Office of the Dean

CLASS Strategic Plan

CLASS Mission Statement

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, as a fellowship of teachers, scholars, scientists, artists, and performers closely connected to its urban community, provides stimulating educational programs and learning activities. Our students are preparing to understand a complex global society and to lead productive and meaningful lives. The college is at the heart of the university’s cultural life as well as its advancement of human and humane knowledge through research and scholarship.

CLASS Vision Statement

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will be recognized for providing opportunity for our students’ academic advancement, our community involvement, global outreach, and the excellence of our teaching, research and creative activity in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences.

Building on the major goals and strategies of Vision Unlimited and its annual updates, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences proposes the following strategic goals for the period 2009-2014:

  • COMPLETED: Task has been finished.
  • ONGOING: Task has been completed, but continues to be done on a regular basis.
  • IN PROGRESS: Task has not been completed, but some progress has been made.
  • NO ACTIVITY: No activity on the task has begun.
  • ABANDONED: Task has not been done, and it is no longer strategically advisable to undertake it.

Strategic Goals, 2009-2014

I. To Strengthen our Academic Programs

A. To Enhance our Undergraduate Education

ONGOING a. A greater percentage of our full-time faculty will teach 100- and 200-level courses.
ONGOING b. We will fashion unique and stimulating general education courses to attract more freshmen and transfer students.
ABANDONED c. We will create more course clusters and promote them.
ONGOING d. We will create new undergraduate certificate programs and promote them more effectively.
ONGOING e. We will foster new interdisciplinary courses.
IN PROGRESS f. We will work to develop new program-specific tracks in the Honors Program.
ONGOING g. We will work to increase the rates of retention and degree completion in our bachelors-level programs.
ONGOING h. We will foster our degree-completion program in Liberal Studies and the Bachelor of Organizational Leadership.

B. To Enhance our Graduate Education

IN PROGRESS a. We will establish closer cooperation with graduate programs at other NE Ohio public universities and stream-line cross-registration processes.
ONGOING b. We will create new 4 + 1 programs where such programs will clearly increase graduate student headcount.
ABANDONED c. We will explore creating a new Ph.D. program in the Social Sciences.
ABANDONED d. We will study the feasibility of adding new M.A. programs in the Arts/Humanities as well as an M.A. in Liberal Studies.
IN PROGRESS e. We will work to increase the rates of retention and degree completion in our M.A. and M.S.W. programs.

C. To Enhance our Contributions in Research and Creative Activity

ONGOING a. We will create a new brown bag series on new faculty research in progress. (1 or 2 per semester).  This would facilitate our goal of bringing together faculty from departments with common scholarly interests.
ONGOING b. We will promote new research centers in the Social Sciences.
ONGOING c. We will add a new web page listing recent publications, exhibits and performances by faculty.
ONGOING d. Our newsletters will highlight select recent publications, exhibits and performances by CLASS faculty.

D. To Create a Greater Synergy between Teaching and Research

ONGOING a. We will increase undergraduate research projects that expose our students to research methods in the disciplines.
ABANDONED b. We will create a new annual Research Fair, focusing on faculty and student collaborative research in progress.
ONGOING c. We will make such synergies visible in our newsletters and web pages.

E. To Facilitate Interdisciplinary and Intra-College Collaboration

ABANDONED a. Create a Certificate Program in Forensics.
ABANDONED b. Create an Art/Communication degree in Digital Art/Multimedia.
ONGOING c. We will continue to create new course clusters for undergraduates.
ONGOING d. Interdisciplinary Program Directors will regularly publish the course offerings for courses counting toward the various inter-disciplinary majors.
COMPLETED e. Explore new accounting models to facilitate cross-listing of courses.
ONGOING f. We will create a new lecture series for the Social Sciences paralleling Cultural Crossings.

F. To Facilitate Cross-College Collaboration

ONGOING a. We will give full support to the new B.A. program in Organizational Leadership.
ONGOING b. We will support and encourage cross-college conferences.
ONGOING c. We will work to foster more joint appointments.

