Strategic Plan 2019-2024 Committees and Teams

A Letter from Strategic Planning Co-Chairs David Pilgrim and Spence Tower

Last fall, President Eisler initiated university-wide efforts to develop a strategic plan for 2019-2024. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members participated in listening sessions focused on what Ferris State University has done well, why students and employees choose to be here, and suggested changes for the future.

David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, and Spence Tower, professor, are co-chairing these efforts and working with a 13-person Steering Committee comprised of the following members: 

  • Tony Baker, Executive Director
  • Jennifer Dirmeyer, Faculty
  • Lincoln Gibbs, Interim Dean
  • Kristi Haik, Dean
  • Sarah Hinkley, Faculty
  • Jennifer Johnson, Faculty
  • Jake Martin, Chief Technology Officer
  • Suzanne Miller, Faculty
  • Bob Murray, Associate Vice President
  • Kristen Salomonson, Dean
  • Lisa vonReichbauer, Assistant Director
  • Michael Williams, Student
  • Charles Wright, Dean

Terri Cook, executive assistant, and Patty Terryn, administrative assistant, served as administrative support and Franklin Hughes, multimedia specialist, developed the website and Strategic Plan document.

The Steering Committee appointed a workgroup to consider revisions to the University’s core values, mission and vision. That group, led by Lisa vonReichbauer and Suzanne Miller, hosted focus groups to gather feedback. Additionally, University members were encouraged to offer input via an online survey. More than 200 people provided feedback. This workgroup is currently developing recommendations relative to our guiding principles.

The Steering Committee used the information collected from the strategic planning listening sessions, conducted by consultant Patty Cormier, to help narrow the plan’s focus to five strategic themes. Each of these themes has been assigned a workgroup: 

  • Academic Programs and Offerings
    •  Co-chairs:
      • Peter Bradley, Director, Honors Program
      • Sarah Hinkley, Professor, Michigan College of Optometry
    • Members: Amy Buse, Roxanne Cullen, Amy Greene, Paul Kwant, Jacqueline Peacock, Lisa Salvati and student Justin Ullrey
  • Student Success
    • Co-chairs: 
      • Kathy Lake, Associate Dean, Enrollment Services
      • Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
    • Members: Tia Brandel, Antionette Epps, Anne London, Alex Manga, Angie Palmer, Julie Rowan, Rita Walters, Greg Wellman and students Bobby Gill and Michael Buser
  • Pride and Community
    • Co-chairs: 
      • Megan Biller, Assistant Director, Doctorate in Community College Leadership
      • Kasey Thompson, Assistant Professor, College of Business
    • Members: Megan Eppley (Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce), Heather Woodworth (Big Rapids Public Schools) and student Victoria Baklashev
  • Enhancing Resources
    • Co-chairs: 
      • Jennifer Dirmeyer, Associate Professor, College of Business
      • Bob Murray, Associate Vice President for Advancement
    • Members: Tom Dowling, Mike Grandy, Susan Jones, Karyn Kiio, Beth Logan, Steve Reifert and student Megell Strayhorn
  • Institutional Effectiveness
    • Co-chairs: 
      • Tony Baker, Executive Director for Community Engagement
      • Angela Garrey, Associate Director, Admissions and Recruiting
      • Cindy Horn, Director of University Recreation
    • Members: Lori Armstrong, Scott Clarehout, Jody Gardei, John Scott Gray, Scott Hinkley, Mary Holmes, Aaron Waltz, Karen Ottobre and Suzanne Miller

Early goals are to gather information and talk with University and community groups to seek a better understanding of the current situation, as well as future trends and opportunities. A research and data resource group, led by Kristen Salomonson and Jennifer Johnson, was created to aid information-gathering activities.

Through fall, the Steering Committee and workgroups will meet to focus the themes into overarching goals, objectives and related measures. Throughout this process, numerous efforts will be taken to gather the campus community’s insight and feedback.

The members of the Steering Committee and the workgroups are excited to do this challenging work of planning for the future at Ferris State University.