Retreat was just the first step
Posted March 26, 2006

Planning for the future is no easy task, especially with such a large population as a university. Although the University of La Verne has a relatively small student population, when looking beyond the Main Campus, we have a large community dedicated to the institution. University officials made a great decision by including their community of Leopards in the Strategic Planning Retreat on March 15.

Students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, trustees, practically everyone associated with the University of La Verne, had the chance to help plan for the future and give their input. The retreat gave participants the opportunity to praise and criticize ULV’s strengths and weaknesses. The University plans to consider and implement these comments into the building of the Strategic Plan. The plan aims to aid the University in the upcoming Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Review.

WASC, the regional accrediting agency, comes every 10 years and reviews the institution on educational quality and efficiency. Accreditation from WASC provides immeasurable benefits by assuring the educational community that ULV has met their high standards, and creates a prestigious reputation on the University’s education. WASC has accredited 151 institutions in California, Hawaii and the Pacific Basin through its Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

Seeing the University include its community is encouraging and shows the administration’s understanding of how important WASC accreditation is to ULV’s reputation of high quality learning. The people are what make the University tick. The biggest benefit of this retreat will be the input of the ULV community. If the students, faculty, administrators and the like are productive and satisfied with the University’s resources and programs, the efficiency and quality of ULV will shine through to WASC.

With the recent ABA accreditation, the University is driving toward an honorable reputation for outstanding higher education. Accomplishing re-accreditation from WASC will set the University in cruise control to be one of the top institutions in California.

Of course, all these kudos can easily disappear if the University does not implement and carry through with the goals they promised. Broken promises and unfinished business will not result in a happy ULV population for WASC to review.

Although the strategic goals are a bit vague and open-ended, they have potential to truly benefit and improve the University. The key to these goals will be specificity and action.

It is understandable that these improvements will not take place over night, but it is important the beginning stages of implementation are visible. The University needs to see the change happening and growing to believe a better ULV is on the horizon. And so far so good: The promised Campus Center is well underway and the Campus Master Plan is revealed and ready to go. With any luck this momentum will help the University push onward to make these improvements in and out.

And hopefully the University will recognize the pressing issues of the upkeep of our facilities and preservation of our liberal arts education. These issues have been vocalized and cannot be ignored en route to creating the Strategic Plan and preparing for WASC.

Thank you for letting us have a say in the University of La Verne’s future…just try not to let us down.

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