Strategic Planning Process Overview

Last fall, based on input from alumni, Campus Life started anew with developing a strategic plan for sorority and fraternity life at Emory. We engaged Plaid LLC, an external consultant, to conduct a survey and focus groups with students (members of sororities and fraternities), alumni, faculty, and staff. Together with the Housing Roundtable Tri-Chairs*, Plaid submitted a list of recommendations to Emory Campus Life on May 10, 2017.

The next step is the development of a strategic plan for sorority and fraternity life at Emory. Two working groups will focus on addressing the information presented in Plaid’s report and data from the fall 2016 survey to develop the plan. These groups will provide experience and expertise in four critical areas:

  1. Financial planning and management
  2. Housing and building facilities management and operational strategy
  3. Relationship-building
  4. Organizational self-governance, accountability, leadership, and membership education

Working together, these two groups will develop an overarching strategic plan for sorority and fraternity life at Emory. As a whole, the plan will provide a framework for staff, students, alumni, chapter advisors, and regional, national, and international headquarters to build trusting relationships and enhance the success and sustainability of chapters and sorority and fraternity residential spaces.

The working groups will be interdisciplinary in nature with the membership that has a wide range of perspectives, expertise, experiences, and is inclusive of the Emory community.

Strategic Plan for OSFL

* The Housing RoundTable Tri-Chairs worked with the consultant throughout the process and led the group in analyzing the data and developing recommendations. The tri-chairs included a student leader and alumni from the sorority and fraternity community and the senior director of Housing Operations.

Given the nature of the report and its recommendations, the two working groups have been tasked with creating action plans with timelines by March 2018. The groups are charged with developing a timeline for each aspect of the plan that is feasible and aligns with the March 2018 completion date. Monthly meetings will take place, and three will be jointly convened to support consistency and collaboration across the two working groups.

Two working groups will focus on addressing the information presented in Plaid’s report and data from the fall 2016 survey to develop the sorority and fraternity life strategic plan.  These groups will provide experience and expertise in four critical areas:

  1. Financial planning and management
  2. Housing and building facilities management and operational strategy
  3. Relationship-building
  4. Organizational self-governance, accountability, leadership, and membership education    

Working together, these groups will develop an overarching strategic plan for sorority and fraternity life at Emory.  As a whole, the plan will provide a framework for staff, students, alumni, chapter advisors, and regional, national, and international headquarters to build trusting relationships and enhance the success and sustainability of chapters and sorority and fraternity residential spaces.

The working groups will be interdisciplinary in nature with membership that has a wide range of perspectives, expertise, experiences, and is inclusive of the Emory community. 

Housing Finance and Operations Working Group

The Housing Finance and Operations group, convened by David Clark, associate vice president, Finance, Administration and Operations and Dawn Watkins Wiese of Plaid LLC, will review the recommendations related to housing and operations. Their charge is to develop a financial and operational model that provides clarity and sustainable practice for housing on the west side of campus. The culminating plan must address the nuances shared in Plaid’s report and provide clarity and direction in the following areas:

  1. Ownership of sorority and fraternity lodges and houses and use of reserve funds
  2. Utilization of current residential spaces for sorority and fraternity organizations
  3. The disparity in quality of residential spaces on campus
  4. Housing agreements
  5. Transparency related to financial records
  6. Operational and communication models for facilities cleaning, repairs, bidding processes, renovation, and maintenance
  7. Model for staff supervision and support of sorority and fraternity housing
  8. Alignment of policy and protocol between assignments, facility services, and programming

Housing Group Members:

  • David Clark – convener, associate vice president, Finance, Administration and Operations, Emory Campus Life
  • Tomika DePriest – senior director, Communications, Emory Campus Life
  • Ira Golub 19B – student representative, Zeta Beta Tau
  • Gloria Grevas – senior director Campus and Community Engagement, Emory Alumni Association
  • Dave Furhman – senior Director, Finance, Administration and Operations, Emory Campus Life
  • Jon Hart 04C – vice president, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Adrian Jackson – Office of General Counsel, Emory University
  • Horace Johnson 77O x 79B – Superior Court Judge in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Todd Kerzie – associate  vice president, Emory Campus Services, Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • William Palmer 18C – Student Government Association representative, Speaker of the House
  • Elaine Turner – senior director, Campus Housing, Emory Campus Life, Tri-Chair Housing Roundtable
  • Lina Vargas – interim senior director of Finance, Emory Campus Life
  • Christian Virgil 18C – IFC President, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tri-Chair Housing Roundtable
  • Dawn Watkins Wiese – vice president, Plaid, LLC

Self-Governance, Leadership, Relationship Development and Membership Education Working Group

The Self-Governance, Leadership, Relationship Development and Membership Education ("Self-Governance") Working Group, convened by Marlon Gibson, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life and Dawn Watkins Wiese of Plaid LLC, will review the data from the fall 2016 survey and focus groups not related to housing. Their charge is to develop a programmatic model that provides clarity and sustainable practice for students, staff, and alumni who provide leadership for, and within, the sorority and fraternity community. The culminating plan will provide clarity and direction in the following areas:

  1. Development of the sorority and fraternity life narrative (our story, purpose and data sharing) via website, social media, etc.
  2. Relationship and trust-building between students, staff, alumni, and headquarters
  3. Definition of and expectations for academic engagement in the sorority and fraternity community
  4. Definition of and actions for self-governance and accountability
  5. Organizational advising structure that includes faculty, staff, and alumni
  6. Expectations for new membership recruitment, intake, and education
  7. Definition of and practices that support chapter “good standing”
  8. Expectations for legitimate recognition of sorority and fraternity chapters;
  9. Scope, responsibility, and practice of the Sorority and Fraternity Life Board (SFLB) and its relationship with the councils, house/lodge leadership, and the Office of Student Conduct
  10. Process to determine an organization’s return to campus and return to residential space;
  11. Community-building within the sorority and fraternity community
  12. Review of nomenclatures and recommendations for changes/communication
  13. Recommendations for developing a model to support financial stability for sorority and fraternity life initiatives
  14. Development and alignment of policy and protocol between assignments, facility services, and programming

Self-Governance Group Members:

  • Marlon Gibson – convener, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, Emory Campus Life
  • Kristan Goldfein 90C - Alpha Delta Pi
  • Claire Barnes 19C – MGC Representative, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.
  • John Baker Brown – strategist and writer, Communications, Emory Campus Life
  • Raphael Coleman – associate director, Office of Health Promotion – Community Wellbeing, Emory Campus Life
  • Max Cornely 18C – NPHC representative, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Madeline DeShazer 18C – EPC President, Gamma Phi Beta
  • Gloria Grevas – senior director, Campus, and Community Engagement, Emory Alumni Association
  • Sean Khan 18C – Student Government Council representative, vice president for Diversity and Equity
  • Becka Shetty – associate director, Student Involvement, Leadership & Transitions, Emory Campus Life, Delta Delta Delta
  • Jessi Arnidis – director of Development, Emory Campus Life, Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Julia Licorish Thompson – Director, Office of Student Conduct, Emory Campus Life
  • Megan Pendleton – assistant director, Belonging and Community Justice/LGBT Life, Emory Campus Life
  • Scott Rausch – Senior Director, Residence Life, Emory Campus Life
  • Drew Russ – Chief of Police, Emory University
  • Ross Warshauer 19B – IFC representative, Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Dawn Watkins Wiese – vice president, Plaid, LLC
  • Madelyn Zapata 20C – Student Government Council representative, Alpha Delta Pi

Below are links to relevant data that has been collected and made available for the working groups as they move forward with developing a strategic plan for sorority and fraternity life at Emory.

Sorority & Fraternity Life Strategic Planning Updates

2016 Strategic Plan Survey

Analysis of National College Health Association (NCHA) Survey Data (2014)

Plaid, LLC Report (2017)

2016 OSFL Strategic Plan Survey: Executive Summary

Reikofski Sorority Fraternity Community Consultation (2013)

OSFL Strategic Story