II. To Enhance Student Experiences

A. To Improve Teaching Strategies

ONGOING a. We will provide training to faculty who wish to better incorporate web-enhanced materials into their courses.
ONGOING b. We support “Engaged Learning” and encourage our faculty to adopt teaching practices that promote student engagement.
IN PROGRESS c. We will establish greater engaged learning opportunities in the community by facilitating internships, co-ops, practicums, field study, and service learning activities.  We will develop consistent workload policies and models, and offer support such as faculty workshops and incentives.
ONGOING d. We will create a college award for excellence in teaching.
IN PROGRESS e. We will offer incentives for faculty to participate in workshops sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence.

B. To Strengthen Student Services

ONGOING a. We will create a new CLASS reception for graduates, their parents, and significant others on Commencement Day for CLASS graduates.
ONGOING b. We will create a new CLASS Valedictorian and present a plaque to that person at the CLASS Commencement reception.

C. To Manage our Enrollment Better

IN PROGRESS a. We will strengthen our eLearning offerings, creating new on-line degree programs in Bioethics and Communication.
ABANDONED b. We will also seek to create a coherent menu of on-line courses so that a student could complete his or her general education requirements on line.
ONGOING c. We will explore options to increase retention in on-line courses, including a possible transfer option to traditional sections of the same course.
ABANDONED d. We will identify a pool of qualified faculty who will dedicate themselves to eLearning.
ONGOING e. We will experiment with new models for modular and short course scheduling.
ABANDONED f. We will experiment with more weekend courses.

D. To Improve our Customer Service

ONGOING a. Every office will have phone coverage 40 hours per week.
IN PROGRESS b. Every secretary and faculty member’s phone will have on his or her voicemail greeting a second number to call in case of emergencies.
ABANDONED c. We will develop a voicemail greeting template for all faculty and staff.
IN PROGRESS d. We will work to get a stage manager for Communication/Music Building.
ONGOING e. We will continue to upgrade our advising services, including new plans for advising backup during peak periods.
ONGOING f. We will devise new systems for departmental outreach to students whose progress toward the degree has stopped or stalled.
ONGOING g. We will more aggressively reach out to enroll both graduate and undergraduate admitted applicants.

E. To Coordinate Scheduling and Enrollment Services.

ONGOING a. We will improve scheduling and coordination for all inter-disciplinary programs.  Our goal will be to have better long-term planning of department course schedules.
ONGOING b. We will improve operational guidelines for scheduling courses to avoid unnecessary scheduling conflicts, maximize enrollments, and meet demands of majors.

III. To Recruit, Retain, and Promote Outstanding Faculty and Staff

ONGOING A. We will introduce new faculty and staff at the beginning of the year CLASS reception.
ONGOING B. We will put links to new faculty profiles into the first issue of CLASS Directions.
ONGOING C. We will improve departmental-based mentoring practices for new faculty.
ONGOING D. We will make sure that the recruiting (as well as screening) function of on-campus interviews is met.
ONGOING E. We will initiate a spring post-mortem analysis of college and departmental recruiting practices during the previous academic year.
ONGOING F. We will initiate a college award for excellence in staff performance.


IV. To Strengthen the College’s Communication Infrastructure.

ONGOING A. We will continuously monitor and upgrade college and department web pages to make them more user friendly.
ONGOING B. We will upgrade the Innerlink and publish it several times per year.
ONGOING C. We will improve lines of communication between departments and their Alumni.
ABANDONED D. We will send out regular email blasts to CLASS alumni highlighting one CLASS event and inviting alumni to come to the event to meet the Dean.
ABANDONED E. We will create a CLASS newsletter targeted specifically to CLASS undergraduate students.


