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Task Group Formation

The next phase in the strategic planning process is the formation of task groups of faculty, staff, and students from across the College to dig into the key themes identified by the Facilitation Team after the October 5 retreat. 

We are looking for volunteers or nominations of individuals to lead or participate in each task group. Please email your task group leader and contributor nominations to by Wednesday, Oct 16.

Planning to Act. The Task Groups will be charged with developing a strategy (including overall steps, priorities, and a plan for next steps) and vision (articulating why this theme is central to the college) around their theme. Groups will be supported by the Facilitation Team and the strategic plan facilitators.

Task groups will work through Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020. The expectation is that each Task Group meet 2 times in Autumn 2019 and 3 times in Winter 2020. There will also be a separate report-out with the Facilitation Team towards the end of March 2020. Each group will define their own research and stakeholder outreach. 

NOTE: Dean Cheng and the department chairs are working on a plan to financially support staff and part-time lecturers participating in the process.

Task Group Themes. After analyzing voting and discussions from the October 5 retreat, the Facilitation Team identified 12 task group themes. These themes and a short description of the questions they will consider is listed below.

Climate action 

As a concern that cuts across research, teaching, and our very own campus facilities and operations, there are many audiences for us to reach with our understanding and potential solutions. This group will develop a cohesive message to allow the college to serve as a conduit between the built environment—which is both a causal instrument in climate change and a key source of solutions—and those who are taking up the charge.

College culture, vision + values

What is CBE’s culture?  How do we nurture a CBE culture that reflects our vision and values?

Communications + storytelling

How do we harness the power of storytelling to communicate to each other and to every one of our audiences?  This group will explore possibilities of improving internal communications in order to aggregate our fragments and foster collaboration.  From there, it will expand to explore improving external communications to attract more students, to build our reputation on the UW campus and in the city of Seattle, and to provide community members with improved outreach that flows from our “buzz.”

Curriculum + pedagogy

This group will examine the curriculum holistically to identify opportunities for new initiative, greater interdisciplinary collaboration, and ways to incorporate a diversity of content and voices while maintaining the standards of our accredited programs.

Health + well-being

How do we build on our disciplinary interests and responsibilities for increasing human well-being through the design and creation of meaningful and beautiful places by taking leadership in promotion of health and wellness through research, policy, and design? Our disciplines are essential to the notion of population health, and the building is now central to the CBE campus. Let’s take it over!

History + humanities

The humanities are in crisis, while we have significant faculty expertise in this area. How can we strategically rethink and reimagine the role of history theory and the humanities in CBE?

Interdisciplinary research

This task group will work on vision and strategy to support interdisciplinary collaboration for research within CBE, across the UW campus, as well as public and private partnerships outside of UW.  This group will develop a strategy to create time and resources that cultivate a culture that prioritizes collaboration and builds capacity for the CBE community to collaborate effectively.  

Local + global

In our teaching, research and service we engage multiple constituencies that are both local—native communities, the larger University, Seattle, Washington—and global—the nation, the Pacific-Rim, the world. Seattle is today globally engaged. What is the best way to position CBE to address this complex world of the future?

Place, space + resources 

How can we use our physical resources—our buildings, our spaces, our technology—to most effectively meet the needs of our community?

Social justice + equity

We need the strength of diversity and inclusion to be represented in the environments where we live, work, study, and play.  To deliver on this promise, CBE needs to explore the many things we do, and the culture that we project and internalize, to bring about a more equitable world, with justice for all people. This group will, in concert with an ongoing college-wide EDI initiative, identify the means and methods available to CBE to further social equity and justice.

Student experience

This group will engage CBE students to gain a holistic and comprehensive understanding on how the college should better use its resources to serve student needs and improve the student experience.


This group takes up the strategy to establish CBE as a thought leader of technology in practice, research, and teaching—namely using technology in teams to address grand challenges. This group will look at the implications of technologies for practices, and the resource needs for teaching and research, as well as strategies to develop and support thought leadership in tech in the built environments.  

Each group includes a member of the Facilitation Team who will serve as a liaison and communication questions and concerns about the strategic planning process and areas where resources are needed.