Across campus, this spring we have been engaged in the process of reflection and deliberation that will guide the University’s next strategic plan, intended by the Board of Visitors as a single-page statement of our key priorities for 2019-2025. This is important work, as the Plan that emerges I hope will convey a vision of the most crucial work ahead for the place we wish to become, as well as be of genuine practical use in decision-making in the coming years.
There have been constructive and ranging discussions among the Board of Visitors, among the Cabinet, and at last week’s UPC meeting. Some clear common themes have emerged.
I’m writing today to share an overview of those themes, which will serve as a starting structure for further refinement, feedback and other ideas. Farther below there is also an overview of the timeline and process for continuing the conversation over the weeks ahead.
Here are the main ideas I have taken from our initial discussions about what our broadest strategic priorities must be over the next six years:
- Fostering not just enrollment but intensifying enthusiasm – we will thrive when students and prospective students cherish the opportunity to attend Longwood and be part of a distinctive community with a human touch that transforms lives.
- Innovation in our academic and co-curricular offerings, undergraduate and graduate.
- Diversity matters for our mission – the importance of diversity of background and intellectual perspective is vital at a university-wide strategic level. And the next plan should also continue to reiterate Longwood’s commitment to competitive and equitable compensation.
- The “place” of Longwood matters – the beauty of our residential campus, the camaraderie of our workplace, and the vibrancy of our college town.
- The culture of philanthropy here must grow more and more robust and serve as a catalyst for progress.
With those initial broad thoughts in mind, I invite you to share your thoughts and reflections. You can reach out to the Provost or other vice presidents, or email me directly at email@example.com.
I’m also pleased to invite all faculty and staff to open discussions about strategic direction and ideas on Thursday, April 18th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Friday, April 26th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm, and Monday, April 29th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, all in the Stallard Boardroom in Lancaster Hall. Refreshments will be on hand, as will a light lunch on April 29th.
Following those meetings, I will aim to share with campus a draft of the proposed strategic plan by the end of April, inviting further feedback, and then later in May submit a final proposed version for the Board to consider at its June meeting.
Despite the turbulence in America and higher education, Longwood has true momentum.