect to achieve. Our Civic Action Plans will be shared publicly, as will our assessments of the progress we are making in achieving the goals stated in the Plans.

We intend to develop one plan that serves as both CCE's Strategic Plan and SSU's Civic Action Plan. We're just getting started, but so far:

[Related: Democracy Beyond Voting]

  • On September 19-20, 2016, SSU sent a team made up of Dean of the School of Social Sciences John Wingard, Dr. Emily Ray, Assistant Professor & MPA Coordinator Dept. of Political Science, and me to a Campus Compact Civic Action Plan Institute to begin the work of developing our Civic Action Plan.
  • Campus Compact provided a Civic Action Plan template
  • A team of students in the SSU Masters Program in Organization Development led by Susan Larson-Bouwer has been meeting with me to develop the planning process
  • Vic Liptak, a doctoral student at CSU Fresno/Channel Islands, has also been recruited to conduct interviews.
  • Susan and Vic attended a Campus Compact Civic Action Planning workshop.
  • A process has been developed to solicit input from stakeholders including SSU students, faculty, staff, administrators and community partners. This includes a survey, selected interviews, and a planning meeting on February 23, 9am-3:30pm in Student Center Ballrooms B & C.

If you have questions, comments or ideas, please share them in the comments below.