With the beginning of a new year and a new leadership team in place, we have launched the first-ever APUS Leadership Listen and Learn (LLL) initiative. What is it, who is involved, and why do this?
The purpose of the LLL strategic program is for the university community and leadership team to meet in a more intimate and collaborative gathering focused on the APUS vision and direction, exploring what we need to do as a university in both the near-term and coming years to continue to strengthen our focus on academic excellence, student success and organizational effectiveness. To accomplish this goal, I, Provost Vernon Smith, COO Bob Gay, Chief of Staff Gwen Hall and other members of my leadership team will host students, faculty, staff, partners, alumni and other integral university stakeholders on our Charles Town campus and in locations across the country where we have significant populations of students and/or faculty, with additional virtual sessions to be conducted remotely.
As a result of these meetings, we hope to accomplish several things. The first is to identify our areas of strength and those strategies, practices and/or values we want to continue to advance. The second is to identify areas in need of immediate triage as they are problem areas that can be readily addressed in support of student success. The last is to explore areas where we can further our vision by placing new or additional strategic focus on that area in strategic planning for 2018, and beyond.
Ongoing gatherings will be held for groups of up to 50 faculty, students and/or alums, and staff and are scheduled to conclude by the end of July 2017. One or two invitational events will be held with APUS corporate, government and/or military partners, while several virtual events will be held in order to engage faculty, students, and staff who reside and work in remote areas. While we may be unable to speak to everyone we are aiming to meet and learn from, our goal is to do so with the broadest possible cross-section of APUS community members.
We recently hosted our inaugural event in Honolulu with students and faculty, all of whom noted that the dialogue was insightful, appreciated, and dynamic. The enthusiasm of students was evident as they expressed their enjoyment at the opportunity to meet and talk with our faculty and with me and our leadership team, especially given the virtual environment in which we teach, and learn. They love the face-to-face time with one another, and with us. They also expressed appreciation that we are taking time and making a commitment to travel out to meet, listen and get to know them, and for them to get to know us, in return. We were gratified to see from this initial feedback that we are strengthening our connections and our community, as a result.