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Appendix: Process

sproul dome

The College’s strategic planning process fully engaged with the broader community to assess the current context of higher education and liberal arts, examine practices from across and beyond higher education, and consult with members of various campus constituencies to learn more about the major challenges we face and bold and innovative ideas for the future. 

President Valerie Smith invited a wide range of diverse community members, including faculty, staff, students, and members of the Board of Managers, to join three working groups charged with producing recommendations based on various factors. Their work included a review of current College practices and policies, engagement with the campus community, analysis of practices and innovations across and beyond the landscape of higher education, as well as other considerations.
Working Group 1: The Future of the Curriculum and Pedagogical Practices
Working Group 2: The Student Experience Within and Beyond the Classroom
Working Group 3: Leadership in a Multiracial Democracy and the World

Each group integrated into its work three cross-cutting themes and commitments foundational to the College’s mission. 

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Sustainability (in all forms)
  • Community Cohesion 

Community consultations took place from September 2022 to May 2023, including community pop-ups, student and faculty surveys, over 30 focus group-style community conversations, SwatCircle workshops with centers and offices on campus, guest workshops, and a full faculty retreat to discuss core curricular and pedagogical considerations.
Throughout May and early June 2023, the working group co-chairs wove the groups’ individual interim reports into a joint report. The report proposed eight strategic priorities:

  1. Investing in the Faculty
  2. Liberal Arts Approach to Technology and Data Science
  3. Strengthening High-Impact Educational Experiences
  4. Reimagining the First-Year Experience
  5. Community Cohesion and Well-Being
  6. Educating the Whole Student
  7. Advancing Racial Justice and Social Equity
  8. Global Engagement

During the summer and early fall, President Smith, in collaboration with a subset of senior staff and steering committee members, distilled the work into a draft of the final plan. President Smith then shared the draft with the campus community and provided opportunities for representatives of constituent groups to provide feedback both in writing and in 13 in-person sessions.