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Cordano’s Six Short-Term Strategic Priorities for the University

During President Roberta J. Cordano’s “Welcome Home” address, held on September 12, 2017, she discussed six short-term strategic priorities for the University, which would run from October 2017 through 2020. Those priorities are designed to strengthen Gallaudet’s foundation and align resources for the University’s long-term transformation.

“The strategic plan process really began when I arrived on campus,” said Cordano. “We received considerable input on what was working, what needed attention, and what were Gallaudet’s opportunities and challenges.

“Many community members expressed frustration that they have been providing similar input for a long time without action. We listened to you and knew we had to act, not just plan. We also knew we had to identify our most important priorities so we could do the essential work you told us needed to be done.”

Priority #1: Intentionally develop Gallaudet’s bilingual (ASL/English) mission while leveraging and validating the multicultural identities within our community.

While we are a community of visual communicators and learners, we have not yet fully defined what it means for us to work, learn, and live together as a diverse, multilingual, and multicultural community committed to our ASL/English bilingual academic mission. Key strategies include completing a framework for this mission through existing university documents, community feedback, and to complete development of a multi-year implementation plan.

Priority #2: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence: Creating a Thriving Community

Gallaudet will actively work to create a thriving community where a true sense of belonging exists for all members. We will develop and resource key initiatives and actions to address issues, challenges, and opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will ultimately lead to creating a campus climate where all members feel welcomed, supported, included, and valued for their unique qualities and individual contributions.

Key strategies to achieving this include creating an institutional diversity strategy and action plan; development and initial implementation of a plan that addresses practices, procedures, communications, and training programs that attract, hire, retain, and promote diverse faculty, teachers, and staff, particularly deaf people of color; clarification of roles and responsibilities of all governance groups; continuation of President Cordano’s meetings with all significant staff units and faculty members; expansion of the use of restorative justice principles as part of the University’s response to student incidents; and, systematic implementation of strategies to improve access and inclusion of people with disabilities on campus.

Priority#3: Student/Learner Success and Experience: Creating learners, leaders, innovators, and change-makers as part of Gallaudet’s bilingual (ASL/English) mission.

Learning is at the core of Gallaudet’s mission and all aspects of student matriculation, academic, and social experience must support and strengthen their lifelong learning competencies.

The goal of this priority will be to strengthen competencies for academic, social, and developmental learning and career readiness for all students. Key strategies include establishing university-level undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) benchmarks, establishing a career education task force to guide the identification and development of high-impact career readiness strategies, and addressing barriers and obstacles related to matriculation, retention, and graduation.

Priority #4: Invest in Institutional Infrastructure: Strengthening Gallaudet’s strategic positioning for transformation.

Gallaudet must strengthen its operational, tactical, and digital infrastructure to bolster its strategic position and assume its role as a transformational institution across the nation and globe. The goal of this priority is to strengthen planning, leadership, communication, and digital ecosystems infrastructure to support Gallaudet’s bilingual mission.

Key strategies include updating the campus master plan to reflect current guiding principles and the Sixth Street development project, creating leadership and professional development opportunities, strengthening government relations efforts, and establishing a university-wide communications plan.

Priority #5: Sixth Street Development, Research, and Thought Leadership: Enhancing academic and community vitality.
Gallaudet’s academic vitality must be strengthened by enhancing the development and dissemination of research, scholarly, and academic pursuits. The goals of this priority are to define Sixth Street project outcomes and plan project implementation, plan and implement Knowledge Studios as part of Creativity Way commitments, support innovation, and entrepreneurialism, and to develop department and unit priorities reflective of this priority.

Priority #6: Strengthen and Diversify Revenue Streams and Improve Financial Planning and Management Practices.

Optimizing the short and long-term planning and strategic use of Gallaudet’s fiscal resources is essential for the university community to capitalize on its strengths and transformational opportunities. The goal of this priority is to strengthen Gallaudet’s long-term financial well-being by growing and diversifying revenue streams and by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of financial planning and management practices.

Key strategies of this priority include designing a financial data gathering and analysis system to support campus programmatic, operational, and strategic decision making, establishing a common methodology to calculate costs of ongoing projects, engaging staff and faculty in understanding program and operational costs, aligning budgets with identified program priorities, and engaging the Real Estate Foundation and the Board of Trustees in the development of a real estate strategic plan.

The six priorities will be finalized, incorporating community input and feedback, in time to present to the Board of Trustees during the October 2017 meeting sessions, for their approval.

You can read more detailed information about the six priorities here: https://gallaudet.edu/about/promise/.
Photo by Zhee Chatmon.

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