A Message from Gage Paine

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Gage Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Congratulations and thank you to everyone in making the beginning of the semester go so well! From Mooov-In to the RecSports Fall student employee kick-off, from the training of our student workers to the many opening activities, we have had a very successful start to the new academic year. It took all of us doing our part to make it work so smoothly.

September is perhaps the busiest month of our academic year — the month to launch programs and services, both new and existing. One initiative we will be launching this year is the implementation of our Division’s Strategic Plan. It will be our working document for Division-wide and departmental initiatives for the next few years.

We started the process by asking the members of the Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) to review the previous plan. Based on their suggestions, we reduced the number of strategic goals from seven to five (two were combined, one was eliminated) and worked to clarify them.

For the next several months, a dedicated group of staff members from across the Division worked to involve as many people as possible in a discussion of these goals and then came together to write drafts. Thank you to Brooke Bulow, Chris Burnett, Phil Butler, Edna Domínguez, Jennifer Hammat, Susan Hochman, Sarah Key, Megan McMillin, Nicole Olmeda, Susie Smith, Gale Stuart and Mark Zentner for all of their hard work creating multiple drafts and using feedback from SALT, departments and individuals. The group brought drafts to the SALT meetings for comments, questions and concerns. Then, the process began all over again. We have a few more steps toward the final goal but the hard work has been completed.

Throughout the process we asked ourselves, “What should our Division ‘look’ like five years from now?” “How will we be better than we are now, what will be new, what will be different, what might be gone?” We don’t have answers to all of those questions but we have a map to help us find our way to those answers.

The most important part of all of this the fact that this is a plan for all of us. You may not find yourself or your work in every single action step but every goal should have something to guide your decisions in the coming months and years.

This Strategic Plan will help us do, evaluate and improve our work. The university faces challenging times and difficult decisions. But difficult times provide us with the chance to determine what is most important to our work and be innovative.

The new semester brings opportunities and challenges. September presents us with a new chance to work together on our mission and to reach toward our vision. It’s a busy time of the year but it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I appreciate your hard work. Take care of yourself and have fun with it all.

Happy New Year!