Staff photo by Marisa Wojcik Durwin Long, director of Continuing Education at UW-Eau Claire, speaks at a table during the ecomony listening session. [The University of Wisconsin System hosted an economy listening session Wednesday at the Davies Center on the UW-Eau Claire Campus. Local community and business leaders sat in small groups and had timed discussions facilitated by UW Extension representatives. The listening sessions are being held across the state as a way to help develop a new strategic plan for the UW System.]

The UW System hosts an economy listening session Oct. 14 at the Davies Center on the UW-Eau Claire Campus.  (Eau Claire Leader Telegram staff photo, Marisa Wojcik).

MADISON, Wis. – With a listening session tour of the state complete, Phase Two of the University of Wisconsin System’s strategic planning process is about to launch, and, once again, it is driven by public input.

Today, the UW System is launching an open, online survey gauging public opinion on the common ideas identified through a series of 13 strategic planning listening sessions held around the state. The sessions gathered input from hundreds of community, legislative, business, education, and other leaders.

The online survey is now available and can also be found on the UW System strategic planning website – www.wisconsin.edu/2020FWD. It will be open through Dec. 14, providing the public an opportunity to prioritize common ideas that emerged during the listening sessions.

“The feedback from our listening sessions made clear that the UW System’s role in statewide economic development, its collaborative relationship with K-12 schools and its commitment to business and community partnerships are important to the people of Wisconsin,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “Our new survey, in combination with the input of expert groups in Phase Two of our process, will help us refine these themes as we work toward developing a final strategic plan for the UW System.”

The new strategic plan is expected to be completed in spring 2016.

In addition to listening sessions for external stakeholders, the process included gathering feedback from UW institutions, which provided local opportunities for faculty, staff, students and campus shared-governance leaders to directly engage in the strategic planning process.

Responses from both the external listening sessions and the campus-community engagement process are the basis for the ideas in the survey.

Next, the UW System will also engage experts in health and wellness, education, the economy, and global interests to examine in greater depth the listening session ideas and input from the statewide survey and stakeholders. The experts groups will convene in January 2016.

“The strategic planning process continues to benefit from strong public participation and stakeholder input,” Cross said. “Participants have shown a vested interest in the University of Wisconsin System and appreciate the opportunity to be part of the conversation. They provided many excellent ideas for us, and their guidance will continue to be an important part of the process moving forward.”