Throughout our hundred-year history, Connecticut College has been an institution oriented toward progress: grounded in idealism, hard work, and an openness to change. The past decade is a notable case in point. While economically challenging for the country as a whole, Connecticut College experienced significant growth and renewal: we completed the most successful capital campaign in our history; we saw our endowment grow by over 70 percent; the faculty and student body became ever more diverse; and, most recently, we ratified a new and creative general education curriculum that has redefined our commitment to the progressive liberal arts.
The adoption of a new curriculum marks an important milestone in our history. The goals and values expressed in that curriculum — connecting intellectual discovery, global engagement, equity, inclusion, and student success — offer a unique opportunity to reposition the College and assert its value in the current higher education landscape. And this, in turn, calls for additional thinking about the current state of the College, our collective aspirations, and the critical course we must chart in the coming decade. We are launching a yearlong planning process to engage the whole community in this important conversation for our future.
The Strategic Planning Process
At the heart of the planning process will be a broadly representative Strategic Planning Committee, including 4 students, 4 staff, 4 faculty, and 4 members of the senior management team. The principal responsibility of the Committee is to oversee and guide the planning process for the Connecticut College community. Assisting the Committee will be John Nugent, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, and staff from Keeling & Associates (K&A), a firm with considerable expertise in higher education planning. K&A will offer key services in data collection and analysis that will inform the planning process. These include interviews, small and large group meetings, surveys, and forums. The Committee will advise K&A on all these opportunities; work with the consultants in analyzing and synthesizing the findings; and then communicate emergent themes to the College community and to the President on a regular basis.
The Committee will meet approximately 10 times over the course of the year. The group will also take part in a two-day strategic planning retreat during the spring break, together with the President and members of the senior administration. Some members may also assist with a final phase of implementation planning at the end of the process.
Membership on the Strategic Planning Committee will be determined collectively by the Staff Council, the Faculty Steering and Conference Committee, and the Student Government Association, in consultation with the President. Those selected to serve will have a deep commitment to the College and its values, acknowledged respect of their peers, an ability to work collaboratively with both campus colleagues and external consultants, and a willingness to serve as ambassadors for the planning process, engaging members of the College community through questions and open dialogue. They will also commit to attending all scheduled meetings as well as the spring retreat.
Nominations of students, faculty members, and/or staff members should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, September 21. The final roster will be announced by September 30.
The Committee will commence its work at the beginning of October. With the support of the K&A consultants, and building on the excellent collective work of the past two years of curricular revision, the Committee’s work should be concluded in early April. A final phase of implementation planning will take place in April and May. The goal is to have a completed strategic plan delivered to the Board of Trustees at its May 2016 meeting.
Questions or comments should be directed to John Nugent at email@example.com or extension 5266.