Thursday, September 22, 2011

Planning Council sets course for the year

Daytona State College’s Planning Council kicked off its annual orientation for new and returning members this month with a call to put students first as it sets priorities for the coming year.
“This is our chance to define our own future,” said college President Carol Eaton in welcoming Council members to the orientation. She emphasized the importance of the group’s work in helping to identify measurable institutional outcomes. “We want to be able to answer the question that this is how we know we have accomplished what we set out to do.”
Part of the college’s institutional effectiveness process and structure, the Planning Council identifies and prioritizes critical areas of need and makes recommendations to the president’s executive staff. Membership among its 11 committees is comprised of 50 percent faculty, plus administrators, professional staff, career employees and students in order to ensure fair representation and foster consensus building.  In existence at Daytona State for more than a decade, the Planning Council has been recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as an exemplary model of effective participatory governance.
One of the Council’s most important responsibilities is to validate the annual institutional plan developed by the Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee. The Council forwards the draft plan to the president and executive staff for approval and submission to the District Board of Trustees. The plan is key to helping unit managers develop their budgets based on annual college objectives and priorities.
In setting the tone for the year, Council Chair Angela Falconetti, associate vice president of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, said, “We want to ensure that our work focuses on how well each recommendation will contribute to the overall achievement of students and the institution as a whole.”
Michelle McCraney, associate vice president for the Division of Library and Academic Student Services, is co-chairing the Council this year.
The Council also is charged with recommending how the institution will spend dollars left after fixed expenditures. In good times, this translates into finding innovative programs and initiatives to fund, while during lean times, it means finding innovative ways to save.
Last year was among the more austere times for the Council, when 11 proposals were submitted and approved with no required funding.  In contrast, in 2009, more than $1 million was allocated to fund 26 proposals.
The 11 Planning Council Committees include: Teaching and Learning; Administrative Unit Review; Institutional Technology; College Life; Enrollment Development; Faculty and Staff Development; Institutional Advancement; Operational Effectiveness and Accountability; Instructional Program Review, Strategic Planning and Assessment; and a new Grants committee.
Find out more about the Planning Council, its membership and its charge at