Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

As we continue to deal with the difficult events in our world, I hope that all of you are accessing support as you may need it from the resources at hand here on campus, and continue to provide support to one another. I know this community will remain one of caring as we cope with the crisis in the Middle East and so many other distressing events around us.

I write to provide an update on our comprehensive strategic planning process. As you know, we started the process this past spring semester by hearing from you through numerous listening sessions and a subsequent survey that also included alumni, Lafayette families, and our campus neighbors. From there, we charged a Strategic Planning Steering Committee with representatives from our faculty and staff to review the information collected, along with other data sources. These additional sources have included the results of the COACHE survey of the faculty, results from a campus and community survey collected during the presidential search, feedback from Student Government, and information shared through the campus master planning process, as well as accreditation reports and campus climate data. Through these various sources, your voices have driven our efforts. Drawing on this rich material, the team has worked together to revisit the College’s mission and values, and begin to draft the areas of focus that will be further explored as the strategic planning process continues. Our ultimate strategic plan will emerge through extensive iteration that is grounded in community feedback.

Throughout our discussions, I have been deeply impressed by the Steering Committee’s diligent commitment to their charge and their steadfast focus on representing constituencies from across the College. Thanks to their hard and collaborative work, we are pleased to share today a draft revised mission statement and community values. As we have noted previously, this will be an agile and iterative process. This document represents our initial version for community feedback. To receive input on these drafts, we have developed this survey to gather your impressions. Once this first round of data is collected, the Steering Committee will review the input and make revisions to the drafts, as necessary. The survey will remain open through Sunday, November 5.

In the meantime, the Steering Committee will continue its work to identify and draft strategic pillars that will guide the eventual areas of focus, goals, and initiatives of the strategic plan. These draft pillars will be turned over to working groups of faculty, staff, students, and where appropriate, members of our broader Lafayette community. Ultimately, the working groups will propose to the Steering Committee goals and initiatives for the strategic plan.

In November, we plan to distribute a description of the draft strategic pillars, their corresponding working groups, and the personnel for those groups. We will also host listening sessions with the working groups that will include additional opportunities to discuss the draft mission and values and to share thoughts about the draft strategic pillars. More information about those listening sessions will be provided in an upcoming communication, along with a plan for future input and engagement with the working groups and the materials those groups develop.

We extend our gratitude to all who have taken the time to attend listening sessions, answer surveys, and provide feedback to this point. We look forward to your continued engagement as we iterate and develop plans for our third century.

To great things ahead!

President Hurd

Categorized in: News and Features, Presidential News, Strategic plan