by Brody Truce
Senior Staff Writer
Since September of 2009, the Division of Student Life at Bell Harbor University has been struggling with their strategic planning process.
“We started off with a great title—Journey to Excellence—but everything just sort of fizzled after we came up with the name,” explained Dr. Alexandra Forsythe, Vice President of the division. “Thank god for Andrew J. Shuster!”
Andrew J. Shuster, who runs the prestigious firm Shuster and Associates, has been working in the field of higher education consulting and strategic planning for just over ten years.
“I really didn’t know what to expect from the process, but knew we were in for a real treat within the first five minutes,” said Forsythe. “He used the word ‘donnybrook’ in a sentence. You almost never hear that word anymore.”
“It was a truly amazing experience!” exclaimed Jared Higgins, Director of Housing. “The first day was just a barrage of words I’ve never heard before. I’m still not sure what a decathexis is, but I’m eager to use it in a sentence.”
Sheila Jackson, Director of Student Safety, was equally impressed. “I took eight pages of notes today. Six of the pages are just words that I need to look up tonight.”
At least one member of the leadership team, who wished to remain anonymous, was unimpressed by the experience. “I love big words as much as the next person, but we didn’t really accomplish anything. I was hoping to at least start our white paper, but we mostly just listened to him talk for three days. In this respect, he was about as useful as my ‘Word of the Day’ desk calendar.”
Although her team did not actually accomplish anything during the first retreat, Dr. Forsythe remains optimistic about Shuster’s process. “At his suggestion, we were fortunate enough to be able to reserve Mr. Shuster for eight more retreats this year. As a special surprise, I’ve purchased pocket dictionaries for my entire staff so that we can all follow along next time.”