The Strategic Planning Committee recently released a first draft of their mission to improve the SUNY New Paltz campus.
Committee Co-Chair Patricia Sullivan said the committee, which was charged last semester by President Donald Christian, released the draft on March 4 and is currently seeking feedback from the campus community.
According to the draft document, the plan is intended to set a course for the priorities that will be receiving “special attention” through 2013-18.
These areas include nurturing innovation and the learning environment, establishing an engaged living and learning community, strengthening philanthropic commitments and success, engaging alumni in the life of the college, marketing New Paltz internally and externally, improving internal processes and addressing institutional capacity, building online education and strengthening the regional and community engagement.
According to the New Paltz website, the plan will be finalized in May and over the summer, the council will be formed and benchmarks will be established, allowing for implementation to take effect in September.
In order to receive feedback, many open forums have been and will be held with faculty, staff and students. There have also been meetings with several groups, including the Administrative Council, College Council and governance committees such as Budget, Goals and Plans. Their feedback will be used to create a new draft and possibly another round of consultations, if needed.
Sullivan said she feels that working on the strategic plan has been a valuable experience that will improve the school’s performance in certain areas.
“I can say working on strategic planning has been an exciting and rewarding process,” Sullivan said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a campus community. The strategic plan will establish goals to guide our activities for the next three to five years so that we continue positive momentum on campus, but also improve our performance in some areas.”
According to Christian, focusing on the most significant things can elevate the school to an even higher level.
“I’ve seen strategic plans that lay out a lofty vision that says where we want to be 30 years from now, but those plans typically don’t take institutions anywhere,” Christian said. “So we focused on the most important things we can do in the next five years that will bring New Paltz to a new level of distinction. If you were to graph improvement over time, we want to improve in a whole bunch of ways, but the strategic plan will kind of bring it above the regular ongoing improvement we try to see over time.”
Christian said that, with the plan, there are aspects of New Paltz’s reputation that can be used to the school’s advantage and be beneficial in the long run.
“[New Paltz] has a clear and distinctive identity and we want to preserve that identity and build on it,” Christian said. “That talks about things like a diverse community, active learning, an environment of discovery, a focus on the arts, natural setting, close to NYC – those are the assets we want to take advantage of.”
More information and the full draft of the plan can be found at strategicplanning.newpaltz.edu. To provide feedback, emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.