Skip to main content

Planning Action Council

Purpose: The general purpose of the Planning Action Council is to promote, coordinate, and oversee planning at the University level. It attempts to link the University's programs and services with its mission, markets, and resources. In meeting the challenges of external as well as the internal environment, it strives to display and foster strategic thinking, timely action, effective implementation, and adequate communication.

The Planning Action Council makes its recommendations to the President, the senior administrator overseeing planning at the University level.


Ex officio:

  • Julie Sullivan, President (Chair)
  • Renee Baumgartner, Director of Athletics
  • Alison Benders, Vice President for Mission and Ministry
  • Nicole Branch, Dean, University Library
  • Kelly Douglas, General Counsel
  • T. Shá Duncan Smith, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
  • Rafael Espinosa III, Chief Information Officer
  • Wilson Garone, Vice President, Finance and Administration
  • Ed Grier, Dean, Leavey School of Business
  • Don Heider, Executive Director, Markkula Center
  • Brigit Helms, Executive Director, Miller Center
  • Lilly Humber, Associated Student Government President, 2023-24
  • Michael J. Kaufman, Dean, School of Law
  • Zenobia Lane, Vice President, Human Resources
  • Lawrence Lokman, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
  • James Lyons, Vice President, University Relations
  • Eva Blanco Masias, Vice President, Enrollment Management
  • Molly McDonald, Chief of Staff
  • Kate Morris, Acting Co-Provost
  • Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., Dean, Jesuit School of Theology
  • Daniel Press, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jeanne Rosenberger, Vice Provost for Student Life
  • Ed Ryan, Acting Co-Provost
  • Elaine Scott, Dean, School of Engineering
  • Sabrina Zirkel, Dean, School of Education and Counseling Psychology


  • Prashanth Asuri, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, 2022-25
  • Laura Doyle, Lecturer of Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering, 2023-26
  • Margaret Higgins, Director of Mission Integration, 2023-26
  • Sharmila Lodhia, Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies, 2021-24
  • Michael Whalen, Professor, Communication, 2021-24
  • Jennifer Woolley, Associate Professor of Management, 2023-26

The charge of the Planning Action Council is to:

1. Oversee the development and revision of the University’s Strategic Plan and work to advance its initiatives.

2. Oversee and monitor the plans of major academic and administrative units to implement the University Strategic Plan. 

3. Coordinate the work of other groups involved in planning and integrate their products into a coherent set of action plans.

4. Identify strategic issues and options through ongoing analysis of the University's internal strengths and weaknesses in relation to its external opportunities and threats. 

5. Prepare and periodically update planning assumptions to guide planning. 

6. Ascertain the need for outside planning expertise and retain consultants as appropriate. 

7. Promote continuous assessment and benchmarking of planning efforts.

8. Ensure adequate communication about planning issues and processes with the University community.