From CASE Reports, Vol. 14,1 (February 1999)

FROM THE ACADEMY

Looking Back and Planning Ahead

The Academy is going on 23 years old.

Last fall, a sister society that is going on 200 years old and is planning a celebration, asked us to write a history of CASE which they graciously offered to publish. The sister society is the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, based in New Haven, and the publication is their Transactions. We hope our history will appear there in the spring.

Last fall, our principal state sponsor asked us to undertake an assessment of our future, including how we would propose to improve our service to the state. The sponsor is Connecticut Innovations, Inc., and the request was to undertake a five-year strategic plan, including evaluation of our past practices and projection of specific goals and objectives for our future service to the state.

Strategic planning, it would appear, has become both a science and an art form. People (though not me!) have become expert in its construction and application. We are obtaining our expertise from a combination of consultants, some compensated and some pro bono.

The core of information and of planning direction which the consultants will use to construct the plan is coming from a dedicated group of members and state officials (past clients) who started in December and are meeting twice monthly until April.

The members started by constructing vision and mission statements, then moved on to goals and objectives, and soon will be working on more ambitious programs to be of greater service to the state. From this we hope to create also a plan of fundraising (ambitious programming will require increased staff) and a plan of public relations so that people will better know what we do. These are not areas at which most scientists and engineers excel; we need to do much better than we have.

Thus, we hope that by the end of our fiscal year, June 30, we will have in hand a good operating plan for the future, subject to periodic amendment to be sure. This is important, because a good strategic plan should be a living document, and amending it should be an ongoing process.— D. M. Wetstone, Secretary


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