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CalSWEC’s Strategic Planning Advances

CalSWEC’s strategic planning process is well underway, reports Executive Director Rodger Lum

The Placerville-based Kiely Group, headed by Dr. Laree Kiely and with clients throughout California and around the world, was selected to provide consultant services for the strategic planning process, beginning July 1, 2014. A final report and recommendations for a Five-Year Work Plan is expected in early 2016.  

The Process: Discovery, Synthesis, Analysis

In its first steps in the strategic planning process, the Kiely Group facilitated focus group discussions and a large-group process with CalSWEC’s Board of Directors to help them define the “best imaginable” CalSWEC and identify trends and uncertainties facing CalSWEC and its partners. The California Association of Deans and Directors also provided input specific to the concerns of the university partners. These discussions occurred at the Board’s September 18–19 meetings in Los Angeles

Within the next three to six months, the Kiely Group will arrange to hold focus groups, where possible, for an extensive list of CalSWEC’s statewide stakeholders, such as behavioral  health, aging, and child welfare  organizations. Additionally, the firm will conduct surveys of the stakeholders. To obtain a full range of CalSWEC staff input as well, it will hold focus groups with them and administer online surveys.

Following these discovery activities, the firm will synthesize and integrate the information—what it calls “sense making”—and use proprietary software in analyzing the extensive narrative information. At CalSWEC’s Board meeting in February 2015, the Kiely Group will present preliminary findings and facilitate the generation of more specific thinking.

Working Group on CalSWEC Auspice

As part of the strategic planning process, a Working Group of the Board Executive Committee has been formed to address the issue of CalSWEC’s auspice, including its administration and hosting.

The context for this involves CalSWEC’s growing presence and the fiscal challenges faced by its current host, UC Berkeley

Since its inception in 1990, CalSWEC has grown considerably, with broader initiatives, more partners, and greater financial and administrative risks and obligations. More recently, faced with fiscal challenges common to public institutions of higher education in California, UC Berkeley has implemented revenue strategies and greater accountability expectations across campus.

One outcome of this is the question of what various sponsored projects, such as CalSWEC, bring to the university in terms of scholarship, research, faculty-student engagement, and financial benefits and risks. Concern about this prompted School of Social Welfare Dean and CalSWEC Principal Investigator Jeffrey Edleson to initiate conversations with the CalSWEC Board about shared goals and responsibilities, including alternative ways of administering and hosting CalSWEC. The Executive Committee of the Board discussed these issues and has created a working group to explore viable options, which are to be presented at the February 2015 Board meeting. 

Members of the Working Group are Dean Edleson; CalSWEC Board officers, President Scott Gruendl, Vice President Amy Levin, Secretary Elliott Robinson, and Immediate Past Board President Celeste Jones; California Department of Social Services Children and Family Services Division Deputy Director Greg Rose; and from CalSWEC, Executive Director Lum and Title IV-E Stipend Program Director Chris Mathias.

For more information

Dr. Rodger Lum, rlum@berkeley.edExecutive Director