“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 1:3).
As we embark on another year in our journey of possibilities, this prayer in I Thessalonians is very appropriate in our intercessions for the FPU community. Faith, hope and love are the guides for the future. They will shepherd our efforts of service and strengthen our collaborative bonds to “engage the cultures and serve the cities.” We serve our students when we teach, model and practice the biblical values that create possibilities.
In a previous Connections we outlined the progress on our 10 Strategic Priorities for 2017-18. This past spring semester we convened several Envisioning the Future Forums that invited the community to think about the future of the university. A summary of those ideas can be found at the president’s webpage through the university’s intranet. We appreciated the participation of student leaders, faculty and staff who identified areas of importance. There were several initiatives that occurred in response to these comments from the forums, including: the structuring of Professional Development Day, the updating of classrooms in Sattler Hall, the campus-wide participation in the beautification project (Thanks to all who participated!) and strengthening campus-wide communications through a university app developed by IT. Many of the suggestions from the forum were already underway but had not been communicated consistently or lacked an appropriate vehicle to communicate them to a broader audience.
More recently the president’s cabinet and council met in retreat to discern priorities for the coming academic year. Identifying strategic priorities does not negate the importance of other needs. These priorities do assist in our focus and ability to design initiatives which speak to specific challenges. The first draft of these strategic priorities for this year are as follows with no rank as to importance. These were filtered from over 30 suggested priorities.
- Broaden university-wide communications
- Improve sustainable financial health
- Plan and prepare for FPU’s 75th Anniversary
- Design and implement a Comprehensive Advancement Plan
- Develop a Campus Master Plan
- Clean up internal processes related to students
- Build data consistency across campus (Technology Plan)
- Improve academic efficiencies (Academic Plan)
- Develop a plan to determine the future of the Bakersfield Campus
These priorities address broader issues that will drive the work of the cabinet and council. Each department will be expected to keep these areas in mind as they determine priorities for their units. We are a community of educators. Our actions, priorities and commitments must be collaborative and interdependent. We look forward to a year where our students will witness our work produced by faith, our labor prompted by love and our endurance inspired by hope. In this context—Possible Happens Here at FPU.