The Steering Committee will represent the working leadership behind the WT 125 effort, will be chaired by the West Texas A&M President, Walter V. Wendler, and consist of eight total members, all of whom are internal to the University community.
This committee was assembled in June 2017 and worked through the summer to discuss the goals for the overall effort and prepare for the Kick-Off Meeting. Members of the Steering Committee will lead the Kick-Off Meeting and will be charged with making decisions on issues raised during the meeting. These defining decisions will give the WT 125 project its form. During the life of the project, the Steering Committee will continue in this role, dealing with issues that arise, reviewing recommendations, and monitoring the University’s progress in implementing and assessing the recommendations of WT 125.
Academic Advisory Council and President’s Cabinet
The Academic Advisory Council will consist of representatives of major University components. It serves two important roles. First, it provides essential insight into the strengths and distinctiveness of West Texas A&M University. The insight will be made available to all WT 125 participants. Second, the Academic Advisory Council and the President’s Cabinet as partners serve the most crucial role as the sounding board for recommendations generated throughout the process. This will ensure that academic decision-making and organization effectiveness is paramount in the WT 125 process. Meetings will be called and chaired by the Provost of West Texas A&M University at key intervals in the process.
Executive Advisory Committee
The Executive Advisory Committee members are representatives of organizations affiliated with West Texas A&M University and opinion leaders who have made outstanding contributions to leadership in education, commerce and government. The purpose of this group is to give advice and counsel regarding the effort as it is underway. Members of the Executive Advisory Committee will be welcome to attend any and all WT 125 meetings, but of primary importance will be three key meetings. The first meeting will be the Kick-Off Meeting. At the Kick-Off Meeting, a folio of initial work will be distributed. The goal of the first meeting is to ensure that the Steering Committee is presenting key information for West Texas A&M University. The Executive Advisory Committee will meet at critical intervals throughout the WT 125 process.
The Leadership Council will consist of approximately 50 individuals, chosen from both on- and off-campus. This group will meet with the Steering Committee immediately prior to the Kick-Off Meeting before joining the WT 125 Task Force. During this time, the combined group will review the goals of the project, the basic issues involved and the data gathered. The list of Theme Groups will also be presented, discussed and altered as necessary.
When the WT 125 Task Force joins the Kick-Off Meeting, five members of the Leadership Council (typically three from inside the University and two from outside) will be assigned to lead each Theme Group. The Leadership Council members will communicate to their Theme Group that group’s particular goals and issues and present the data gathered and the analyses done up to the point of the Kick-Off Meeting. During the course of the project, each Leadership Council group is responsible for scheduling and setting the agenda for meetings of their Theme Group as well as producing interim and final reports to the
Within the Leadership Council are the core of each Theme Group:
Co-Chairs: Two people, one from on-campus and one from off-campus, will be identified as Co-Chairs. The work of these individuals will guide the process of identifying key issues relevant to the discussions of each Theme Group.
Facilitator: Each Theme Group will have a facilitator. This person’s role, in addition to contributing to the leadership and discussion of the Theme Group, is to make sure that all Theme Group members are kept apprised of the progress of the group, and that administrative aspects of the Theme Group are carried out. This includes correspondence with the members of the group regarding meetings, progress reports and other information critical to the process. Each facilitator will be from the campus of West Texas A&M University and have access to appropriate clerical support for the Theme Group activities. It is intended that a clerical support person from the facilitator’s home college/school or responsibility area attend meetings, take notes and assist in the administration of the Theme Group.
Resource: Each Theme Group will have a resource person from the campus of West Texas A&M University to serve as the touchstone for information important to Theme Groups discussion. Resource people will be identified as those that have networks and information relevant to each theme area or access to people that do.
Off-Campus Liaison: A member of each Theme Group will be responsible for working with people from off-campus who have interest in, or vision for, the work of the theme area. This person is to communicate to people off-campus the work of the group, the findings, and other insight and information regarding the WT 125 process.
These five people in each Theme Group represent the core and have responsibility to ensure that Theme Group’s findings become part of the final report of WT 125.
An additional member will serve on the Leadership Council of the Leadership Governance and Organization Theme Group:
TAMUS Governmental Relations Member: A governmental relations member of The Texas A&M University System will serve the interests of WT. The role of the governmental relations member will be to communicate state relations information, seek input and provide awareness that may better position WT to be responsive to the legislative environment in the future. Because of the unique nature and mixture of on- and off-campus participants, such discernment will be especially valuable.
WT Foundation Board
The WT Foundation Board will review progress of the planning effort and provide insight regarding key issues. The Board has a strong commitment to the forward movement of the University and represents a geographic spread of interests from nearly all parts of the Panhandle, and, to some extent, the state and all academic areas.
The WT 125 Task Force will be the “brainpower” behind the project. It will consist of about 300 individuals with substantial representation from the campus and the extended community. The Task Force, with the Steering Committee, Academic Advisory Committee, President’s Cabinet, Executive Advisory Board, WT Foundation Board and Leadership Council, will attend the Lunch Presentation segment of the Kick-Off Meeting before dividing into the identified Theme Groups of the project.
Each Theme Group will be introduced to the issues and goals of its particular area, as well as the data gathered and analyses done. During the life of the project, the Task Force members are responsible for investigating theme areas in great detail: gathering data, performing analyses and making comparisons with other institutions. Information will also be gained from “input sessions” with experts from inside and outside the University. The end product of all of this work will be a concise set of recommendations of what West Texas A&M University should undertake in order to retain its distinctiveness and to be considered among the top ten doctoral public universities nationwide by 2035.
This is the essence of our work.