What is a “strategic plan”?

A strategic plan is an important planning document for organizations. It usually involves a set of specific goals and objectives that are tied directly to the mission of the institution. Strategic plans help organizations prioritize and develop a 5-10 year plan of action to achieve specific goals and objectives.

Why is Earlham doing one now?

Earlham’s previous Strategic Plan was completed in 2002 and has reached the limit of its effectiveness as an up-to-date document. With the arrival of a new president and an upcoming accreditation process this is an important time to re-consider the priorities for the College moving forward and to involve the community (broadly constituted) in determining best paths forward.

Who is involved in doing the Strategic Plan?

Everyone! The president has formed a planning committee that is charged with consulting broadly, acting transparently, and listening intently to the needs, hopes, and challenges expressed by the community. During this process, the community is defined as students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and Richmond-Wayne county residents. The planning committee has each of these groups represented.

How long is this supposed to take?

The president has asked that the committee bring some form of a draft document to the faculty and Board for consideration sometime late in the Spring semester (2012) with a final approved document coming sometime in the early Fall. While it is important to proceed at a pace that allows for careful consideration, it is equally important that Earlham complete this process in a timely manner so that we can begin “putting the document to use” to help Earlham achieve short and medium-term goals and objectives.

How can I participate?

Lots of ways! The planning committee will seek your input throughout the process through a variety of avenues. These will include surveys, community meetings, and on-line discussion forums. In addition, members of the planning committee (listed below) are always available should you have specific ideas, questions, or concerns. This is our planning process and will result in a document that ought to be owned by all of us—students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and community members alike.

How will this document be used?

A strategic planning document, done well, creates a “generative pull.” That is, it pulls the institution in certain ways and toward certain futures that the community has deemed important. In this sense it is one of the most important processes a community can undertake together. You can be assured that this process and the resulting document will be extensively used to guide future decision-making at the College.

Where can I go to learn more?

The planning committee has set-up a web page that will serve as an informational hub for the process as it unfolds this academic year (2011-2012). On this site you will find more information about the process and how you can be involved as well as updates on the committee’s work. You can also speak with any member of the committee should you have questions, ideas, or concerns.

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