V. To Enhance College Administrative Processes

ONGOING A. We will publish and then continuously update a college policies and procedures manual, intended for chairpersons, faculty and staff, and covering areas not treated in the union contracts.
ONGOING B. We will examine current college administrative structures and realign those structures as necessary to accommodate future enrollment growth and/or programmatic needs.
ONGOING C. We will implement and refine use of electronic faculty FAARs.
ONGOING D. We will improve the accuracy and consistency of teaching credit accounting across administrative levels.
ONGOING E. We will review all college-level administrative forms and convert them to user-friendly electronic forms.
ONGOING F. We will maintain an open and collegial atmosphere between decanal staff and college faculty.
ONGOING G. This college Strategic Plan will be reviewed and up-dated at the annual CLASS Cabinet retreat in August of each year.


VI. To Enhance College Fundraising

IN PROGRESS A. We will raise funds for scholarships for international study – either for international students coming to CSU or for CSU students to go abroad.
ONGOING B. We will build closer contacts to our alumni by organizing at least one CLASS alumni event on campus each year.
ONGOING C. We will continue to up-date our list of projects for external fundraising.  These will include new scholarships and endowed chairs.
IN PROGRESS D. We will create an “adopt a student” book fund to be promoted at the two annual Commencement receptions.
ONGOING E. We will actively work with local foundations to raise funds to bring talented scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to CSU.


VII. To Enhance College Grant Seeking

ONGOING A. We will create small summer stipends, awarded competitively, to support writing proposals for external grants.
ABANDONED B. We will explore the possibility of adding a professional grant writer to the Dean’s Office staff.
COMPLETED C. We will review tenure and promotion guidelines in all departments to see whether grant-writing is rewarded appropriately.
ONGOING D. We will monitor use of start-up funds to help facilitate their use as seed-money for external grants.
ONGOING E. We will compile a list of CLASS faculty who have been successful in writing external grants and who are willing to mentor new faculty and perhaps serve as an internal review panel.
IN PROGRESS F. We will keep a file of successful grant proposals as models for new grant writers.


VIII. To Enhance Internal University Collaboration and External Partnerships.

ONGOING A. We will foster our recruiting ties to regional community colleges, and build up 2+2 programs.
ONGOING B. We will work to increase the numbers of our international graduate students, as well as increase the number of our students going abroad, by continuing to establish partnerships with universities outside the U.S.
ONGOING C. We will inventory our community connections, publicize them, and reactivate select community connections that have gone dormant.
ONGOING D. We will continue to revitalize, enlarge, and engage our college Visiting Committee.
ONGOING E. We will work to integrate the college and its units in the broadly-defined university curricular “themes” of “Sustainable Communities” and “Health.”
ABANDONED F. We will continue to develop partnerships for joint degree programs with other Northeast Ohio public universities.


IX. To Enhance the College’s Physical Space.

ONGOING A. We will work to support the university initiative to acquire the Allen Theater for use of our Drama program.
ABANDONED B. We will work to support the fundraising efforts for a new Art Building.
ONGOING C. We will work to arrange coherent office space for all departments.
IN PROGRESS D. We will preserve and expand archival and curatorial space for our academic departments.
IN PROGRESS E. We will work toward a modernized and updated Rhodes Tower’s becoming the Humanities/Social Sciences Building at CSU.


X. To continue to Promote a Culturally and Intellectually Rich Campus Life

ONGOING A. We will continue to promote exciting fine arts events and stimulating academic lectures as part of the campus’ public life.
ONGOING B. We will build upon our experience in international education to further develop our global orientation.
ONGOING C. We will increase the number of international visiting scholars so that we will always have a visitor on campus.
ONGOING D. We will sharpen our focus on ethnic studies, and develop programs that reflect the diverse intellectual and cultural interests of Northeast Ohio.
NO ACTIVITY E. We will develop culturally-themed course clusters.
ONGOING F. We will work to attract a greater number of international students to CLASS.  One strategy would be to create a new Certificate in American Studies, oriented toward international students.
ONGOING G. We will provide educational opportunities to learn the established cultural traditions of the great civilizations past and present, East and West.  We will also teach methods for exploring the emerging cultural traditions of new or previously subordinated groups in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Through this increased global awareness we seek to improve appreciation for the rich cultural diversity of our region and nation, and the multiple cultural identities of our students and their families.


Revised 7/2013