Magazine article The Quill

First Group Session Identifies Research Needed for Effort

Magazine article The Quill

First Group Session Identifies Research Needed for Effort

Article excerpt

When I recently visited Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, the turnout impressed me. More than 60 people gathered to celebrate the campus chapter's installation. Adviser Sally Turner read a long list of the group's accomplishments during its two-year provisional chapter status. This chapter has achieved success for two reasons: It has a vision and follows a plan. That plan includes inviting local journalists to meetings. This inclusiveness encourages mentor relationships and provides an environment where students and professionals can discuss journalism issues.

Like the Emporia State University chapter, SPJ is focusing on its future. Last month, 13 people gathered to begin the process of creating a strategic plan for SPJ and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Society's educational arm. Strategic planning is a management tool with one purpose: to help an organization do a better job. Such planning will help SPJ focus its vision and priorities in response to a changing journalism environment.

President-elect Kyle Niederpruem will lead our strategic-planning efforts as committee chair. Some Strategic Planning Committee members volunteered; others were solicited. SPJ and SDX leaders wanted this committee to be inclusive, representing gender, race, ethnic, geographic, and professional diversity. People were selected because they have these qualities and have demonstrated a willingness to listen, an ability to collaborate, and possess problem-solving and leadership skills.

The 13 committee members listed on the next page will study the history of SPJ and SDX, other organizations, our mission, governing structures, programs, membership, marketing, funding, and much more. We hired facilitator J. Randall Blackmon, a project director at the Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) Center on Philanthropy to guide us through the process. …

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