Trustees scheduled to review Strategic Plan

The Board of Trustees is expected to review the college's new Strategic Plan by early fall, after a months-long process that has involved a 20-member steering committee and 60 other members of the campus community in goal-setting, gathering and discussing information, and "listening with both ears." During the fall, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to review the plan and offer input. It is expected to be ready for distribution to key constituents by December.

Seven key goal teams (see draft goals below) and subcommittees - made up of administrators, faculty and staff - met over the summer to feed information to the steering committee. The draft goals were subject to amendment as the goal teams, subcommittees and steering committee worked through them.

The overall plan is being drafted based on the steering committee's recommendations, and will be reviewed by President Joe Lee and the Trustee Committee for Strategic Planning before being sent to the full Board. It recommends tactics that will lead to the goals outlined, and it is likely that ongoing taskforces will track progress on implementing the goals.

One thing the plan will not be is static. Pointing to how much higher education continues to evolve, President Lee states, "Creating curricular flexibility and being competitive with profit-making institutions online will become even more important over time."

A futurist firm, Education Alliance of Framingham, Mass., supplied background information to the steering committee about the shape of higher education in the next 20 years, including demographics and economic trends. "For some of the goals we tackled, a five-year time frame was not suitable," notes Bun Perkinson, Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement and strategic planning facilitator.

One outgrowth of the plan foretells a different way of administrative and faculty involvement with strategic thinking in the future. "The president's style is transparent and broadly participatory," says Perkinson, "and he wants to have information flowing in both directions, so that major decisions are made in ways that generate consensus and support."

The college welcomes ideas and input from alumni and parents. Please contact mgresh@sjcme.edu to communicate your ideas or concerns to the planners. The Saint Joseph's College Magazine will highlight the key features of the Strategic Plan in the fall issue.

DRAFT GOALS OF STRATEGIC PLAN

Goal 1: After thorough review and analysis, commit Saint Joseph's anew to its mission and core values grounded in the Mercy tradition and make certain that all programs and other changes growing out of the Strategic Plan of 2009 are consistent with that mission and set of core values; will prepare a vision statement that relates new programs to the mission.

Goal 2: Achieve greater financial stability and less dependence on tuition revenue by achieving an endowment of $25 million through bequests, planned gifts and grants; by increasing annual fundraising to $1 million per year in budget-relieving funds; by establishing summer institutes and other programs that will generate unrestricted funds; by engaging third parties to construct as needed new housing and other income-producing facilities; and explore funding sources which enable us to minimize our deferred maintenance.

Goal 3: Remodel, refurbish and re-engineer all buildings more than 15 years old so as to move rapidly toward becoming a "green" campus that is energy efficient while providing a more desirable environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors; create more social spaces for students and more conference rooms and lecture halls to enhance the well-being of students and the teaching and learning functions for all; and add an auditorium having at least 800 seats for use by the college and the community.

Goal 4: Have an on-campus headcount enrollment of 1,400 undergraduate students that is diverse at many levels, joined by 500 graduate students seeking master's degrees in such fields as business, education and health sciences, with an overall male/female ratio having a higher percentage of males than exists today; and have an online program that is an integral part of Saint Joseph's College and, in cooperation with on-campus academic disciplines, offers blended programs, and that produces net operating income in excess of $2 million per year.

Goal 5: Have transformed itself into the University of Saint Joseph's consisting of a College of Graduate and Professional Studies (University of Saint Joseph's Online?), College of Arts & Sciences, a College of Business, a College of Education, and a College of Health Sciences & Nursing, all with many characteristics of the 3/2 programs popular in the mid-20th century and offering a cooperative education option.

Goal 6: Have academic programs designed, organized, and staffed so as to provide maximum flexibility in meeting the needs of students brought on by the rapid rate of change occurring at many levels of society; the curriculum will be interdisciplinary, fostering horizontal as well as vertical ways of thinking and problem-solving and containing a strong component of international study opportunities that will prepare students to function effectively in an increasingly global society; and a broad range of curricular and co-curricular enrichment programs in the fine arts.

Goal 7: Create a single, integrated technology infrastructure that enables us to become an innovator in the use of technology to advance higher education.