UM president seeks public input: Wild and crazy ideas wanted through online survey

MONTEVALLO &8212; Philip Williams wants to hear from anyone who has an interest in the future of the University of Montevallo.

The university&8217;s president, along with Bill Rupp, dean of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, have developed an interactive survey that allows the public to participate in brainstorming via the Internet.

Visitors may access the survey by logging onto UM&8217;s home page (www.montevallo.edu) and clicking on the right-hand side of the page.

&8220;We want the immediate and the obvious, but also the dreams, and even the wilder and crazier ideas,&8221; said Williams. &8220;The more we talk, the more we listen to each other, the more likely we will hear everything we need to help us shape an exciting community vision.&8221;

Sample questions include &8220;What do you love most about UM?&8221; and &8220;What do you imagine and wish Montevallo could become in the next 5-10 years?&8221; So far, more than 7,000 results have been posted on the school&8217;s Web site.

The online survey follows several town-hall sessions held on campus and around the state earlier this spring. Off-campus meetings have been held in Clanton, Birmingham, Hoover, Mobile and Montgomery. A session is also scheduled in Huntsville July 10.

By late summer, the university will begin analyzing information from both the brainstorming sessions and the online survey.

Williams then plans to focus on three areas: &8220;What we do best; what we love, our passion; and what drives our economic engine.&8221;

In August 2008, a retreat in planned for faculty members, staff, students, parents and alumni to work on details for implementing some of the best ideas.

&8220;These unifying themes will form the foundation for the articulation of a vision we can all embrace,&8221; said Williams