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Think of the strategic plan as a road map

Tom Ganey is the new vice president for planning, charged with guiding implementation of the university’s strategic plan. Ganey adds the role to his position as university architect.

Ganey uses the metaphor of a trip to describe how the university should think about achieving the goals defined in the strategic plan. And with travel, he says, there are stops to be taken along the way.

“To make any trip, one must have intermediate objectives. To drive from Milwaukee to St. Louis, you might stop in Springfield, Illinois, for lunch,” Ganey says. “For the strategic plan, the destination is the vision statement, and the routes to achieving the vision can be laid out in the six themes and goals.”

The university worked for more than a year to define a strategic path to carry Marquette forward. More recently, six academic and administrative campus leaders were named goal stewards, responsible for helping make the goals outlined in the strategic plan a part of the everyday life and work on campus.

This fall, the stewards are establishing metrics to measure progress on achieving the goals. To begin, they identified one specific tactic that the university can make progress on during this academic year. Additionally, the goal stewards are working to identify specific first-year objectives and tactics. For example: The provost is initiating a scheduled effort of academic program review, and university leadership is meeting with management staff in the operating units to identify opportunities to improve organizational effectiveness. The vice president for mission and ministry is working with a team to better organize and report on the wide variety of community engagement activities. The vice provost for research is identifying and implementing initiatives aimed at improving Marquette’s research classification. As vice president for planning, Ganey is working with colleges and administrative divisions to align unit planning with the overall university vision and goals.

“Implementing the strategic plan is the work of everyone on campus,” Ganey says. “We encourage people to refer to the plan to help establish their priorities for the academic year and to think about how their daily work can help achieve the goals of the strategic plan. The plan will keep all of us on track for the seven-year journey ahead.” JMM

Learn more online

View Beyond Boundaries: Setting the Course for Marquette’s Future at


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