In a commentary on the Chronicle site this week (here) Benjamin Ginsberg assails the practice of writing strategic plans as a self-serving exercise in executive/administrative nonsense. This is a big topic; He makes some good points. My issue for the moment, however, is that I am concerned that the argument implicitly undermines anything done for it's strategic value. Quick point of distinction: tactics are actions used for specific, timely purposes. Strategies are big picture conceptualizations of goal fulfillment. Ginsberg notes an exceptional bit of leadership at the University of Illinois in its 2007 strategic plan. Ginsberg's overall slant however is to herald the failure of American universities to maintain intellectual rigor by increasing the number and power of administrators and decreasing faculty influence.
ION's core value to its many widespread members and friends is as a strategic partner in faculty development. This value is expressed as the element of higher learning accreditation focused on faculty training and support. Making smart decisions toward the long term goals of improving the skills and abilities of the universities faculty members will always be a good thing. It will never be a transient whim that comes and goes with presidents or deans.