Though its roots can be traced to the corporate and governmental sectors, strategic planning has become integral to the continued success and productivity of higher education institutions. Emory Campus Life is committed to creating and maintaining a dynamic, nurturing environment that fosters both individual and collective integrity, achievement, and meaningful contributions to the community. In order to realize and sustain these commitments, we must work together to define common goals, develop intentional steps to achieve progress, and implement purposeful action for change.

The development of a strategic plan is at the heart of this process, as it will allow us to systematically and cooperatively envision a desired future, translate that vision into defined goals, and create a plan to achieve those goals. Strategic planning is a way for us to reimagine Campus Life at Emory – who we are, what we do, how we serve, and where we are going – in an ever-changing environment.

Strategic Plans

To realize and sustain Emory Campus Life’s mission and vision through our Strategic Plan 2015-2020: Redefining the Center, we have undertaken a collective effort to develop interdisciplinary, departmental strategic plans. These plans have defined common goals, developed intentional steps to achieve progress, and implemented purposeful action.

ECL departments created individual strategic plans, which were combined to create the overall ECL Strategic Plan.

Download ECL Strategic Plan

Built on a foundation of collaboration and inclusivity, departmental strategic plans advance Emory Campus Life and are making our envisioned future a reality. Toward that end, departments used the process described below to complete their departmental strategic plans.

Departmental Plans

Key Points

  1. To complete the departmental strategic plan, each department considered how well its current status aligns with Campus Life’s envisioned future: Emory Campus Life, a community recognized internationally for advancing education into action and delivering world-class programs and services, promotes a healthy and sustainable environment where students live what they learn and learn what they live for self and society. Emory Campus Life catalyzes a distinctive, caring, inquiry-driven, ethically engaged, polycultural, and socially just community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and visitors that imagine and lead positive transformation in the world.
  2. Campus Life’s envisioned future is reflected in the shared opportunities developed collectively earlier in the process. Guided by shared opportunities, departments developed their strategic plan goals, objectives, and metrics – as described below. Then, departmental plans – connected thematically by shared opportunities – were combined into one seamless ECL strategic plan.

Ideologies Behind Emory Campus Life Departmental Strategic Plans

  • Coordinated Collaboration: Work across ECL departments and with outside departments, engage faculty, and collaborate with partners beyond Emory to create a seamless experience for community members.
  • Stewardship of Resources: Identify efficiencies to reduce costs, develop sustainable plans for implementation, and identify new revenue streams.
  • Assessment: Foster a culture of informed decision-making to determine the most effective use of resources by utilizing assessment strategies, benchmarking, and creating best practices. Serve our stakeholders by providing appropriate transparency.
  • Innovation: Strive to be entrepreneurial and support innovation and intelligent risk-taking.
  • Engagement: Develop lifelong, responsible leaders and citizens by integrating students into diverse learning environments that invite and encourage awareness of the complexity and diversity of our local and global communities.

Bridge Fund


To assist departments in their strategic planning efforts, Emory Campus Life (ECL) created a Bridge Fund for startup initiatives. Requests for new or enhanced initiatives, subject to approval by the Bridge Fund Committee, may range up to $30,000 and may be spread out over three years. At least two departments, with the support of their senior leadership, must collaborate on each proposal. The Bridge Fund Committee is comprised of Campus Life staff members and co-chaired by Bruce Covey. Funding is subject to availability. 

2018-2019 Call for Proposal

Emory Campus Life Strategic Plan Bridge Fund

2017-2018 Recipients

Black Male Initiative

The Good Guise Alliance

2016-2017 Recipients 

Emory Conversation Project

Concussions: Providing comprehensive, collaborative, team-based care for all Emory Students

Strategic Planning Initiative

Strategic planning is an organizational process of evaluating what ECL needs to advance its mission and goals over a definite time period. The development of the strategic plan helped Emory Campus Life define priorities, focus energy and resources, establish common goals and projected outcomes, and assess and adjust its direction in response to dynamic circumstances. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where ECL is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also indicators of success.

Each element of a strategic plan serves a specific intended purpose. At the core of our strategic plan is the Emory Campus Life mission statement, a concise and definitive statement declaring the purpose of ECL and its operations. It states:

"Emory Campus Life cultivates a welcoming and dynamic community that is committed to developing skills necessary for lifelong success and positive transformation in the world."

Related to the mission statement, Campus Life values are the division's fundamental beliefs in how it operates. These values both reflect and help define our organizational culture, policies and initiatives, and division-wide goals.

1. Flourishing Community

We will inspire and empower all members of the Emory community to optimize their potential by encouraging physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.

2. Critical Inquiry

We are committed to engagement that challenges and supports community members in their efforts to critically question the world and themselves by pursuing authentic, free, and open exploration.

3. Cultural Humility

We will catalyze lifelong self-reaction (self-reflection?) and self-critique that fosters polycultural exchange and community building in pursuit of authentic engagement with the world.

4. Courageous Integrity

We will create lifelong leaders who are committed to ethical decision-making and principled behavior and inspire positive transformation in the world.

5. Social Justice

We will promote an inclusive and diverse community that challenges injustice, accords equitable access to resources, and affirms and appreciates our differences and intersections as members of the Emory community.

6. Personal and Professional Excellence

We will share knowledge, expand skills, develop new ways of knowing and understanding, and develop innovative models of collaboration that strengthen our community.

Emory Campus Life Strategic Plan Leaders

Bruce Covey

Strategic Plan Departmental Contacts

Tina Chang, Kate Chiseri, Don Cornwell, Annie Harold, Carol Kelly, Barbara LeMaster, Felicia Lewis, Jenny McDowell, Brendan Moriarty, Martine Occeas, Adrienne Slaughter, Chad Sunstein, Elaine Turner, Jane Yang

Emory Campus Life Bridge Fund Committee

David Furhman (Chair); Bruce Covey (Deputy Chairs)
Jesse Arnidis, Adrienne Bryant, John Dunham, Lisa Garvin, Tricia Herold, Greg Hollinger, Wanda Swan, Ricky Talman, Kayla Tyson, Lina Vargas

Former Strategic Planning Champions

FY 15-16
Carolyn Barnett, Don Cornwell, Natalie Cruz, Anne Herold, James Herndon, Carol Kelly, Barbara LeMaster, Brendan Moriarty, Martine Occeas, Lenet Rivas, Drew Rizzo, Adrienne Slaughter, Julia Thompson, Elaine Turner, Erna Wilkerson, Jane Yang, Dona Yarbrough
FY 14-15
Jill Camper, Don Cornwell, Natalie Cruz, Dave Furhman, Lex Gilbert, Kyle Griffith, Judith Pannell, Paula Scotman, Adrienne Slaughter, Maureen Sweatman, Lauren Jacob, Dwayne Mitchell