Strategic Planning Update: Town Hall Meetings

Thanks to our remarkable EDUCAUSE board of directors and the hard work of EDUCAUSE staff, we have completed a major milestone in the creation of a five-year strategic plan for EDUCAUSE. On August 15, the board endorsed three focused, compelling strategic priorities, immediately launching the next phase in our planning process. Between now and expected final approval at the October EDUCAUSE board meeting, we are inviting members to respond to and comment on the proposed plan.

We just completed two “town hall” meetings (September 6 and 7) for institutional representatives, and I urge you to watch the recording and contact me or email the strategic planning team with any questions or suggestions.

As I cover in detail in the recorded presentation, the strategic plan features three priorities (see below), with a handful of goals supporting each.

strategic plan priorities

We are very excited about these potentially transformational changes, especially the member focus evident in each of these three priorities. As Donnie Sendelbach, from Denison University, commented at the second town hall meeting, our strategic priorities "value the individual while building the community."

Personalizing the EDUCAUSE member experience means that we will move to providing you with ever-more-targeted resources that meet you at your point of need. The plan to personalize the member experience requires the enabling step of eliminating the separate subscription services for the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR), a step that was broadly supported in my conversations with stakeholders and in the chat stream at the town hall meetings. Currently, we can send you a targeted notification about a new ECAR report or an upcoming ELI publication that is exactly what you need, when you need it, only if you are a subscriber to the service. This will change, since we believe that the research, resources, and community collaborations occurring through ECAR and ELI are important to all institutions. ECAR and ELI resources enhance decision making and help advance student success initiatives.

Making these timely resources available to all members as part of EDUCAUSE membership will require changes to our membership model (created in 1997, it is due for modernization). The proposal to update the membership model is not intended to generate new streams of revenue but instead to roll the cost of these two core services into the dues model for all members beginning in July 2017. As explained in the town hall presentation, some institutions will see no change in their dues, and some will see their dues go up or down; the majority of the increases will go up by less than $1,000. All members will experience more value as a result of the change.

EDUCAUSE staff are excited about the idea, and internally some have been calling the concept “One EDUCAUSE” because we can dramatically increase access to and use of EDUCAUSE resources by all our members, essentially quadrupling the number of institutions with access the moment we enact this change. To learn more, please watch the town hall meeting recording and be sure to share your insights, comments, concerns, or ideas. I believe this five-year plan illuminates a bright future for EDUCAUSE and the community we serve.

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John O’Brien is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.

© 2016 John O’Brien. The text of this blog is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.