FAQs

Questions about the Think Big strategy process

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This is the first time we've approached strategic planning in this format; thus, we have no past examples.

No, that information will remain with the selection committee.

We hope to be able to update the community regularly through this website and other online mechanisms, as well as multiple in-person gatherings related to some campus groups’ regular meeting times as well as gatherings scheduled specifically to share developments.

Our campus is ready to talk and create. Nearly 2,200 of you responded to the fall’s surveys, and more than 650 offered to help in the planning process. By the end of May, we expect to have a short document that presents the Big Ideas and Directions. With the level of interest and engagement shown to date, we are confident we will reach that goal with a result that inspires excitement across the campus.

As noted on the main page, once Big Ideas and Directions emerge, we will develop our own approaches to engage with them.

In some instances, one or more seed sprints might serve as launchpads to larger initiatives. In others, a combination of faculty, departments or schools might propose a major project centered on one of the ideas. Or perhaps a school will come together around a strategy that involves multiple Big Ideas and Directions.

Since this effort is at its earliest stages, we want to keep as many options open as possible.

This observation echoes several comments from October’s surveys and town halls, and is one of the reasons for this entirely different approach. As critical as tough strategic choices are to the success of a strategy, execution is even more important. One of the key aspects of inspiring people to act on opportunities is involving them in their development. Encouraging the entire campus to talk about Case Western Reserve’s future not only will yield exciting ideas, but also increase engagement in making them a reality.

This question also came up frequently in the fall. Since late summer Provost Ben Vinson, CFO John Sideras and their teams have been collaborating on a strategic assessment of administrative functions and costs. They already have identified some opportunities for savings, and will continue that process for the next several months. The primary purpose of those dollars will be to support the Big Ideas and Directions that emerge from this strategy process.

Our community will determine the answer to this question, but we expect to see a mix of new, updated, and expanded ideas that will inform our future direction as a university.

Consider these planning, process, proof of concept efforts. What problem or issue are you trying to consider? What needs accomplished to move that idea to the next level? Who needs to be around the table to move the idea forward? How can you use the time to arrive at a solution or design or outcome and what would you need to do to implement and/or scale? We don't expect to see projects implemented...but by May 1st, we want to see how your ideas could be implemented.

For the first stage of the applications, list the department/unit/type of partner needed in the appropriate box and that you are looking for an individual. Ex: School of Dentistry Clinic, Partner To Be Identified/Need Help Finding Partner. The final submissions are due by January 30th, which should provide enough time to make the connections.

You must spend the dollars before the end of the fiscal year (June 30th), although we expect the majority will be spent prior to May 1st since that is the deadline for the report-out on the outcome. Think carefully about what you plan to do and what you will realistically be able to spend. Some sprints may cost no more than coverage of meals or meeting space. Others may require personnel time or materials/supplies. For the first submission, you will select the general scope. If you move to the final level, we'll encourage you to provide the details then.

It depends on what you will be doing during your sprint. Some possibilities may be funds for lunches/dinners; books/articles; database access; trips to conferences; trips to best practice sites/institutions; supplies; time (this should not fill holes, but support time during the spring semester devoted toward the sprints); speaker fees; etc.

Finalists will be announced on or around February 5th, and you'll be able to start immediately.

Yes, they can be listed as leaders. You will want to make sure you also include other CWRU disciplines/departments/units as leaders as well.

We need to see what our community submits before we can make any comment on increasing the amount.

This list will grow as questions and comments are submitted.