At the September 2018 retreat, the Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College established five high-level goals
to guide our strategic planning. The Board asked that we deliver a strategic plan for their approval by the February 2019 meeting, so we are rolling.
Based upon the Board’s direction and my conversations with the campus community, I have established four major areas of work (or bins) that will guide our strategic planning. Teams of faculty, staff, and students will lead a process for getting input from campus constituents in laying the foundation for our new plan. We will build upon past work, like the Summit Project, as we explore new opportunities to serve our diverse student body.
I have appointed the following people to lead each team:
- Students at the Center: Anne McCarthy and Julie Love
- Community Responsiveness: Melissa Knight-Maloney and Kris Greer
- Scholars in Action, Grounded in Place: Paul Booth, Laurie Williams, Becky Clausen, Michael Valdez
- Systems to Facilitate Success: Kim Hannula and Steve Schwartz
The work will be guided by a set of objectives and key results that provide measurable and aspirational goals. One example would be raising our first to second year retention rate from the current 62 percent to 80 percent. How we get from here to there will require a set of defined and measurable steps to gauge our progress.
The task of each team is to gather campus input in order to inform the strategy that will guide us as we serve our wonderfully diverse students, deepen the impact we have on the communities within the Four Corners and beyond, and build a financially sustainable college. I am confident that this process will elicit specific and impactful ideas. Our strategic planning efforts will build upon the good work that you already engage in every day.
This strategic planning process map outlines our timeline in greater detail. In the coming days, we will set up a SharePoint site which will allow the entire campus community to see the progress the groups are making.
In addition to our internal process for gathering input, we have also developed a process for soliciting feedback from key community constituents (e.g., school boards, surrounding communities, tribal nations).
This is an exciting time for our campus. We will build on what we are—a place that deeply cares about teaching, students, and diversity. We will build upon who we are—a scholarly community focused on serving students and improving society.
Thanks again for all of the discussion and input you’ve offered over the past couple of months. Please stay tuned; we’ll have more opportunities to talk in the future. If you have questions, send them to me and I’ll post my responses on a strategic planning discussion board. Also, look for email communications in the coming days announcing the first input session in October.