Strategic Planning Update, 2/12/2014

Dear Community Members,

Attached you will find the templates for Strategic Plan Essential Initiatives III-Strengthen Philanthropic Relationships and Success, VI-Improve Internal Processes and Address Institutional Capacity, VII-Build Quality Online Education, and VIII-Strengthen Regional and Community Engagement.

As previously stated, the Council hopes that the objectives, action items, and metrics in these documents will serve as guidelines for connecting departmental plans to the mission and goals of the college.  The Initiatives and objectives should also be referenced in Budget Allocation Requests whenever possible.

Any comments and feedback can be sent to strategicplan@newpaltz.edu and will lead to the continued modification and improvement of these templates, enhancing their usefulness as strategic guides for implementation.  As we turn our attention to the implementation phase, the Strategic Planning Council looks forward to supporting departments and “Lead Units” in their strategic planning efforts.  We will also be communicating regularly with the campus community about our successes and challenges as we strive to achieve our strategic plan initiatives.

Ray Schwarz
Chair, Strategic Planning Council

Strategic Planning Update, 12/20/13

Dear Community Members:

Attached you will find Essential Initiative-IV – Engage Alumni in the Life of the College, and Essential Initiative-V – Market New Paltz Internally and Externally.  Essential Initiative III  – Strengthen Strengthen Philanthropic Relationships and Success – is receiving some final touches and will be sent out soon.  Please note that the action items and metrics seen in the template are examples that can guide your efforts in connecting your departmental strategic plans to the college’s mission and goals.  As mentioned in the President’s recent report, the Strategic Planning Council has found the community feedback extremely helpful and we hope you will continue to offer us your guidance and assistance.  We will be sending out the templates for the remaining initiatives in the beginning of the Spring semester.  On behalf of the council, I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday.

Ray Schwarz
Chair, Strategic Planning Council

Strategic Planning Update, 11/26/2013

Colleagues,

On behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee, I am attaching a draft of the template for Essential Initiative II – Establish an Engaged Living and Learning Community.  Once again, we ask that you review this draft and offer feedback that can inform our revisions.  The feedback from the first Initiative was very helpful, especially in the development of metrics and benchmarks.  In case you missed it, the draft template for Essential Initiative-I was attached to the Council’s communication of 11/8/13.  We expect that as revisions develop and feedback is received, it may be helpful for council members to have discussions with faculty and staff that will have direct involvement in certain objectives and action items.  Keep in mind that such discussions will play a significant role during the next phase of implementation.

The council is committed to accurately reflecting the goals outlined in the plan and being more strategic than tactical in the development of the template.  However, it is at times necessary to be somewhat tactical, specifically in regards to “action items” and “metrics.”  This is where community feedback is extremely helpful.  It is our hope to have Essential Initiatives III and IV ready for your review in the next couple of weeks.

Please be reminded that the Council is interested in hearing from departments across campus about action items that support the strategic plan initiatives.  These can be highlighted on our website at http://strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu and act as a resource for all.  Thank you for your involvement and we wish you all a healthy and restful holiday.

Ray Schwarz
Chair, Strategic Planning Council

Strategic Planning Update, 11/8/2013

Colleges,

On behalf of the Strategic Planning Council, I am attaching a draft of the template for Essential Initiative I – Nurture Innovation and the Learning Environment. As I wrote to you in my October 18 update, the Strategic Planning Council’s goal is to maximize community engagement with actions and initiatives directly relevant to the plan’s eight Essential Initiatives.  The attached template is based on ideas generated during the year-long strategic planning process.  When complete, it will hopefully act as a guide for departments and offices as they prepare their strategic/assessment plans and budget allocation requests.  We look forward to feedback, specifically in regard to how well the template reflects the ideas and objectives put forth in the Strategic Plan, and additional ideas for metrics and/or benchmarks.  Your comments can be sent to strategicplan@newpaltz.edu.

In two weeks, after review of the community feedback, the Strategic Planning Council will send the draft of Essential Initiative-1 to the President and his Cabinet for their consideration and comments.  We’ve been focusing our efforts to date on this initiative – Nurture Innovation and the Learning Environment — because it is core to our institutional mission and values. After sending this to the Cabinet, the Council will send a draft of Essential Initiative-2 (and possibly Essential Initiative-3) out to the community for feedback.  It is our intention to complete the template by the end of the semester.

