Charge to the Working Groups


President Burcham announced during his Inaugural Address that he would initiate a new strategic planning process for the University. On March 18, 2011 he wrote a letter to the entire LMU community launching this process and naming the members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. At its first meeting, President Burcham charged the committee to think boldly about LMU's future and to come up with initiatives that will ensure our future success. He was clear that there were two non‚Äźnegotiable elements that needed to be part of our new Strategic Plan. These are: 1) academic excellence/advancement of the academic program and 2) enhancement of our Catholic and Jesuit/Marymount identity and mission. As you work over the summer on your specific Working Group charge and develop ideas and write your white papers, please keep in mind these two elements that serve as our broader guides for the entire planning process. President Burcham concluded his Inaugural Address with "Extraordinary opportunities lie ahead. Our time - LMU's time - has arrived." Your work is essential for us in capturing this moment and focusing on the extraordinary opportunities and new initiatives that will make us an even greater institution.


Each working group will develop a "white paper" that will flesh out an assigned topic and propose possible strategies with the potential to significantly move the University forward in that area. In developing their white papers, the working groups may conduct literature reviews, request additional university or benchmarking data, or consult with individuals outside of their groups. The report from each group will be no more than 10 pages and will serve as a formative assessment designed to further dialogue as the planning process moves forward. 


Each white paper (a maximum of 10 pages in length) should include:

  • Discussion and clarification of the meaning and importance of the topic
  • Identification and exploration of the key of issues surrounding the topic
  • Articulation of vision or goals, and possible strategies for achieving those
  • Feasibility perspectives and metrics of success for any recommendations presented on the topic

In pursuing the assigned topic, each group should not feel constrained by any artificial "boundaries" as the variety of pathways that might arise could lead to important insights and provide directions that otherwise may not have been imagined.


Each working group will have access to all background materials gathered by the Steering Committee, including the results of the strategic planning survey. The groups may also make requests to the Steering Committee for additional data, or consult with individuals outside of the groups.


Completed white papers should be submitted to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee by Friday,
July 29, 2011.

A pdf of this document may be download here.