The Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Plan for 2017–2021

Contemporary and Compelling:
Envisioning MMC’s Future

In 2016–17, as Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) celebrated 80 years of educational excellence, the campus community came together to develop the Strategic Plan for 2017–2021, which will propel MMC into the next decade.

The vision of the College that the new Strategic Plan advances is for MMC to become the nation’s premier destination for students seeking a contemporary and compelling small-college experience that blends a versatile liberal arts education with professional preparation and social engagement in the heart of New York City.

The plan, which was developed through a transparent, inclusive, and dynamic planning process, is firmly grounded in the College mission—to foster intellectual achievement and personal growth, provide opportunities for career development, and promote participation in and improvement of society.

Strategic Planning Process

Members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee get the ball rolling at a September meeting.Members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee get the ball rolling at a September meeting.A Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) was established to lead the strategic planning process and develop the Institutional Strategic Plan.  The SPSC consisted of the following faculty and staff members, one of whom is the elected Faculty Council President and three of whom were elected by the Faculty Council specifically to serve on the committee (as noted):

  • Katie LeBesco, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty (Co-Chair)
  • Jill Stevenson, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and President of the Faculty Council (Co-Chair)
  • Ann Aguanno, Professor of Biology (elected)
  • Jennifer Brown, Associate Professor of English and World Literatures and Chair of the English and World Literatures Department (elected)
  • Andreas Hernandez, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of International Studies
  • Ann Jablon, Professor and Chair, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Nancy Lushington, Assistant Professor of Dance (elected)
  • Richard Sheldon, Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration
  • Diana Zambrotta, Director of Auxiliary and Real Estate Services
  • Alexis Garcia ’18
  • Taylor Harris-Butler ’18 (served Fall 2016)
  • Angela Lanaris ’18 (served Spring 2017)
  • Maria Deinnocentiis, Assistant Vice President - Financial & Registration Services and
    Executive Director of Center for Student Services (served Spring 2017)
  • Michael Salmon, Dean of Advisement and Student Retention (served Spring 2017)
The Charge

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee was convened on September 21, 2016, at which time President Kerry Walk gave the committee its charge. The complete Charge to the Committee is available here. In brief, President Walk has charged the committee to develop an Institutional Strategic Plan that focuses on the following:

  1. Highly differentiates the academic program and co-curriculum in alignment with a competitive and complex higher education landscape to foster both educational excellence and financial sustainability.
  2. Significantly enhances the student experience along all axes to ensure optimal conditions for student learning and success.
  3. Establishes a long-term Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP), developed in consultation with Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL), to promote long-term enrollment and fiscal health.
  4. Maximizes the value of MMC’s human resources and advances the College’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion in order to strengthen and sustain the campus community.
  5. Establishes mechanisms for continuous strategic planning and institutional effectiveneness.

The following timeline was developed by the Co-Chairs of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to guide the committee’s, and the MMC community’s, efforts:

A student group thinks big.A student group thinks big.Preparation: September 2016 — Completed
  • Elect and appoint committee members.
  • Receive and review Charge from President Walk.
  • Share charge and timeline with MMC community.
  • Form campus working groups, chaired by members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, to research topics related to Charge.

Research: October – Early November 2016

Students, faculty and staff came together in October for a Strategic Planning Community Conversat...Students, faculty and staff came together in October for a Strategic Planning Community Conversation.

  • Guide MMC community conversations and collect input on topics.
  • Campus working groups synthesize research findings and identify emerging priorities.


Synthesis and Recommendations: November – December 2016
  • Share findings and emerging priorities with the MMC community and collect feedback.
  • Develop a list of key recommendations aimed at fulfilling the Charge.
  • Circulate the Recommendations Document to the campus community for feedback.
  • Synthesize feedback and outline a process for transitioning from the Recommendations Document to a Strategic Plan Draft.
Students, faculty and staff discuss strategic recommendationsStudents, faculty and staff discuss strategic recommendations


Crafting the Strategic Plan Draft: January – March 2017

Develop a draft of the Strategic Plan, circulate it widely, and hold community forums to gather feedback. A few key dates for discussion of the draft are:

  • Tuesday, February 7, 1-2:20pm: Community Conversation 
  • Thursday, February 9, 5-6pm: Community Conversation
  • Monday, February 13, 1-2:20pm: Faculty Council meeting
  • Monday, March 13: Faculty Council meeting (1-2:20pm) and Community Conversation (10-11am)
  • Tuesday, March 14: Cabinet meeting
  • Thursday, March 16, 5-6pm: Community Conversation
Finalizing and Approving the Strategic Plan: April – May 2017
  • Revise the Strategic Plan Draft based on community feedback.
  • Circulate Strategic Plan Revised Draft to the MMC community via email and other platforms before Spring Break (no later than Friday, April 7).
  • Develop a Strategic Plan Final Draft for consideration by College governance bodies on the following dates:
    • Monday, April 17: Faculty Council discusses and votes unanimously to approve the final draft. 
    • Tuesday, April 18: The President, in consultation with the Cabinet, reviews and approves the Faculty Council-approved final draft.
    • Late April: The President forwards the final draft to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which approves it.
    • Tuesday, May 9: The Executive Committee of the Board presents the final draft to the full Board at its Annual Meeting. The resolution for approval passes unanimously.
    • July 1, 2017: The Institutional Strategic Plan for 2017 – 2021 goes into effect.