Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


02/11/2015

Dear Colleagues and Students,

 

This past week witnessed the outset of the strategic planning process for QU’s next planning cycle. The strategy development exercise was designed to engage a broad range of stakeholders in a consultative, collaborative, inclusive and reflective dialogue. I believe such an inclusive approach is necessary to ensure strategic planning remains meaningful and exciting, not only to leaders within the organization, but to everyone who will contribute to the implementation of the strategy; to the champions and teams who will make the plan a reality, each in his or her respective area of expertise.

 

The transformation we hope to experience requires that we collectively deliberate on QU’s future, challenges, opportunities and priorities.  Internal meetings will continue to be held throughout the coming weeks for the purpose of defining the strategic direction of Qatar University as a whole, through input from internal participants. External stakeholders will be engaged in the following phase. Once all input is received, the blueprint of the plan will be set and everyone will be expected to contribute both to the design and the implementation of the various unit-specific action plans.

 

We had discussed how one of the key priorities for the coming phase is to develop an effective and flexible governance system that balances between autonomy and accountability. The strategic planning exercise presents an opportune example of how such a system would work. We need to improve practices that raise the level of institutional effectiveness, and where necessary, policies and procedures should be revised in light of current challenges and in line with best practices; especially, but not exclusively, in the area of support services.  Institutional effectiveness can only thrive in a culture of dialogue, inclusiveness and transparency. This is why it is important for planning to be as much a bottom-up process as it is top-down, in the sense that top-down leadership in outlining key priorities and broad strategic directions must be supplemented by bottom-up engagement in designing plans and translating key strategic directions into area-specific KPIs,  initiatives and projects.

 

As always, several activities took place and new partnerships were forged this past week. The College of Arts and Sciences hosted the first international conference on humanities and social science research in the region titled “State of the Art Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences for Qatar and the Arab Gulf”. The College also hosted the 20th Annual International Conference of the Arab-US Association of Communication Educators. The College of Business and Economics also hosted its “International Conference on Access to Financing SME’s* and Entrepreneurs in the Arab World.” QU participated in the Qatar Global Education Fair and signed an agreement with Qatar Sports For All Federation, whereby SESRI will offer expertise in studying Qatari nationals’ participation in sports activities. We also signed an agreement with Katara addressing traffic safety.

 

These and other activities we undertake should continue to be well-aligned with our key strategic directions and should ultimately aim to maximize the university’s impact, not only on the students we educate but also on the society we serve.