Process to gain stakeholder input, and steering committee composition

The strategic planning process will be bottoms-up. Different approaches may be required for each theme to effectively gather input and shepherd the best ideas forward.

Research Leadership Theme – White papers due by October 15th.

White papers will be solicited, and organized by subject areas. The white papers must be submitted by at least one COE faculty member, but multiple PIs including faculty and partners from outside the College are strongly encouraged. The white papers are limited to one double-sided page, although they could include appendices if required. Each whitepaper should answer the following questions:

  • What is it?…Summarize the research thrust which you are proposing to build up expertise and facilities so that we can be a national leader, and explain why the research is important and exciting.
  • What will it take?…What faculty hiring and facilities would be required for us to be leaders? What do we currently have that we are building on? Where will resources be available to fund the research?
  • Educational impact?…Will this strengthen our educational offerings, or provide new program opportunities in areas of interest to students and employers?
  • Why us?…This is perhaps the hardest question – analyze why it makes sense for us to do this by examining competing efforts in Florida and nationally. Where do we have a competitive advantage?

The purpose of the white papers is partly to enable triaging by subject so that we can facilitate effective brainstorming. We intend that proponents for each white paper will have an opportunity to make a presentation in an open forum. These will begin the third week of October and be held every week until the end of the year. By early Spring we expect to have condensed the white papers into a smaller number of better developed ideas that will be openly discussed during the Spring semester.

Review process for research leadership ideas:

Review will occur at the later stages by an external group of 6-10 prominent engineering researchers (preferably academy members or equivalent). Internally the Dean will organize brainstorming sessions with a committee of department chairs.


With the exception of “Research Leadership” each theme will have a steering committee of about 6 people, with a COE coordinator and members representing faculty, staff, students, alumni, industry and the community (the relative composition will depend on the nature of the theme).

Each steering group will break their theme down into sub-topics and solicit input from the community by holding open brainstorming sessions or focus groups. They will examine barriers to success as well as opportunities. They will study best practices from other organizations, and if appropriate solicit white papers of promising ideas.

The Infrastructure, Branding and Diversity & Inclusion task forces will work in parallel, taking input from themes, and reporting out periodically.

Appointments will be made to the steering groups and task forces in the next few weeks. Please feel free to volunteer yourself, or nominate someone else by sending a note to Braketta Ritzenthaler (

Beginning September 30th there will be a brainstorming or information gathering session, open to all interested, every Friday afternoon at 1-3 p.m. in A317. Please check out our web page later for the program. We will try to make remote connection available to at least some of the sessions.