Strategic Briefs

2020 Vision! Update—Strategic Briefs

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC), Chaired by Dr. Roya Zandparsa, has been hard at work on our 2020 Vision! strategic plan. Since the Committee’s appointment in late May, the SPSC has met several times as a group in addition to subcommittee activities. They have reviewed a wealth of extant materials about Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) to understand the current state of the School and to consider our future. Among the documents reviewed and discussed by the SPSC are: the alumni survey; the School’s strategic profile, requested by and submitted to President Monaco; the work of the Vision Committee that took place during 2009 and 2010; annual goals and needs reports presented by the units and departments; our 2008 accreditation self-study; and summaries of our recent unit assessment. The SPSC reviewed other documents as well. In addition, the SPSC engaged in a thorough Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis.

These activities have led to an initial list of five strategic issues. Strategic issues are major  priorities that will occupy the School for the next five to seven years. They are the framework on which the School will build goals and establish measurable outcomes. You should consider this initial list of issues as a first draft. In no particular order, they are as follows:

  • Curriculum: How do we facilitate adaptive comprehensive dental education for future generations?
  • People: How do we engage and support the TUSDM community to promote our mission?
  • Research: How can we foster interdisciplinary, dynamic collaborative research?
  • Technology:  How does the School realize the benefits of technology?
Please provide your answers to the key questions or submit other comments that you consider important to understanding and addressing this strategic issue.

We are now entering a phase in the planning process during which your input is critical. Our strategic planning process is intended to be transparent and consensus building. The SPSC has developed strategic briefs about each one of these issues above. These briefs are one to three pages in length and describe the context for the issue, proposed solutions, and key questions.  We have posted the briefs on the TUSDM website. On behalf of Dr. Zandparsa and the entire SPSC, I ask you to read these briefs and provide your comments. The SPSC will meet again on Wednesday, October 3. Please respond to the briefs as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, September 28. The SPSC needs you to help shape these priorities and the proposed solutions, as well as identifying other issues that you consider of strategic importance.

Your feedback on the strategic briefs is just one way that the SPSC will engage you in the planning process. Our goal is to have the plan complete by next February. You will soon have an opportunity to provide your opinion through an online survey about drafts of the TUSDM vision, mission, and values as well as the strategic priorities. Focus groups are being scheduled for the first week in October. In addition, the TUSDM community will have open forums for updates about the plan, ask questions, and to contribute your ideas. I thank Dr. Zandparsa, the SPSC, and you for helping us see with 2020 Vision! as we build for the future.

Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D