Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I hope the last days of the semester are treating you well and you are looking forward to enjoying your winter break. It’s important to have an opportunity to rest and recharge for what will be an undoubtedly busy spring.

I write with the latest update on the strategic planning process. First, thank you to those who have responded to the initial survey and/or attended a listening session to share your views of the draft revised mission statement and community values distributed earlier this semester. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is reviewing the feedback and will share updated drafts for further discussion and comment in the new year.

In the meantime, the steering committee has continued to work on developing the strategic themes that will help guide the work of the campus-wide working groups. The identified themes represent broad priority areas for the College’s focus across the term of this Strategic Plan (the next 5-10 years). The themes are meant to be wide-ranging and suggestive in order to give the working groups the necessary latitude in which to operate. These multidisciplinary teams correspond to each theme and will be made up of faculty, staff, and students. The groups will be charged to identify specific goals aligned with each of the themes and to recommend potential initiatives that could meet those goals. Undergirding the work of each theme are the values that we have released to the community for comment and discussion, and that we will continue to refine in the early spring semester (see Figure 1 below). The values should be reflected across the goals and initiatives that each working group will recommend.

When identifying the themes, the steering committee often highlighted important challenges that need to be addressed in the College’s physical plant and infrastructure. Through the Campus Master Planning process begun in fall 2022, important findings emerged that now must be aligned with the broader strategic planning process. To that end, the steering committee has recommended the formation of a “Lafayette Campus” working group consisting of current members of the Campus Master Planning group, as well as additional faculty, staff, and student representation. In addition to areas identified by the other working groups, the Lafayette Campus working group will focus on several key items resulting from the Campus Master Planning process, such as accessibility, connectivity, safety, technology, and infrastructure.

Below you will find the names of the faculty and staff who will lead the five working groups. I am deeply grateful to each of them for taking on this important commitment for the future of our College. You will note that committee co-chairs include members of the steering committee, along with a community member not previously engaged with that group. Prior to the winter break, I will be working with these leaders to finalize the membership of these vital working groups, which will be listed on the strategic plan website. The working group leadership is gathering soon to discuss their charge and potential deliverables for the spring semester.

We look forward to the strategic planning process continuing to advance in the spring semester and to the many additional opportunities our College community will have to engage in it. In the meantime, you are always welcome to share thoughts and feedback about it at any time via

To more great things ahead!

President Nicole Hurd

Figure 1

Campus-Wide Working Group Co-Chairs:

Learning at Lafayette:

  • Mary Jo Lodge, Professor and Department Head, Theater (Steering Committee)

  • Jenn Rossmann, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Working at Lafayette:

  • Brett Hendrickson, Professor and Department Head, Religious Studies (Steering Committee)

  • Melissa Garrison, Director of Counseling Services

Enriching Student Life at Lafayette:

  • Tim Cox, Dean of Advising and Co-Curricular Programs (Steering Committee)

  • Sarah Moschenross, Vice President, Student Life

Connecting beyond Lafayette:

  • Ana Ramirez Luhrs, Co-Director of College Archives and Distinctive Collections (Steering Committee)

  • Chelsea Morrese, Director of the Landis Center for Community Engagement

The Lafayette Campus:

  • Dru Germanoski, VanArtsdalen Professor, Geology (Steering Committee)

  • Mike Butler, Professor and Assistant Department Head, Biology (Steering Committee)

  • Sherryta Freeman, Director of Athletics

Categorized in: Presidential News, Strategic plan