Strategic Planning Committees

Find information for the Strategic Planning Steering (SPSC) and Theme Committees below. 

Steering Committee (SPSC)


Guide and oversee a process that broadly and effectively engages the Fitchburg State community in developing the University’s next strategic plan; prepare and vet the strategic plan draft and submit it for review and approval by the President, who in turn will present a final draft to the Board of Trustees for approval and submission to the Board of Higher Education.

  • Pamela McCafferty (ex-officio) — Provost’s Office
  • Linda Campanella — Planning Consultant (SOS Consulting Group LLC)
  • Franca Barricelli — Arts and Sciences
  • Deborah Benes — Nursing
  • Eric Boughton — Information Technology
  • Eddie Brown — Criminal Justice student
  • Eric Budd — Economics, History and Political Science
  • Robert Carr — Communications Media
  • Jackie Kremer — Library
  • Kinga Laska-Bostock — MBA student
  • Gretchen Mayhew — Admissions
  • Deborah Phillips — Board of Trustees
  • Sean Goodlett — Student Success
  • ​Denise Sargent — Education
  • Paul Weizer — Economics, History and Political Science
  • The committee’s primary role is to ensure all parts/members of the Fitchburg State community are given multiple and appropriate opportunities to engage in the process – by having their opinions sought, their voices heard, their feedback invited, their buy-in encouraged.

  • The committee’s role is advisory; it is not a decision-making body. Its recommendations and drafts will be vetted with Fitchburg State leadership and, whenever appropriate and feasible, with the wider Fitchburg State community. Charged and empowered by the president, the committee typically guides and facilitates the process of developing a strategic plan that reflects the wider Fitchburg State community’s input; but the committee does not approve the final plan, nor does it determine University priorities and plan-supporting resource allocations. Decision-making authority remains vested where it currently resides – in the executive team and governance system.

  • The committee will connect with, build from, leverage, and integrate work done in the five ad hoc committees established to explore the five broad strategic planning themes were identified last spring as well as work being undertaken under the auspices of currently ongoing “local” planning efforts on campus.

  • The committee’s work will include: deciding how most effectively to reach out to members of the Fitchburg State community, engaging them meaningfully, asking questions, collecting input, analyzing and interpreting input, finding points of commonality/agreement across stakeholder groups, keeping the Fitchburg State community updated, generating what will be viewed as a shared vision and associated goals (reflective of and faithful to the input that has been provided from multiple stakeholders), vetting ideas and drafts, building consensus and buy-in, and developing recommendations for leadership.

  • The Committee will oversee and coordinate the work being done in five strategic planning theme task forces and ultimately will integrate the deliverables from those groups into a comprehensive university-wide strategic plan.

Theme Committees and Rosters

The five strategic planning themes identified in Spring 2019 are:

  1. Excellent and distinctive academic and co-curricular programming that leads to student success
  2. Our campus community (people, climate and culture)
  3. Campus identity (branding, differentiation, enrollment management, and student support services)
  4. Business practices (strong financials, transparent practices, and efficient infrastructure)
  5. An anchor institution and steward of place (public and private partnerships and the development of an educational ecosystem)

The committees are charged with engaging the campus community in generating critical input and recommendations related to each theme. These deliverables will represent essential fodder for the institution-wide strategic planning process. 

Each group will produce and present a white paper summarizing its findings and presenting a preliminary set of recommendations (target for completion: end of January 2020).

To promote data-driven planning, each group will receive relevant data and reports from the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the strategic planning consultant, and/or the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Included will be data generated during September, October and November through outreach to key constituent groups on and off campus facilitated by the planning consultant. Each group will determine whether additional outreach and engagement with campus constituents via focus groups, open forums, additional surveying, etc. will be necessary in order to address the key questions below; and each group will gather additional input as deemed necessary and appropriate.

The foci for each group and the white papers will be the following:

  • Where are we today?
  • Why is this topic or theme a strategic issue/challenge for Fitchburg State?
  • What is at stake if the status quo is maintained?
  • What specific deficiencies or opportunities need to be addressed by the strategic plan in order to enhance performance and outcomes relating to this area of inquiry?
  • What are potential barriers to progress? 
  • What issue-related “best practices” or exemplar institutions deserve our consideration?
  • What should we do?

