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HSI's Strategic Planning

HSI seeks feedback on first draft of strategic plan

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Hanley Sustainability Institute Executive Director Ben McCall requests feedback on the first draft of HSI's strategic plan. The draft of the strategic plan includes a link to a survey about the document and HSI's proposed priorities.

"This first draft emerged from a 2-year inclusive, co-creative process stewarded by a core team of faculty from all academic units along with staff and student representatives," McCall said. "We engaged more than 200 people including faculty, staff and students across campus as well as community members.

"We welcome your suggestions or criticisms by April 23 via the linked Google survey," McCall said, adding that an option exists for people to comment only on portions that resonate the most with their interests. "Our timeline is motivated by the need to finalize the plan this spring, so we can activate it over the summer and into the fall."

HSI names core and theme teams; seeks feedback on its sustainability definition, vision and mission statements

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UPDATE FEBRUARY 2021: The Hanley Sustainability Institute strategic planning committee has divided its core group into teams to discuss specific themes plus the Institute is seeking campus feedback for its expanded definition of sustainability and its vision and mission statements.

Working with Cincinnati-based social innovation firm Design Impact (DI) since 2019, HSI embarked on a process to create a strategic vision for HSI that will outline the role the institute will play in the University community and beyond.

The process already has included campus-wide listening sessions, focus groups and 1-on-1 interviews with stakeholders on and off campus. In January, a core team with some different members picked up where the 2019-20 team left off.

The 2020-21 core team is comprised of: HSI Executive Director Ben McCall; assistant professor of law and history Faisal Chaudhry; associate professor of engineering Andrew Chiasson; HSI communications coordinator Mark Gokavi; associate professor of geology Umesh Haritashya; HSI graduate assistant Meg Maloney; and associate dean and professor Margaret Pinnell of the School of Engineering.

Four core group members are leading teams based on themes that emerged from the 2019-2020 work.

Haritashya leads the Leaning into Research team, which aims to refine ideas and ways HSI could prioritize and invest in research that drives action. That group consists of faculty members Anya Galli-Robertson (sociology), Bill Meek (business administration), Zach Piso (philosophy), and David Dunn (UDRI power and energy division).

Chaudhry leads the Building Relationships with Community team, which is addressing potential ways HSI can create authentic, reciprocal relationships with community partners. That group includes: Kelly Bohrer, director of community relations for the school of engineering; Claire Sullivan, biology student and HSI student leader; and community member Lamees Mubaslat, architect and sustainability director for Montgomery County.

Pinnell leads the Developing Leaders for a Just Future team, which is addressing how HSI can advance its mission to prepare students to leave campus confident in tools to shape a more just and sustainable future. That group includes: Kim Trick, lecturer in chemistry and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences; Karen Lovett, director of experiential learning; and Kiara DiLoreto, civil engineering student and HSI student leader.

Chiasson leads the Evolving the Institution team, which will address ways HSI can create a more sustainable future by developing institutional consistency and positive change across policies and practices to advance sustainability. That group consists of: Matthew Worsham, energy efficiency and renewable energy manager; Sara Harrison, procurement and payable services executive director; and Claire Lonneman, engineering student and student ambassador.

Below are the first-draft definitions of sustainability and the vision and mission statements for which HSI seeks feedback. Please consider filling out this short Google form questionnaire about this language.

Sustainability: Sustainability entails an enduring shared responsibility to care for our common home by preserving the vitality of Earth’s fragile ecosystems while advancing social justice, both now and for every generation.

Vision statement: Cultivating a just transition to a sustainable future that protects and preserves humanity and the planet.

Mission statement: HSI's mission is to be a dynamic learning community that advances sustainability by educating and mentoring transformational leaders, building caring relationships with local and global communities, prioritizing transdisciplinary research that leads to action, and promoting sustainable practices at UD.

Creating a vision for the future

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FALL 2020: In the autumn of 2019, the Hanley Sustainability Institute launched a partnership with Design Impact (DI), a social innovation nonprofit based in Cincinnati. The groups are working together to create a strategic vision for HSI that will outline the role the institute will play on and off campus.

The vision is being shaped through broad and deep community engagement with many of HSI's stakeholders, including students, staff, faculty and community partners. A core team of UD staff and faculty from various departments have guided the process.

DI has facilitated several campus-wide listening sessions and focus groups to better understand what sustainability means to people and how they view HSI's position and role in elevating sustainability on campus and in the community.

HSI staff members also interviewed current and prospective community partners and studied other institutes and campus sustainability initiatives around the country. The emerging themes will be studied and refined to help determine HSI's strategic vision.

The focus groups included 13 faculty members, 24 students, 14 operations representatives and 10 Marianists. HSI staff members talked to 22 community partners in 1-on-1 conversations, 72 people in student "pop up" meetings and 30 more people in a listening session.

DI's engagement summary (see below) for HSI recently was finalized. The strategic planning process will continue during the 2020-21 school year.

"With the Institute in its fifth year, this seemed like the right time to take a step back from all of the work we've been engaged in, and to ask some big picture questions: What areas should HSI focus on in the coming years? How can we best leverage our resources and partnerships to make an impact? How can we ensure that all of our stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, and community members) are engaged in sustainability?" said Ben McCall, HSI's executive director.

"We've invested a lot of time this academic year in the process of discovering what opportunities and challenges these stakeholders see. The engagement summary now released is the product of that discovery process, and sets the stage for a collaborative strategic visioning process we plan to launch in the fall."