Editorial: Community should continue to shape NU Strategic Plan

The Daily Northwestern Editorial Board

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Northwestern administrators unveiled the University’s strategic plan Tuesday to a crowd of more than 200 people.

The unveiling marked the conclusion of a nearly two-year long process that included members from all corners of the community. Provost Dan Linzer described the plan in The Daily’s preview Friday as “unifying.” The Daily commends University planning officials, Linzer and President Morton Schapiro for attempting to reflect the myriad perspectives on campus.

Administrative planning officials created workgroups of student, faculty, administration and trustees who met and conducted forums and presentations for more than a year, Linzer said. The workgroups came from a variety of fields and backgrounds and were broken into subjects like “Scholarship, Research and Creative Work” and “Globalization” to ensure that all areas of the plan were subjected to thorough debate and discussion.

The Daily appreciates the inclusive nature of the planning process and hopes the University attemtps to continue solicting more input about its implementation.

The language used in the plan is intentionally vague, intended to allow for creative and specialized implementation. The inherent problem with vague language is the lack of accountability. That is why continued feedback is essential.

For example, when the plan talks about diversity, it says the administration is “unwavering in our resolve that diversity at Northwestern means far more than disparate groups sharing common space. We celebrate and support a new and fully inclusive mainstream and believe that our diversity-in the fullest meaning of that word-enriches all areas of the community.”

The University and its community members should work to ensure the plan end up more than mere platitude.