July 15, 2015 at 11:52 am #6172
Dear NRS Community,
I want to express my deep thanks to all of you for participating in our NRS strategic planning process. Your ideas on how to make the NRS a stronger and more effective organization form the sturdy backbone of our recently completed 2015 Strategic Plan.
We have all invested a great deal of time and energy to develop this strategic plan. It distills the generous input provided by the NRS community via workbooks, meetings, emails, and interviews over the past two years. Late winter, the REOS team, in consultation with the systemwide office, completed editing the document after our lead consultant, Ed Quevedo, unexpectedly left during the final drafting period. Because we had to submit a final version of the document to the NSF to meet our grant deadline, there wasn’t time to circulate a final draft for your editorial review.
However, I remain eager to receive comments about topics raised in previous strategic plan discussions that may not have been delineated in the final plan. The strategic plan must continue to evolve as a living document to continue to meet the changing needs of the NRS, and these comments will improve the utility of the plan further.
Our plan already has received praise from both the Academic Senate –Research Policy, and Bill Tucker, Interim Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies. All have faith that our plan can strengthen the NRS and guide its growth over the next decade. Yet now is not the time to rest, as it is important that we begin implementing the plan’s initiatives to achieve our stated goals. The 40 initiatives in the plan clearly are too numerous to work on simultaneously. That means our first step in implementing the plan should be to prioritize the initiatives.
Because every reserve’s situation represents a special case, it seems wisest for each campus NRS to develop its own list of priority initiatives. I encourage NRS leaders at each campus to convene interested staff and faculty and identify the initiatives they deem most critical. In this way, campus stakeholders can engage with the strategic plan and commit to advancing particular initiatives. The UC Davis NRS already has met to develop its own priority list (see attached), and the systemwide office is in the process of creating one as well. We have already made strong progress toward achieving several initiatives, and will be certain to include those on our priority list.
There will be time at this October’s Management Workshop for everyone to discuss strategic plan implementation. Representatives from each campus will have about ten minutes to recap the highlights of their implementation discussion and describe how they and their colleagues will pursue the initiatives they’ve chosen to spearhead. This way, the broader NRS can develop a sense of which initiatives are most relevant to each campus, and possibly even form cross-campus alliances to help initiatives advance. These recaps will also help the NRS systemwide office formulate the first progress report for the strategic plan. As noted in the plan itself, the NRS is required to report regularly on the status of plan implementation to the Universitywide NRS Advisory Committee and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
With your help, the NRS can realize its full potential as the premier network of natural reserves and field stations in the world. Thank you all again.
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