Since the beginning of this academic year, the campus community has been at work creating a Strategic Plan that will serve as our roadmap for the next five to seven years. The final version of this plan, once ratified by the Board of Trustees, will provide a blueprint of activities that we will pursue to further distinguish Ursinus College among liberal arts colleges.
I am pleased to report that almost one hundred members of the Ursinus community served on eight workgroups in the strategic planning process. Their common aim was to align the educational mission with particular initiatives that will highlight the strengths of the college.
The work groups examined eight propositions:
Proposition 1 – Maintain the academic strengths of the College while assessing each academic program to identify areas of distinction.
Proposition 2 – Create initiatives to link academic learning with applied learning and post-baccalaureate work.
Proposition 3 – Manage student body size by focusing on retention.
Proposition 4 – Shape the campus community for diversity.
Proposition 5 – Make Ursinus a workplace of choice.
Proposition 6 – Improve town-gown relationships.
Proposition 7 – Engage our alumni.
Proposition 8 – Increase fundraising.
The strategic planning workgroups benefitted from the hundreds of members of our campus community who took time to engage in group discussions or to respond to questionnaires. The resulting draft contains thirty-three recommendations grouped under the eight priorities. Each recommendation specifies a list of implementation activities. Underlying the plan is a common passion for the welfare of our students.
The draft is now ready for review by the Ursinus community. A Strategic Planning page is posted on the College web site for easy access to the text. The web page also lists campus meetings, and it has an email link so that you can respond online with your suggestions and ideas. I encourage you to read the plan and offer your feedback.
Another revision will be completed in May to incorporate suggestions and will be presented to the Board of Trustees in early June or in September for ratification. After the strategic plan has been ratified, specific assignments will be made to begin work on implementation. Periodic reports will be required, and an annual summary of progress will be shared with the Trustees and the campus community.
We will all contribute to the work of implementing the recommendations, and we will all be able to share in the satisfaction of what will be accomplished in the years ahead. Each of you reading the Perspective is a stakeholder in the college’s future. Each of you has a part to play in advancing the Ursinus mission of enabling students “to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education”—to educate the intellect and also to nurture the development of students into creative and useful citizens and leaders of society.
Ursinus is well positioned as a national liberal arts college with dedicated faculty and staff, students passionate about learning, and alumni committed to their alma mater. Strategic planning creates a roadmap to continue our forward movement. I hope to hear from you.