Dr. Duffett has released the final recommendations of the Organizational Design Task Force (ODTF). These recommendations address five key goals to the strategic plan set forth by the ODTF: first, to celebrate teaching and learning excellence; second, to become the premier destination for Christian talent and career development; third, to provide pathways to academic success for diverse communities; fourth, to make Eastern University a great place to work; and fifth, to optimize stewardship of the university’s resources.
Under the first goal, to celebrate teaching and learning, only two changes have been recommended. But they are very large changes. The first was the elimination of the French minor, the reduction of the Dance major to the Dance minor, and the elimination of various staff and faculty positions. The second change is currently underway: Eastern is working on a Center for Teaching and Learning, now called Chalk & Table, to provide support for faculty members.
The next goal, to become the premier destination for Christian talent and career development, has one on-going change, which is the creation of the Center for Student Success. This Center will be housed in Academic Affairs and will improve the services that Eastern has to offer students. The Center will capitalize the functionality of various units and programs on campus.
None of the ideas to achieve the third goal — the goal of providing pathways to academic success for diverse communities — have begun yet. But they have all been approved. There are four actions that Eastern plans to take: to develop and implement an institution-wide diversity plan, including a strategy that supports targeted efforts to enhance recruitment of underrepresented individuals for leadership and faculty positions, as well as student advisement positions; to conduct a comprehensive external review of Student Development functions, positions, and policies to increase effectiveness and student satisfaction; to reallocate funds to Enrollment and Marketing to support graduate level and CBL advertising to increase enrollment; and to create a “one stop shop” for Financial Aid and Student Accounts.
For the fourth goal, to make Eastern a great place to work, actions have been taken, are currently taking place, and will take place in the future. The titles of senior leaders have been changed to reflect their job responsibilities accurately. Eastern is currently implementing a university-wide maternity leave policy. Many more actions, like evaluation of the faculty pay scale, have yet to start.
The final goal, to optimize stewardship of university resources, is the largest and most comprehensive. Once again, some actions toward it have been completed, while others are either in progress or are yet to start. Some of the completed actions include organization of colleges across the university to complement disciplines, provision of oversight on the general education and core requirements of the college, and relocation of the Philosophy department from the College of Biblical and Theological Studies and Ministry to the College of Arts and Science. Some of the actions in progress as well as the actions that have yet to start include exploring collaborations with neighboring institutions as well as assessing the budget of study away programs.
While some of these changes may impact some students more so than others, this is a time of change for the university as a whole. By implementing these changes, Eastern is trying to ensure that it will have a successful future.