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Moving Forward: The Strategic Planning and Policy Ad Hoc Committee

Adrienne Colella
Tulane University

SIOP’s current strategic plan was formalized in 2006-2007. It’s important that we keep the plan current and make sure our activities stay in line with it. Furthermore, there is a need to look broadly across portfolios to examine strategic priorities, considering resource allocation, revenue sources, and competing opportunities for use of scarce resources. At its September 2011 meeting, the Executive Board decided that an ad hoc committee should be created to help inform SIOP’s strategic planning, the priority of projects, and ways to fund these projects. In early December, I, as the then president, appointed the potential committee in consultation with the EB. We met in New Orleans for 2 days to develop the charge, staffing, and structure of this ad hoc committee. The group was composed of Cochairs Deirdre Knapp and Ed Salas, then Financial Officer Mort McPhail, Executive Director Dave Nershi, then President-Elect Doug Reynolds, and me.

Composition of the Strategic Planning and Polic (SPP) Ad Hoc Committee

Based on the discussions in December, I, with agreement from the EB, appointed Debra Major, Jeff McHenry, Deirdre Knapp (convener), Mort McPhail, and Eduardo Salas to the committee. In the future, one member will rotate off the committee each year, and the current president will appoint a replacement. Eventually, all members will serve on the committee for 5 year terms. Care will be taken to ensure that membership of the SPP Ad Hoc Committee will consist of members representing diversity in terms of work setting and interests. So that all members of the ad hoc committee have sufficient knowledge about SIOP, members will be chosen from people who have held an elected position in SIOP or chaired a committee but are not current Executive Board members. Dave Nershi will serve as staff to the ad hoc committee.

Charge of the SPP Ad Hoc Committee

The purpose of the SPP Ad Hoc Committee is to assist the Executive Board (EB) by delving into long-range issues to support the executive board’s decision making. The SPP Ad Hoc Committee will perform a staff function for the president and the EB by providing an opportunity to gather and consider information (primarily from committees, but possibly from other sources), identify related initiatives and decisions to allow for more efficient and timely consideration by the EB, and review them in light of our strategic plan. However, the committee will not play a decision-making role in SIOP’s governance.

The first issue to be addressed by the ad hoc committee is to better operationalize the objectives listed for SIOP’s four strategic goals and to recommend metrics for assessment. Another role of the Strategic Planning and Policy Ad Hoc Committee will be to examine and consider the implications of emerging issues, which cut across EB portfolio areas. The SPP Ad Hoc Committee will “dig deeply” into important issues, in communication with portfolio officers and committee chairs, proposing strategies and objectives for Board consideration and action.

Finally, the SPP Ad Hoc Committee will consider priorities for the funding of projects in line with our strategic plan and financial goals. The SPP Ad Hoc Committee will look closely at SIOP’s revenue models and develop options for the Board’s consideration that keep in mind our mission and our existing financial principles.


The SPP Ad Hoc Committee will serve as an agent of and be responsible to the EB with expectation of significant exchange of ideas and questions. The EB will present issues to the SPP Ad Hoc Committee for consideration. The SPP Ad Hoc Committee will then report back to the EB, which will vote on any recommendations. The Board will then rely on the portfolio officers, committees, Administrative Office, alliances, or other means to put strategies and policies into action.