Envisioning APU’s Future The Strategic Planning Process for Azusa Pacific University

Message from the President

The APU Strategic Planning process is intended to provide the APU community with a timely and essential opportunity to step back, refresh, and develop a comprehensive, integrated Strategic Plan to guide the university successfully over the next 5-10 years. This will enable the APU community to honestly, candidly, and lovingly heal, restore, and create a vibrant culture of God-first, Christ-centered excellence in all relationships, programs, and operations. This will position APU as a model university managing the fiscal challenges as well as the academic and spiritual needs of faculty, staff, and students in the 21st Century. In turn, this will provide the APU community an opportunity to aspire to be the leader in defining the role and scope of Christian higher education in our culture and times.

Paul W. Ferguson, Ph.D., DABT

Strategic Planning Process

The Strategic Planning Leadership Team is a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administrators with a broad range of experience and expertise within the APU organization. This cross section of highly regarded thought leaders will engage in robust analysis and discussions to prepare the Strategic Plan. In addition to seeking regular feedback from various APU constituencies, the Leadership Team will draw on the advice and support of content, creative, communications, and professional review teams to enhance the Strategic Plan.

The strategic planning process will allow for open and rigorous engagement between the Strategic Planning Leadership Team and the various constituency groups. Decisions on major issues will be made by consensus recommendation to the President as Chair and, ultimately, to the Board of Trustees. The draft and final documents will be designed and managed by the Office of the President with a team of skilled faculty and staff communicators including those in the Office of University Relations. The Strategic Planning Leadership Team will approve the final document by consensus before submission to the Board of Trustees for final approval and distribution.

Strategic Planning Leadership Team

The intentional composition of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team reflects diverse internal and external perspectives and expertise to facilitate rich dialogue and interaction around the future of Azusa Pacific University. Thought leaders and subject matter experts across different academic disciplines, co-curricular and student support systems, locations, and lengths of service at APU will give voice to present and future challenges, opportunities and vision. All schools and major divisions are represented, as are faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Board.

  • Faculty: 36% (70% from faculty recommendations)
  • Staff: 39% and Administration: 11% (71% from staff recommendations)
  • Students: 7%
  • Board Members: 7%
  • Women: 46%
  • Persons of Color: 39%
  • Alumni: 43%

Meet the Strategic Planning Leadership Team

  • Dr. Paul Ferguson
    President - Chair
  • Dr. Andrew Barton
    Senior Advisor to the President/Chief of Staff - Co-chair
  • Tayo Agbalaya
    Undergraduate Student, SGA President
  • Maricela Alvarado, MPA
    Graduate Student, APU Presidential Fellow in Higher Education
  • Brittany Billar, M.S.
    Associate Dean of Engagement, Student Affairs
  • Christian Brazo, M.A.
    Executive Creative and Internet Director, University Relations
  • Dr. John Burdett
    Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Instrumental Studies, Director of Bands
  • Dr. Coba Canales
    Dean of Spiritual Life, Student Affairs
  • Evan Collins
    APU Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Courtney Davis
    Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
  • Terri Drechsler, M.A.
    Assistant Director, Compensation & Benefits, Human Resources
  • Dan Fachner
    APU Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Rukshan Fernando
  • Pamela Fisher, M.A.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies /Regional Program Director, Murrieta
  • Alanna Godoy, MBA
    Director of Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Aaron Hinojosa, M.A.
    Executive Director, Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity
  • James Janssen, M.Div.
    Executive Director of Technology/Chief IT Architect
  • Dr. Ron Jewe
    Professor and Associate Dean, School of Business and Management; Co-Chair, Diversity Council
  • Dr. Joy Karavedas
    Administrative Manager, Division of Teacher Education; Staff Council Chair
  • Dr. Loren Martin
    Professor and Research Director, Department of Clinical Psychology; Faculty Senate Moderator
  • Gary Pine, MBA
    Director of Athletics
  • Donato Powell, M.S.
    Associate Vice President, Facilities Management and Construction
  • Dr. Renee Pozza
    Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives and Innovation, Nursing
  • Dr. Megan Prosser
    Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology and Chemistry
  • Dr. Laurie Schreiner
    Professor and Chair, Department of Higher Education/Chair of University Chairs
  • Dr. Ethan Schrum
    Associate Professor, Department of History and Political Science
  • Michelle Staggs, M.S.
    Director, Inland Empire Regional Campus
  • Dr. David Weeks
    Professor and Dean, Honors College
  • Dr. Jessica Wong
    Assistant Professor, Department of Theology
  • Audrey Yeoh, MPH
    Director of Foundation Relations, University Advancement

“Romans 12:2 says that by renewing our mind, we will be able to test and approve the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. By way of the strategic planning process, we are renewing our ‘mind’ as a university, and I’m excited to see the outcome!”

Tayo Agbalaya ‘20, Student Government Association President

Strategic Planning 2019-20 Timeline

  • May 2019

    • Transition meetings of President-Elect Ferguson with APU constituencies
    • Introduction of strategic planning concept to Board of Trustees and the APU Community
  • June 2019

    • Request to APU Community for member nominations for the Strategic Planning Leadership Team
  • July 2019

    • Selection of Strategic Planning Leadership Team
  • August 2019

    • Formal announcement of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team
    • Strategic Planning Leadership Team orientation retreat
  • September 2019–January 2020

    • Strategic planning process with APU campus community
    • Bi-weekly meetings of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team to:
      • Establish strategic plan outline and content
      • Organize study groups to complete the major themes of the strategic plan
      • Conduct data-driven review and discussions with content specialists
      • Draft specific goals, tactics and strategies, and key performance indicators with timelines
      • Communicate with the APU Community monthly, including opportunities for surveys and feedback
  • January 2020

    • Presentation of Strategic Planning progress to APU Board of Trustees
  • February–March 2020

    • Draft Strategic Plan completed for initial review
  • April 2020

    • Presidential Inauguration: Unveiling the APU Strategic Plan
  • May 2020

    • Finalize and market the APU Strategic Plan

I believe in the potential of this institution, in the possibility that faithful Christian formation can take place alongside academic excellence. I believe that APU can become a place where people flourish, where intellectual honesty prevails, and where such pursuits are a means of worshiping God. Change can be a disorienting, frightening, and even painful process. But change is also an essential part of life and, when rightly undertaken, can be an act of faith. We’ve seen this over and over again in the history of the Church and of our Christian faith. The God we serve is a living God. The faith that we maintain is a living faith. My willingness to serve on the Strategic Planning Team is rooted in my belief that God is doing great things in our midst; God is calling us to an even more faithful witness, if only we cultivate the requisite humility to open ourselves up to the possibility of transformation.

Jessica Wong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology


For questions or comments regarding the strategic plan, please email strategicplan@apu.edu.