The office of the Boston University provost will announce an “executable plan” that allows them to complete their ongoing strategic plan by 2030 in April. The new plan has five strategic priorities: vibrant academic experience, research, diversity, community and global engagement.
While specific elements of the strategic plan are scheduled to be released to students by the end of the Spring semester, one of the already-known initiatives is a sub-committee dedicated to the libraries on campus chaired by K. Matthew Dames, university librarian. The plan will focus on improving the library’s ability to help students access records and aim to enhance the space’s role as a collaborative environment.
The strategic plan is led by Jean Morrison, university provost and chief academic officer, and has 18 additional task force members. According to Jasmine Blais, an executive administrative assistant at Mugar, Morrison and the task force members are still drafting their plan, which has been under revision since 2018.
“Provost Morrison announced in the fall of 2018 that the university was going to redo its strategic plan,” Blais said. “The last strategic plan finished with this big capital campaign, and this next one is in the planning processes right now.”
An additional sub-committee was formed to look into digital and distance learning for students. This will be chaired by Chris Dellarocas, professor and associate provost for digital learning and innovation, and Tanya Zlateva, dean of Metropolitan College.
Kim McCall, professor and chair of the biology department, is a member of the strategic plan 2030 task force, and said the team members are still formulating their initial plans.
“It’s still a work in progress,” McCall said. “I think we’re trying to come up with a streamlined strategic plan that encompasses a lot of the things we value. For me, I still think there are a few things that are missing and I’m hoping that [during] the last few months we’re working on this, we’ll get everything in there.”
McCall pointed out that neither she nor anyone in the task force has their own tasks. Except for some special committees for the libraries, all members of the task force discuss issues together.
McCall said she doesn’t have a specific agenda due to the collaborative nature of the task force, but does have areas that are of interest to her.
“I’ve been trying to see how efforts of combating climate change could be incorporated into the strategic plan,” McCall said. “That’s one thing that I would like to see more of.”
Gabriela Colato, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she believes the task force’s work will benefit students at BU.
“I think they’re starting to take a step in the right direction,” Colato said. “Especially because if they want us to succeed, they should set up an environment where we are able to succeed.”
Erick Shimabuku Tomona, a freshman in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said he wishes university administrators were more transparent with plans to change elements of campus.
“I think it’s a good thing that they’re making improvements. I just don’t think it’s good how they’re keeping it ‘hush hush,’” Shimabuku Tomona said. “At the end of the day, I feel like it’s our money being used, and to be left in the dark on what it’s being used on is not fun.”
Ilana Silver, a freshman in the Questrom School of Business, said she appreciates that BU is making changes on campus.
“I think it’s good that they’re making some changes, I think it needs to be done, especially in Mugar,” Silver said. “For me, I hate going to the top couple floors, because I feel like they’re scary. I think they should make the whole space usable, functional and accessible.”
Ben Levy, a senior in CAS, said he hopes to see increased security and more regulated temperatures in the library.
“I’ve been at the library everyday for the past three or four years,” Levy said. “I hope they make the changes that I want because it’s a great place. I like going in there, but otherwise it’s just going to be annoying and frustrating.”