1. To continue Muhlenberg's impressive progress in recent years, the plan must give highest priority to the quality and distinctiveness of the academic program, while addressing other aspects of the student experience that enhance undergraduate education and the lessons to be learned from participation in a tolerant, nurturing, and ethical community. The most promising strategic initiatives will attract and retain talented students while increasing institutional visibility.
2. The College's plans, while ambitious, will require the discipline of a balanced budget. No initiatives will be undertaken without a thoughtful analysis of their financial impact on the College within the context of a comprehensive budget and staffing model. Though facilities and priorities will undoubtedly claim our attention, a key element in the plan must be to strengthen the College's overall financial position by growing the endowment. Because the financial future is unpredictable, the Strategic Plan must be flexible in its ability to respond to changing fiscal realities.
3. The plan should reflect Muhlenberg's core values and focus on Muhlenberg's traditional mission and strengths, refining, improving, and building upon these distinctive aspects of the College, rather than seeking new programmatic directions outside the scope of our current mission. (That is, we do not intend to launch new schools, or graduate degree programs, or reinvent the College as a technology-based distance- learning institution, etc.).
4. The plan will recognize the importance of Muhlenberg's location in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, and will seek to improve the advantages of this location through cooperative relations with the community. We will also seek to capitalize on our location in the middle Atlantic region and the opportunities presented by our proximity to the resources of major metropolitan areas, such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, as well as natural resources in the region.