The Grand Council Committee on Strategy and Innovation will serve to collect and interpret competitive intelligence regarding education, technological change, host institution developments, societal shifts, demographic trends, and other elements that can effect the experiences and needs of Sigma Pi’s membership (undergraduate and alumni).
The ongoing effort will be to keep the Grand Council as informed as possible of what is current, while at the same time looking just beyond the horizon whenever possible. While the committee will not itself be responsible for strategic or long-range planning, it will be active in providing and interpreting data and trends information that is needed by those who are responsible for that planning. The committee will work to supply to the Grand Council the latest and most complete information possible.
Decisions about how Sigma Pi might respond to the information and make use of it for the benefit of the Brotherhood will continue to lie with the Grand Council (or those fraternity elements identified in various aspects of our Constitution and in our current management model, as determined by the Grand Council).
The Committee on Strategy and Innovation reports directly to the Grand Council and will accept other duties as assigned. It can be anticipated that tasks assigned to or suggested by the committee will develop and be implemented (with the approval of the Grand Council).
PGS Dr. Robert L. Burns (Delta-Phi, Wisconsin-La Crosse ’71) has been named the chairman of the committee.
PGS Burns is a charter member of Delta-Phi Chapter, and was first elected to the Grand Council as Grand Herald in 1976. He served as Grand Sage from 1979 through 1982, has served as Faculty Adviser, Chapter Director, Province Archon, and on numerous Fraternity boards and committees. He was presented with The Founders Award in 2006.
Dr. Burns is retired from a career in higher education that included roles as student, tenured faculty, Deans,Vice Presidents, Provost, as the founding director of a planning consortium of five of Wisconsin’s comprehensive universities. Additionally, he held the position of President of two public institutions. His career achievements have had significant impact especially in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Florida, and Washington, D.C. He was the American Editor of The William Wilberforce Papers, an Anglo-American scholarly project funded by universities and foundations in this country and in Great Britain.
In retirement, he continues serving as a consultant in higher education administration, venture capital programs, economic development, organizational management, inter-agency cooperation/development, and in local, state, and federal lobbying. Burns has wide experience with numerous non-profit organizations at the state, regional and national levels, including board memberships and chairmanships. He was served two terms on the Board of Directors of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
PGS Burns is an avid (and sometimes successful) hunter and fisherman. He and his wife, Pat, have two sons and live now in Wisconsin. Both Dr. Burns and Pat are patrons of the arts, particularly of museums, libraries, and galleries in both Kentucky and Kansas. Dr. Burns is a veteran of voluntary military service in Europe, where his primary assignments involved gathering and interpreting intelligence information.