Dear Elon Community,

President Connie Ledoux Book

Our culture of inclusive strategic planning has led to decades of success. As we enter the final year of the Elon Commitment strategic plan, we have given considerable thought to effectively staging our next planning cycle. An essential feature of successful strategic planning is to create opportunities for many voices to contribute their own vision for the future of the university. I am confident that a process that synthesizes the ideas of our entire community will result in a compelling and forward-thinking strategic plan. As an Elon student once told me in class while reflecting on the value of group projects, “The wisdom is always in the group.” Our Elon community is indeed a wise group.

To prepare for an inclusive strategic planning process, we have developed this Elon University strategic planning guidebook as a resource to assist each unit, department, and group of stakeholders in thinking about Elon’s future. When I shared this concept with alumnus and longtime trustee, Noel Allen, he chuckled and showed me a yellowed copy of the “Guide for Long Range Planning,” that President Emeritus Earl Danieley authored in 1966 when Noel served as a student member of the strategic planning committee.  There is something comforting and powerful in knowing that a similar strategic planning process has shepherded Elon’s success for more than five decades.

Much of the next 18 months will be spent on conceptualizing the vision for Elon in 2030 and beyond. One challenge with any strategic planning process is keeping focused on the “big picture” vision before getting mired in details or action steps. Therefore, in the pages that follow, we have offered several exercises that provide methods to keep the conversation at the visioning level. In January 2020, after the plan has been drafted, reviewed by the campus, completed, and adopted by the Board of Trustees, we will establish working groups that will help develop a ladder of tactical steps to achieving the vision mapped out by our community.

Thank you for taking time during this academic year to think about what’s next for Elon University. I remain enormously proud of our shared sense of ownership in this university. Let’s work together to ensure Elon’s continued advancement and bright future for the generations to come.

In gratitude for your service,

Connie Ledoux Book