Dear Trojan Family,
On January 7th, we launched the process of building USC Chan’s new five-year Strategic Plan, the document which will set a vision for the future of our division, further affirm our fundamental mission, and guide our programs, priorities, and growth until the year 2023. This comprehensive Strategic Plan will account for internal and external opportunities and challenges; for pressing questions affecting the occupational science discipline and the occupational therapy profession at large; and for contemporary issues in health care delivery, higher education pedagogy, and research excellence. In tandem with the plans of both the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and the university, our new Strategic Plan will empower us to best fulfill our mission on USC’s campuses, across the nation, and around the world.
To help facilitate this complex process, I am pleased to announce that the division has retained the consulting firm of AMC Strategies, LLC, whose previous clients include academic health systems, universities, schools, research institutes, and academic departments, several of which are also here at USC.
In partnership with AMC Strategies, I am also pleased to announce that Phase 1 of our strategic planning process is well underway. The purpose of this phase is to build a quantitative and qualitative understanding of where the division is today in order to prepare for where we aspire to be in the coming years.
Phase 1 activities have included establishing a Strategic Planning Steering Committee; conducting confidential interviews with a representative subset of faculty, staff, and students; and hosting focus groups and interviews with external stakeholders including employers and clinical community partners, our alumni, and USC collaborators and leaders outside of the division. Faculty members Emily Schulze, Stephanie Mielke, and Mike McNulty are leading an environmental assessment to examine the current state of our educational programs, research efforts, clinical services, and global engagement. At some point in the weeks ahead, you will also receive an invitation to complete a confidential electronic survey in order to ensure that every member of the USC Chan Trojan Family has a voice in shaping our strategic direction.
Phase 2 of the process, which is designed to crystallize our vision and define the strategic framework necessary for realizing it, will commence in the months ahead. This phase features multiple avenues for soliciting feedback through Steering Committee meetings, a Town Hall Forum, and the Chan Board of Councilors meeting. Phase 3, finalizing the newly developed plan along with implementation strategies, tactics, and metrics, will be completed this summer. Open forums with faculty, staff, and students at the start of the Fall 2018 semester will serve to discuss plan approval and initiate implementation. Monthly communication from my team will keep you up-to-date on where we are in this process, which steps have been completed, and which lay ahead.
In many respects, the accomplishments of the past five years have far exceeded our greatest expectations; in other respects, unrealized ambitions still wait on the horizon. On behalf of the entire Strategic Planning Steering Committee, I look forward to listening to your ideas, engaging in thoughtful and nuanced conversations, and working together with you as we set into motion our bold plans for the next five years here at USC Chan. Fight On!
Grace Baranek PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Dean, Chair and Professor
USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC