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Strategic Planning

Swarthmore Forward

Department Overview

President Valerie Smith

We find ourselves at an inflection point in higher education and in the life of the College. Like so many institutions of higher learning, we face myriad growing challenges, such as volatile financial conditions; changing student demographics; rapidly changing technology and its impact on teaching, learning, and research; and widespread critiques of the liberal arts model of higher education.

We face these forces as larger societal and global threats grow — the climate crisis; political extremism and assaults on democratic institutions both domestically and internationally; and the continued rise in violence motivated by racism, xenophobia, and intolerance, all of which are taking place in the context of the pandemic that has fundamentally changed our world. 

These challenges are daunting, but within them lies the opportunity to create a more equitable, just, and fair society, and I believe that our community is poised like never before to prepare individuals to help build that society. This moment presents us with opportunities to live into our mission of providing a transformative liberal arts education.

That is why, earlier this semester, we began the work of creating the College’s next strategic plan — the first such initiative in more than a decade.  Read more.