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Strategic Planning

The College of Humanities and Sciences is the intellectual heart of Virginia Commonwealth University.

(Updated 10/31/22)

With 17 departments and schools, five Centers and Institutes, and three additional academic programs, the College’s impact reaches far beyond VCU’s campus and deep into the communities in Virginia. Our distinguished faculty and dedicated staff are deeply committed to providing our diverse students with transformative learning experiences. Our strategic plan Excellence Beyond Boundaries, launched in 2017, has been a complement to the university’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan and exemplified the central role of the College at VCU.

As the university completed the recalibration of Quest 2025 and launched its Quest 2028: One VCU Together We Transform strategic plan, the College is also updating and revising its own strategic vision.During the last few years our world has changed dramatically and higher education operates in a different landscape. Our strategic priorities now need to align with the lessons we have learned and to reflect them in our future goals. For that reason, the College is engaging its communities in this process during the 2022-23 academic year.

With recommendations from department chairs and school directors, Interim Dean Catherine Ingrassia appointed a Strategic Planning Task Force and a Strategic Planning Advisory Group to ensure College-wide engagement in the planning process and allow faculty, staff and students (as well as external community stakeholders) an opportunity to provide suggestions, ideas and comments to both the generative work of creating the strategic plan and the working document itself. The Task Force, which includes department chairs, tenured and term faculty members as well as staff, was charged with organizing the strategic planning process and drafting the revised strategic plan. The Advisory Group, which includes representatives from all 17 departments and schools, was charged with advising the Task Force on the strategic plan development, responding to the document, and ensuring communicating directly with faculty, staff, and students in their academic units and more broadly. The Dean’s Office is committed to having this process be transparent and interactive.

The Strategic Planning Task Force and the Strategic Planning Advisory Group determined three focus areas for the strategic planning process with the goal of including strategies for diversity, inclusion and equity in all of them:

  1. Transforming Learning and Student Engagement
  2. Fostering Research Excellence and Innovation
  3. Co-creating Thriving Communities Within and Beyond

The discussion about revising the strategic plan and the focus areas launched in the fall semester 2022 with an initial series of three College-wide forums, both virtual and in-person, at which faculty and staff, and students were able to share their thoughts with the Task Force and Advisory Group and help shape the guiding vision of the College. Faculty, staff, students and other members of the College community can continue to contribute to the strategic planning process at any time by filling out the CHS Strategic Planning Comment Form. A subsequent series of three forums will be held (for a minimum of six throughout the entire process) to discuss the draft of the revised strategic plan. Announcements of those forums will be made in advance via the College newsletter. Throughout the strategic planning process, this web page will be regularly updated.

Strategic Planning Forums

Three College-wide forums were held during the fall semester 2022 to start the strategic planning process.

Friday, October 7
11:00 a.m. to noon
Format: Virtual

Thursday, October 13
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Format: In Person
SGA Senate Chambers, University Student Commons

Friday, October 14
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual

A subsequent series of three forums during the 2023 spring semester will be announced at a later point.

Strategic Planning Timeline

  • September 2022: Strategic Planning Task Force and Advisory Group appointed and charged by the interim dean
  • October 2022: Through survey and forums, the Strategic Planning Task Force and Advisory Group collects feedback on the strategic plan revision from faculty, staff and students, shared governance groups, external community stakeholders, and department chairs and school directors
  • October 2022 - January 2023: Strategic Planning Task Force with support from the Advisory Group analyzes the feedback and revises the strategic plan.
  • February - March 2023: Strategic Planning Task Force presents a draft of the revised strategic plan to faculty, staff and students, shared governance groups, external community stakeholders, and department chairs and school directors for feedback. Feedback will be collected through surveys, forums and a period for public comment, and then used by the Strategic Planning Task Force and Advisory Group. A draft of the document will be shared with the provost's office.
  • April - May 2023: Strategic Planning Task Force  with support from the Advisory Group will develop metrics for the strategic plan. Interim dean and Task Force will hold another CHS community forum to present the revised strategic plan, which will be submitted to the provost's office by the end of the spring semester.

Strategic Planning Task Force Membership

  • Melanie Barnes, Assistant to the Chair, Department of Sociology    
  • Chris Burdett, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Sciences  
  • Liz Canfield, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies    
  • Shelli Fowler, Associate Professor, Department of English
  • Lee Franco, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
  • Mignonne Guy, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of African American Studies
  • Marcus Messner, Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences (chair)
  • Maria Rivera, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biology
  • Lori-Ann Thompson, Fiscal Administrative Coordinator, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Strategic Planning Advisory Group Membership

  • Kevin Allison, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Psychology
  • John Aughenbaugh, Associate Professor, Representative of the Faculty Council
  • Aspen Brinton, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, School of World Studies
  • Alvin Bryant, Academic Advisor, Representative of the Classified and Academic Professional Staff Council
  • Tracey Dawson Green, Professor and Chair, Department of Forensic Science
  • Denis Demchenko, Professor, Department of Physics
  • Grace Gipson, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies
  • Marcel Jennings, Associate Professor, Robertson School of Media and Culture
  • Shawn Jones, Assistant Professor, Representative of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee
  • Gabriela León-Pérez, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
  • Mary Caton Lingold, Assistant Professor, Department of English
  • James Mays, Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research
  • Marcus Messner, Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences (chair)
  • Emilie Raymond, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History
  • Alexandra Reckendorf, Assistant Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Political Science    
  • Melissa Siebert, Academic Advisor, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
  • John Skaritza, Director of Technology and Computer Support, HASTech
  • Arnethea Sutton, Assistant Professor, Department of of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
  • Fernando Tenjo, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biology
  • Katharine Tibbetts, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry 
  • Ihsan Topaloglu, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Mikhail Valdman, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Resources Used in Quest 2028 Recalibration