On June 22 and 23, twenty-five H&RS staff and students gathered in the San Clemente Community Center to participate in our annual Strategic Planning think-tank. We worked together to best calibrate goals for this upcoming year based upon our four strategic visions, and aligning them with our current realities (onboarding new apartment complexes and staff, building upon our strong communities, and continuing to grow professionally as staff). We started the day off with an in-depth appreciative inquiry interview, asking each other what H&RS does well, what we personally do well, sharing a success from the past year, and sharing two or three wishes that we have for H&RS’ future. After much discussion and running potential outcomes through our filters (responsible use of resources and partnering for success), the 2015-16 vision outcomes were crafted:
- Continuous Innovation: Through research and collaboration we have developed a vision and a plan for a “best of class” Living Learning Community (LLC) program.
- Focus on the Whole Person: Our programs and services foster opportunities for transfer residents to create a healthy sense of community.
- Talented Staff Who Care: We have conducted an employee engagement assessment to measure their workplace experiences.
- World Class Facilities: Develop a systemic plan for utilizing art to enhance the warm and welcoming atmosphere of our communities.
Patricia Schwartz, a local consultant and Appreciative Inquiry expert, co-facilitated with Lisa Slavid, and Steve Dewart visited briefly to start us off with a mindfulness activity. We had three students, Lacy Wright, Xuewen Sherry Li, and Isaiah Escobar-Henry join us as well. Here are some quotes from our participants:
“I really enjoyed how seamlessly the ideas for this year’s outcomes came about during the reset conference. I’m excited that we’ll be focusing some of our attention on helping transfer students create a healthy sense of community since we’ll be housing such a large transfer population in our buildings this fall.” -Jessica Fougere
“The Strategic Planning Reset Conference was an eye-opening and enlightening experience. It was amazing to see, as a student, how dedicated the staff members in Housing & Residential Services are to improving and enhancing the quality of living for UCSB students and the campus community. I am also grateful to have been able to give my insight and student perspective in the discussions which formed the outcomes for the 2015-16 school year. I look forward to working with such a fantastic group of individuals in bettering our community here at UCSB.” -Isaiah Escobar Henry
“The interview process was new and different, and allowed people to open up more quickly and get to know the other person. Everyone had a voice.” -from our anonymous survey
“I like how we arrived at our outcomes, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to share our strengths and wishes. I think you did a good job laying the road map for new people.” -from our anonymous survey
If you would like to be a part of any of the above strategic planning teams please let your unit director know, either through your supervisor or directly, as we will have one team per outcome, with at least one person per unit on each team. As always, please feel free to provide feedback as we create the best housing experience for our students!
By Lisa Slavid
Isaiah Lee Escobar-Henry, Tom Beland & Robbie Wright Brainstorming Patricia Schwartz