The Council is also interested in hearing from units across the campus about action items within their own strategic/assessment plans that support the College’s strategic plan and that we can highlight on the Strategic Planning website at http://strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu. Please submit a brief write-up of these activities and the strategic plan initiative(s) they support to strategicplan@newpaltz.edu. The Council will feature activities consistent with the plan on the website. We hope that these varied activities across the campus will also serve as a resource for departments and offices as they prepare their plans and budget allocation requests. Thank you for your assistance and we look forward to working together in implementing the Strategic Plan in an effective and efficient manner.

Ray Schwarz
Chair, Strategic Planning Council

Strategic Planning Update, 10/18/2013

Colleagues,

Since its formation this summer, the Strategic Planning Council, the successor group of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, has been meeting regularly to provide the President and his senior leadership team with recommendations on how to begin the implementation process.   Our goal is to maximize community engagement with actions and initiatives directly relevant to the plan’s eight Essential Initiatives.  Council members believe it is important that the Strategic Plan be viewed as a working document that will be used to foster change and improvement throughout the college. To date, we have drafted a list of initial action items for each of the eight Essential Initiatives of the Strategic Plan, based largely on ideas generated during the year-long strategic planning process.

Following best practices, we have designed a template to guide the implementation process and to monitor and assess its progress.  The template outlines objectives, action items, metrics/benchmarks, offices/departments responsible, timelines, and resources/budget for each of the Essential Initiatives.  I have attached a sample of the Council’s early work. By the end of the fall semester, we will have filled out the template for each initiative.  The template will continue to be a work in progress that will be added to and modified in collaboration with those individuals and departments most involved in achieving and assessing a particular objective and /or action item.  In addition, the template and the plan itself must have the flexibility to incorporate and respond to the new opportunities, needs, and challenges that will inevitably present themselves in the coming years.  The Council has also identified initial metrics for the objectives and action items and will suggest global benchmarks for each of the Essential Initiatives.

We thought it might be helpful to share a sample of the template now so that it can inform your work in developing your unit strategic/assessment plans and budget allocation requests.  As we complete different portions of the template, we will share them with the community for feedback and suggestions.  That will provide an opportunity for you to share action items from your units that can inform our work and be showcased on the Strategic Planning website found at http://strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu/ We look forward to working together in implementing the Strategic Plan to foster student success in the most vibrant living/learning environment possible.

Ray Schwarz
Chair, Strategic Planning Council
and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Planning Council Members

Initial members of the Council, which includes some members from the Strategic Plan Steering Committee in an effort to have some continuity in planning, are:

  • L. David Eaton, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Dan Freedman, Dean of Science and Engineering
  • Stacie Nunes, Chair, Physics and Astronomy
  • Ray Schwarz, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Chair)
  • Patricia Sullivan, Director, Honors Program
  • Stella Turk, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Lucy Walker, Sr. Research Analyst/Interim Asst. Vice President, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Shelly Wright, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Communication

Strategic Planning Update, 6/21/2013

New Paltz Faculty and Staff:

I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a final version of the Strategic Plan. Last year’s consultative process to develop the plan has helped fulfill one of the principles of the planning process – to develop a plan that reflects a community sense of where we have been and where we are heading.   This plan will guide and inform our work during the next five years, focusing on how we can most improve as an educational institution and with a clear focus on our students and their success.  The final plan, attached above, has evolved from the plan developed by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and shared with you in draft form during the spring semester.  The committee heard and responded to the considerable feedback and suggestions for refining and strengthening the plan, resulting in the final draft presented for my consideration.  I again thank members of the committee for the thoughtful and thorough work this past year in guiding the development of this plan.

With the work of the Steering Committee completed, I am forming a Strategic Planning Council that will guide and advise on implementation of the plan.  The Council will report to me, and will have a primary role in developing metrics and benchmarks for assessing our progress on each of the major initiatives, monitoring and measuring progress, and advising me and the Cabinet on priority action items.  The Council will also assist unit leaders (deans, directors, chairs) in coordinating work on initiatives that involve multiple departments, offices, or programs.  The Council will be expected to reach out to others on campus for input on metrics, advice on campus-level actions that advance strategic initiatives, and other aspects of its work.

