Inclusive Planning Process

The design of California Lutheran’s 2022-27 Strategic Plan was fueled by the university’s commitment to shared governance as defined during a yearlong process in the 2020-21 academic year. That general design is organized around three themes: Student Experience, Fulfilling Work Environment, and Distinctive Impact. The specific initiatives and action items of each theme were designed by “theme-team” workgroups.

In Fall 2021, Credo met with the Board of Regents and facilitated a retreat with the Strategic Plan Executuve Team. Following a Campus Community Day event in November 2021 that generated substantial input from faculty and staff, the theme workgroups then spent several months during the 2021-22 school year participating in a shared-governance informed planning process. The process brought constituents with experience, expertise, and/or commitment together to review data, collect feedback from members of the university community, and weigh into the Plan’s concrete objective and measures of success. Each team adopted their own processes to guide their work.

200+faculty and staff attended Campus Communty Day
100+students participated in feedback sessions
43%of staff participated in planning sessions

Student Experience

Knowing that student input was critical to the process, the Student Experience team scheduled listening and feedback sessions with 100 students from six groups: the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government, Black Student Union, CLU Filipino Club, Latin American Student Organization, Peer Advisors, and an open session to which all students were invited.

Additionally, faculty members on this team conducted informal conversations with students in their classes. At the same time, the Vice President for Student Aff airs and the Vice President for University Advancement led sessions with their respective Divisions. These sessions brought another 79 staff into the conversation and process.

Fulfilling Work Environment

The Fulfilling Work Environment team gathered input from a myriad faculty and staff since this theme was the one that most directly impacted employees. Ultimately, this Team brought 43% of all full-time staff to the planning table, and conducted listening sessions with all of them. Staff groups were organized by years of service: newcomers were invited to one group, those with 4-8 years to another group, and long-serving staff to a third group.

Separate sessions were held for Grounds, Housekeeping, and Trades crews with a translator on site to assist. Faculty participation was also high with over 160 engaged in structured conversations about this theme.

Distinctive Impact

The Distinctive Impact team reviewed the suggestions that emerged from three input-gathering sessions: the Campus Community Day that attracted over 200 faculty and staff; a Strategic Planning session of the Board of Regents that engaged the entire governing board; and a Fall retreat that included the campus leadership team.

The team culled and prioritized the suggestions from the aforementioned sessions to highlight those that would generate the most positive outcomes for the university.

Planning Timeline

Date Task
Aug. 13, 2021 Credo Team attended the Board of Regents retreat
Oct. 5-6, 2021 Credo Team facilitated the Strategic Plan Executive Team retreat
Nov. 18, 2021 Faculty and Staff attended Campus Community Day with Credo Team
Jan. 20 and Feb. 7, 2022 Strategic Planning Team training and Theme Teams were formed
Feb. 7-28, 2022 Theme Teams worked to prioritize initiatives in their respective areas
Mar. 1-31, 2022 Theme Teams vetted emerging ideas with members of the campus community
Apr. 13, 2022 Theme Teams reconvened with Credo consultants to refine emerging plans
May 20-21, 2022 Board of Regents approved Strategic Plan framework
July 7, 2022 Strategic Plan website launched
July 2022 Cabinet onboards Initiative Owners
July 2022 - August 2022 Credo conducts Executive Sponsor and Initiative Owner trainings
August 2022 Formal launch of Strategic Plan

The Planning Teams

Strategic Planning Executive Team
  • Lori Varlotta
  • Leanne Neilson
  • Marvin Richards
  • Matt Ward
  • Melinda Roper
  • Regina Biddings-Muro
  • Cristallea K. Buchanan
  • Tom Hoener
  • Taiwo Ande
  • Ryan Van Ommeren
Strategic Planning Team

All members of the Strategic Planning Executive Team, plus the following:

  • Ryan Medders
  • Michael Hart
  • Rachel Ronning-Lindgren
  • Kevin Baxter
  • Sarah Garcia
  • Tim Hengst
  • Michael Panesis
  • Vanessa Webster-Smith
  • Diane Rodriguez-Kiino
  • Mike Hillis

Purpose of the Teams

Planning Team
  • Leads campus discussion on Strategic Plan
  • Develops the Strategy Map. Sets Theme descriptions, measures, and targets.
  • Builds the strategic plan. Is the final arbitrator on initiatives suggested by the community and Theme Teams and on measures and targets. Ensures appropriateness of strategic objectives and no duplication.
  • Appoints the Data Collection Steward
  • Monitors progress of the plan, helps clear obstacles and makes any necessary plan adjustments
  • Is responsible for deciding on campus access to the planning website that includes the Thriving Scorecard software
  • Planning Team remains in place for duration of strategic plan – membership should be reviewed every two years
Theme Teams
  • Advise the Planning Team on initiatives for each strategic objective under their specific theme
  • Engage other campus constituencies in the development of initiatives (when appropriate)
  • Facilitate in identifying appropriate data sources for the approved measures, as appropriate
  • Theme teams are dissolved once the Planning Team moves to finalization of the plan