Caboni announces plans for strategic planning committee

Emily DeLetter

President Timothy Caboni has announced plans to integrate a strategic planning committee in efforts to allow the university to claim a role as a leader among other public institutions in the U.S., according to an email he sent.

The strategic committee will be composed of five smaller groups, co-chaired by members of the faculty and staff at WKU. The five groups consist of academic innovation and excellence, student success and experience, diversity, equity and inclusion, research, scholarship and creative endeavors and budgeting, efficiency and infrastructure.

In his email, Caboni estimated around 75 people would be involved with the subcommittees, which will be composed of faculty, staff and students. They will likely begin meeting during the Spring 2018 semester, and will focus on creating a plan for different areas of the university for the next five to seven years.


Preliminary discussions for the groups began in August, when Caboni presented the idea during his monthly meeting with the executive board of the Student Government Association. SGA president Andi Dahmer said the idea was introduced as a means to raise student involvement, but at the time there was no clear shape of how that would transpire.

Working with SGA, Caboni is urging all students to apply to be representatives on the subcommittees, also titled “working groups.” SGA chief of staff Conner Hounshell said the working groups are searching for a “diverse group to best represent the student body as a whole.”

Dahmer said they are hoping for representation from all grade levels, including graduate students. Once all applications have been received, the executive board of SGA as well as other SGA members will review all of the applicants and present a list of three to four candidates that they believe will be best suited to each working group.

Caboni will then select one to two candidates to represent each working group.

“We’re looking for students from all different backgrounds, with different experiences,” Dahmer said. “Presenting yourself and past experiences will help steer each applicant towards the working group to which they would best fit.”

Diversity is key in forming the student representatives, and they are hoping to include members from both in and out of the SGA Senate, Dahmer said. As of last week, approximately 23 students had applied to represent a working group, according to Dahmer.

Dahmer said the goal of the working groups is to work together with all aspects of campus involvement, including faculty, staff, students and stakeholders to provide information to the groups that will help WKU move forward in the future.

Dahmer said she was not sure when, once fully formed, the working groups would begin meeting, but imagined a lot of preliminary meetings would occur in the spring semester.

“The goal is to have efforts planned to present at the July Board of Regents meeting,” Dahmer said. “We want to have an equal voice in planning the university for the next five years.”

Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.