Promote an environment where all faculty and staff are encouraged, empowered, and incentivized to pursue excellence.

We titled this strategic planning effort “Leadership Through Excellence.” For the McKelvey School of Engineering to truly adopt this philosophy, we must empower all school employees to pursue excellence by providing opportunity, training, and reward incentives.

Goal 1: Develop a coherent mission and vision for non-tenure track, full-time faculty.

As a small engineering school that seeks to offer a broad portfolio of degree programs, we rely on non-TT faculty (NTTF) for a significant amount of teaching and curriculum delivery. These faculty need to be integrated into the departments and school as first-class citizens. The first step is an unambiguous statement of their roles, responsibilities, and privileges within the school.

Goal 2: Improve the voice of the staff and teaching faculty.

Our goal is to establish a variety of channels for staff and NTTF to communicate with school leadership to express concerns and to surface issues that affect them.

Goal 3: Ensure career development plans for all staff.

The school provides an unusual work environment for staff in that many staff report to faculty whose responsibilities do not typically include staff development. The work environment for staff in engineering should provide clear paths for career advancement. We need to establish an HR structure that ensures all staff have effective career-development plans.

Goal 4: Ensure that the value of all faculty and staff is both explicitly and implicitly recognized.

There are many mechanisms by which someone feels valued — or not. Being explicitly recognized shows that the administration values an employee’s contribution. Being denied the same benefits afforded others sends the opposite message. We need to ensure our practices are designed to explicitly demonstrate to all employees that they are valued. Not all positions have an equal reward, but all employees are entitled to feel valued.

Goal 5: Establish diversity in all forms, including race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation and politics as an asset.

Diversity of the leadership, the faculty body, and the student body are explicit goals of the university. Such goals must permeate throughout the organization. By embracing diversity, all members of the school know that they are equal partners in our aspirations, that the school does not tolerate bias or abuse, and believes that diversity is a strength that enables it to address a variety of challenges with a broader perspective.