Pacific Lutheran University

The Presidential Commission for Innovation & Change

The Commission has been established in order to support the bold innovation and meaningful, disruptive change required for Pacific Lutheran University to thrive.

The Commission

is charged to:

  • Source, develop, and bring new ideas forward.
  • Make recommendations to the President and Provost.
  • Assist in the coordination and implementation of approved concepts that result in revenue generation and/or expense savings.

To establish the thriving community our President envisions, the Commission’s goal is to develop ideas and priorities that position Pacific Lutheran University for long-term financial health to deliver our mission.

These are the commitments

that will guide the Commission's process and work:

  1. Be authentic to Pacific Lutheran University’s history, culture, and mission.
  2. Honor Pacific Lutheran University’s governance systems and processes.
  3. Use a broadly inclusive process that embraces Pacific Lutheran University’s collective wisdom, creativity, and experience.
  4. Develop effective, transparent two-way communication mechanisms (meetings, workshops, emails, announcements) that foster productive exchanges between the Commission and the campus community.
  5. Develop these communication mechanisms with the goal of creating an open exchange that allows the campus community to respond and contribute to the work of the Commission.
  6. Develop creative, thorough, and transparent recommendations that help find long-term solutions to help Pacific Lutheran University thrive educationally and financially.
  7. Fulfill the charge and respect the authority granted to the Commission by the President.

As ideas are crafted and submitted for consideration, we encourage the PLU community to consider these points that serve as an overarching umbrella to our work:

  1. The Commission seeks bold, revenue-generating ideas that leverage the assets of the university, such as: our strong brand; our human and physical resources; our favorable geographic location in Puget Sound; and the outstanding image of many of our programs.
  2. We seek ideas that can produce meaningful, long-term cost savings.
  3. We seek innovations that may initially take root in a simple application or niche, perhaps quite different than what is found in a traditional higher education model, and then when nourished, can relentlessly spread, eventually displacing established educational practices.

We encourage the PLU community to think within your department/division, but also to think about ideas for innovation and change in other parts of the university.  Allow yourself to step outside the lane/box that we sometimes place ourselves in.



Cameron Bennett
Cameron Bennett
Chief Innovation Officer

Dean/School of Arts and Communication

Kory Brown
Kory Brown
Assistant Professor of Business

School of Business

Melody Ferguson
Melody Ferguson
Associate Dean of Admission

Division of Enrollment Management

Erin McGinnis
Erin McGinnis
Associate Vice President for Hospitality and Retail Services

Dining and Culinary Services

Adela Ramos
Adela Ramos
Associate Professor of English

College of Arts and Science

Read the latest updates

Commission's Final Report

(ePass Protected)

Highest Priority & Potential Impact Recommendations

(ePass Protected)

Category Summaries and Directives

(ePass Protected)




Change, Innovation, Leadership

  • Leading Change, John P. Kotter
  • A Sense of Urgency, John P. Kotter
  • That’s Not How We Do It Here!, John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber
  • Our Iceberg is Melting, John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber
  • Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events, Robert J. Shiller

HigherEd, Liberal Arts

NOTES: Additional resources may be added to this list as we move forward. If you have a book, article, or other resource that you would like the Commission to consider, please email it to a Commission member. We will review it and potentially add it to this list.