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Key objectives of The Plan for Lafayette focus on strengthening the College’s academic core

Lafayette’s new strategic plan, approved by the Board of Trustees Oct. 20, 2007, is designed “to secure a place for Lafayette among the nation’s premier liberal-arts institutions,” says President Daniel Weiss. The plan focuses on strengthening Lafayette’s academic core and its human capital.

“Throughout the creation of this plan, members of the Lafayette community affirmed their conviction that the College is poised to build academic programs of unsurpassed quality,” Weiss says. “Toward that end we have set forth a series of bold and ambitious steps designed to make Lafayette College a truly great undergraduate institution.”

The plan identifies five key objectives: to build a truly outstanding faculty dedicated to the Lafayette model of education; create a curriculum and learning environment for the new century that are innovative, progressive, challenging, and distinctive; establish an integrated center for the life sciences equal in quality to the finest at any small college in the nation; make programs in the creative arts an essential feature of the College and ensure that they are known for their outstanding quality, presence, and relevance to both the campus and larger community; and attract and support a diverse campus community.

In addition, the plan identifies supporting initiatives to strengthen campus resources that ensure the high quality of academic programs and campus life on a daily basis. These include upgrading the campus infrastructure, augmenting financial resources for the present and the future, and strengthening the sense of community at Lafayette.

The plan also calls for furthering the ties between the College and the City of Easton.

The board’s approval is the culmination of an inclusive, comprehensive 18-month planning process, led by Weiss, that involved all of the College’s constituencies. Weiss formally launched the plan’s development when he created a Strategic Planning Steering Committee made up of trustees, faculty, and administrators in August 2006. Weiss chaired the committee, which identified the core values that would guide the planning; led a College-wide process of discussion, review, and assessment; and facilitated the involvement of all areas of the Lafayette community in the discussion.

Working groups chaired by members of the Steering Committee examined in detail nine selected planning topics: the faculty, the curriculum, global issues, the arts, the life sciences, information services, diversity and student access, the student experience, and the City of Easton. More than 140 faculty, staff members, trustees, students, alumni, and members of the community participated in the working groups. Recommendations emerging from the working groups were reviewed with faculty committees, the Board of Trustees, and alumni groups nationwide.

After reviewing the working-group reports and recommendations, the Steering Committee identified the plan’s five key objectives and nine supporting initiatives, which are intended to build on the considerable progress that Lafayette has made over the past decade in strengthening the quality of the academic core.

“At no other point in its history has Lafayette been in a better position to capitalize on its strengths,” Weiss says. “With our new strategic plan we look to the future with energy and ambition. I am grateful to all who participated in this process. By working together to fulfill our aspirations, we will secure the position of leadership we seek for Lafayette and provide an even more distinctive and dynamic learning environment for our students, now and in the years ahead.”

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