The committees will remain engaged in the spring semester, by which time the vision and goals of the strategic plan (the foundation on which to keep building) will have taken shape based on comprehensive assessments and campus-wide engagement led by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee in the fall and the diagnostic work done in the theme committees themselves. The committees would serve as loci of goal-specific strategy development under guidance from the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

  • Franca Barricelli, Arts and Sciences, Co-Chair
  • Paul Weizer, Economics History Political Science, Co-Chair
  • Melissa Alves, Career Counseling and Advising
  • Crystal Aneke, Political Science student
  • Mary Baker, Communications Media
  • Soumitra Basu, Engineering Technology
  • Denise Bertrand, Business and Technology
  • Allison Bunnell, Information Technology
  • Matt Burke, Athletics and Recreation Services
  • Frank Campo, Events Management
  • Becky Copper-Glenz, School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education
  • Danette Day, Education
  • Bruno Hicks, Education
  • Bianca Law, Applied Comm Student GR
  • Yvonnie Malcolm, Financial Services
  • Hank Parkinson, Student Development
  • Chris Picone, Biology/Chemistry
  • Sam Richard, Environmental Science Student UG
  • Thomas Schilling, Psychological Science
  • Connie Strittmatter, Library​
  • Eric Budd, Economics History Political Science, Co-Chair
  • Gretchen Mayhew, Admissions, Co-Chair
  • Dennis Awasabisah, Biology/Chemistry
  • Mary Ann Barbato, Math
  • Staisha Chavis, Student Affairs
  • Sandra Ciccone, Reimagine North of Main
  • Sade Comiska, History Student UG
  • Lynn D’Agostino, Education​
  • Vincent Derosa, Graduate Student
  • Christian Estrella, Financial Services
  • Brion Keagle, Information Technology
  • Jinawa McNeil, Admissions
  • Lisa Moison, Center for Professional Studies
  • Sally Moore, Humanities
  • Sherry Packard, Library
  • Kimberly Page, Human Resources
  • Nelly Wadsworth, International Education
  • Alcira Zadroga, Financial Aid
  • Robert Carr, Communications Media, Co-Chair
  • Omar Reyes, Admissions, Co-Chair
  • Tara Cringan, Admissions
  • Sean Goodlett, Student Success
  • Andrea Johnston, Financial Aid
  • Michael Lee, Communications Media
  • Monica Maldari, Exercise and Sport Science
  • Kristin Murphy, Human Resources
  • Matt Murphy, Political Science Student UG
  • Jennifer Murray, Arts and Sciences and Natural Sciences
  • Kelly Norris, Marketing 
  • Chandralekkha  Reddy Kesireddy, Computer Science Student GR
  • Erin Rehrig, Biology/Chemistry
  • Jamie Roger, Auxiliary Services
  • Jason Smith, Expanding Horizons
  • Kisha Tracy, English
  • Deborah Benes, Nursing, Co-Chair
  • ​Eric Boughton, Information Technology, Co-Chair
  • Laura Baker, Economics History Political Science
  • Emily Beauvais, Political Science Student UG
  • Denise Brindle, Financial Aid
  • Jannine Carson, Financial Services
  • Michael Cloutier, University Police
  • Rala Diakité, Humanities
  • Stefan Dodd, Auxiliary Services
  • Linda Dupell, Registrar
  • Cheryl Johnston, Information Technology
  • Aruna Krishnamurthy, English Studies
  • Dani Langdon, Center for Professional Studies
  • Mary Beth McKenzie, Finance and Administration
  • Robert Shapiro, Education
  • Mike Sielawa, Business Student GR
  • Beth Swartz, Expanding Horizons
  • Hong Yu, Engineering Technology
  • Jackie Kremer, Library, Co-Chair
  • Denise Sargent, Education, Co-Chair
  • Susan Beddes, Career Counseling and Advising
  • Rebecca Bombard, Math Student UG
  • Kelly Boudreau, Library
  • Kathleen Craigen, School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education
  • Tanya Crowley, Alumni and Development
  • Leah Fernandes, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Shane Franzen, Student Development
  • Carolyn Gustason, Nursing
  • Nancy Hodge, Capital Planning and Maintenance
  • Sherry Horeanopoulos, Information Technology
  • Jackie Kremer, Library
  • Linda LeBlanc, Library
  • Tashena Matthew, Nursing Student GR
  • Abdel Mustafa Engineering Technology
  • Denise Sargent, Education
  • ​Jaime Shea, Graduate Student
  • Joshua Spero, Economics History Political Science
  • David Weiss, Criminal Justice
  • Daniel Welsh, Biology/Chemistry
  • Keith Williamson, Business and Technology