We are forming a separate “Middle States 2021” Committee that will ensure that we are progressing appropriately toward our 2016 Periodic Review and our next reaccreditation review in 2021.  Much of the evidence and data collected to assess our progress on strategic plan goals will be relevant to Middle States.   Indeed, evidence of progress on achieving goals of the plan should provide a compelling basis for our next Middle States self-study.   The Strategic Planning Council will serve as a liaison to the Middle States Committee to ensure that such data are shared appropriately, so that they can be aligned with Middle States standards.

This summer, the Strategic Planning Council, in consultation with the Wonk group and others, will:

  • identify initial action items;
  • work to implement priority administrative actions that emerged in our budget process and that align with goals of the plan; and
  • integrate into the plan administrative actions that are either already in progress or “in queue” based on other planning efforts.

To be clear, these will be at most a subset of the actions that will advance the plan.   I will share these ideas in my August State of the College address, along with broader directions for plan implementation.  Other action items, including those that are primarily in the faculty domain, will be identified during the fall; we will add additional academic faculty to the Council then.

Initial members of the Council, which includes some members from the Strategic Plan Steering Committee in an effort to have some continuity in planning, are:

  • L. David Eaton, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Dan Freedman, Dean of Science and Engineering
  • Stacie Nunes, Chair, Physics and Astronomy
  • Ray Schwarz, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Chair)
  • Patricia Sullivan, Director, Honors Program
  • Stella Turk, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Lucy Walker, Sr. Research Analyst/Interim Asst. Vice President, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Shelly Wright, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Communication

I have asked Dr. Schwarz to chair the Council because of his broad experience with academic and student life areas of the College, his demonstrated leadership capabilities, and his extensive experience with assessment, as exemplified during our recent Middle States self-study process.  Jackie Andrews, who retires as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning at the end of this month, will continue on a part-time basis for several months to share her expertise and experience in the development of metrics and benchmarks.

I am grateful to all members of the College community who contributed to the development of this plan by participating in interviews, the planning retreat, and open forums, and by providing input and ideas that have improved the plan.

I look forward to working with you on initiatives and actions during the coming years to make our great college even better.

Sincerely,

Donald P. Christian
President

Strategic Planning Update, April 22

Dear Colleagues,

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee thanks you for feedback on the draft strategic plan. Since the draft plan was posted at http://strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu/ on March 4 , we have received written feedback through e-mail sent to strategicplan@zmail.newpaltz.edu and information cards distributed at meetings. The draft plan was presented at these meetings:

College Council ( March 7 )
College’s Senior Leadership (WONK) ( March 11 )
Marketing Council ( March 19 )
Foundation Board ( March 21 )
Classified Staff Meeting (Monday, April 1 )
Budget, Goals and Plans Faculty Governance Committee ( April 4 )
Student Association and Residence Hall Student Association executive committees (April 11)
Administrative Council ( April 15 )
Chair’s Forum (April 17)
Business Council ( April 19 )
Meetings open to all campus community members (Monday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 2 )

There’s still time to comment on the draft plan. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is meeting on Monday , April 29 , to review feedback. If you have comments, please send them to strategicplan@zmail.newpaltz.edu by noon on Friday , April 26 . The draft plan and video introduction of the plan may be reviewed at http://strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu/ . The planning process is unfolding as anticipated. The plan will be finalized in May.

Best,
Pat Sullivan and Stella Turk, Co-Chairs, Strategic Planning Steering Committee

Essential Initiatives

The following represent eight broad areas that will receive special focus during the life of this plan to improve the institution, our contributions, and the quality of education we provide for students and the region. Most bear directly or indirectly on our students and on improving their educational experience. Some are clearly “primary” educational goals that relate directly to our core mission of educating students, whereas others may be regarded in part as “enabling” goals that enhance our long-term ability to fulfill our primary mission. The various areas are not independent of each other, but investment and improvement in some areas will enhance others. It  is clearly recognized that advancing some of these goals will require investment of new or reallocated resources (financial and human), at the same time that we will continue to work with constrained resources that will demand prioritizing activities and investments.