Executive Summary • Planning Mechanisms • Topics & Issues
A. Executive Summary (top)
Muhlenberg’s strategic planning process began with a President’s Staff retreat at the end of July 2003 and should conclude with Trustee approval of a final draft of the strategic plan at the October 2004 board meeting. The process will directly engage Trustees as well as faculty, staff, and students, and will seek advice from off campus stakeholders such as alumni, parents, and others at appropriate points during the process. The final plan will:
- State Muhlenberg’s mission and a vision for its future
- Embrace, as its ultimate goal, the acceleration of Muhlenberg’s forward momentum and advancement of the College to the next level of academic excellence
- Articulate initiatives that will strengthen Muhlenberg’s distinctive campus atmosphere and sense of community
- Identify priorities that will guide the future allocation of resources
- Include a financial plan that envisions a balanced budget
- Specify procedures for regular assessment of the plan’s implementation and success, and for the continuation of planning.
B. Planning Mechanisms (top)
The planning process will directly engage the following groups:
- The Board of Trustees. Overarching issues and topics will be considered by the board meeting as a committee of the whole. Particular objectives and initiatives will also be reviewed by appropriate board committees. The board will have final authority over the acceptance and approval of the strategic plan.
- The President’s Staff. The President’s staff will meet regularly to review the sequence and schedule of topics to be discussed and to develop the information and research data necessary to an informed discussion of planning topics.
- The President’s Planning Group. This new group will be formed at the beginning of the Fall, 2003 semester. Chaired by the President and staffed by planning consultant and Vice Chair James Steffy, the President’s Planning Group (PPG) will be comprised of key administrators and representatives of major campus constituencies. It will be broad enough to include essential points of view, and small enough for all voices to be heard in deliberations.
The PPG will hold bi-weekly 3-hour meetings, most likely on weekday evenings from September 2003 through early October of 2004. If summer meetings are needed, they will be concentrated either at the end of spring semester and/or prior to the fall semester. With the exception of the senior class representative who will graduate, it is important that members plan to participate throughout the entire period.
Members are expected to represent the best interests of the College at large as opposed to strict advocacy roles for particular constituencies, interest groups, or points of view.
To encourage candor, all meeting discussions will be confidential except for meeting summaries which are published on a strategic planning website. Documents and recommendations deriving from these meetings will, of course, be shared with the Trustees and with the broader community.
4. Campus Committees. Specific planning initiatives may be discussed with appropriate College committees as required.
5. Forums for Consultation. Periodic outreach meetings will be scheduled for the purpose of sharing information with and seeking opinion from
· The campus community
· Community leaders
C. Topics and Issues (top)
1. Muhlenberg College mission statement
2. Muhlenberg’s essential values and character
3. Environmental assessment / SWOT / identification of benchmark institutions
4. Financial structure / budget model/ real estate
5. Enrollment assumptions (size of student body, financial aid, diversity, other issues?)
6. Academic life (faculty size, deployment, curriculum, facilities, technology, faculty development and support, student academic support, library, degree programs, international study, academic support services)
7. Student life (athletics, residential life, Greek life, student activities, social life, intellectual life, housing, parking, facilities)
8. Spiritual life
9. External affairs (development and alumni programs, fund raising, outreach, volunteer utilization, engagement of parents, community relations)
10. Administrative infrastructure (staffing, staff development, technology, facilities)
11. Market research, marketing, visibility, and reputation
12. Assessment and continued planning