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Strategic Plan 2022-2024

Developing the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan

As the College continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for the future, the process of developing the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan provides an important opportunity for us to look comprehensively and holistically at the College. This process includes identifying key priorities, setting goals, and developing action plans for achieving them. While the three-year timeframe for the next Strategic Plan is ambitious, it reflects the unpredictability of the current higher education landscape and the necessity that the College remain focused yet nimble as we carve out our distinctive place within it.

In Spring 2021, President Walk announced that Peter Naccarato, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty and Sarah Nelson Wright, M.F.A., Associate Professor of Communication and Media Arts, would lead development of the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan. This process centers around five focal points:

  • Educational Planning
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Operational Efficiency and Student Service
  • Resources and Finance
  • Marketing and Communications

Action plans that identify goals in each area and propose specific steps for achieving them will serve as the basis for development of the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan.

While each of these focal points is of critical importance, Educational Planning is at the center of this work. Therefore, President Walk has appointed the Educational Strategic Planning Working Group and charged it with focusing on the College’s current and potential curricular and co-curricular programs and through a highly participatory process, developing an action plan for focusing them in ways that further distinguish MMC’s educational offering. This includes identifying opportunities for intentional linkages between the College’s curricular and co-curricular programs in order to challenge our students both critically and creatively, prepare them for personal and professional success, and further distinguish the MMC experience.

At its February 2021 meeting, the Faculty Council elected three members to serve on the Educational Planning Working Group: Brad Herling, David Mold, and Nava Silton. President Walk then invited Sarah Nelson Wright and David Mold to co-chair this working group, appointed additional members, and gave the working group its charge.

Charge to the Educational Planning Working Group

The foremost goal of the 2008 – 2013 Strategic Plan was to prepare students for personal and professional lives in an increasingly complex world. The two plans that follows—for 2013 – 2017 and the current Strategic Plan, for 2017 – 2021—went beyond envisioning an MMC education as beneficial; these plans, in very different ways, also sought to differentiate an MMC education in a crowded, competitive higher education marketplace. The chief aim of the 2013 – 2017 plan is to Articulate Our Identity, and Goal I of the 2017 – 2021 plan is to Craft a Singular MMC Experience—“a contemporary, cross-disciplinary, and cutting-edge curriculum that is integrated with vibrant co-curricular programming and embedded in New York City in order to motivate students to enroll in MMC, thrive at the College through graduation, and participate in the MMC community as alumni.”

Over the past four years, the College has laid the ground work for strengthening MMC’s value proposition as the nation’s premier destination for students seeking a small-college experience focused on critical inquiry, creative practice, and social justice, and immersed in the rich educational and professional landscape of one of the world’s greatest cities. The further defining and strengthening of the College’s value proposition, through a deep consideration of the curricular and co-curricular programs, which, together, constitute an MMC education, will continue to be the centerpiece of our strategic planning efforts.

The overall strategic planning efforts are being undertaken by five Working Groups, four of which are already operational. They are the Working Groups for Equity Diversity, and Inclusion; Operational Efficiency and Student Service; Resources and Finances; and Marketing and Communications.

The Working Group on Educational Planning is a group of individuals from Academic Affairs, Student Success and Engagement, and the Office of the President who are called together to advance the work of differentiating the College’s educational offering writ large. Here are some of the ways the Working Group will fulfill its charge:

  1. Reviewing the report of the Presidential Task Force for Academic Strategic Planning, formed in Fall 2019, and updating its guiding principles and recommendations based on such factors as the College’s current and potential curricular and co-curricular programs; recent and potential changes in the curriculum; and the current higher education landscape and its possible future direction;
  2. Through a highly participatory process, developing an action plan for focusing the College’s curricular and co-curricular programs as informed by these guiding principles and recommendations;
  3. Identifying opportunities for intentional linkages between the College’s curricular and co-curricular programs that further distinguish the MMC educational offering.

Membership of the Educational Planning Working Group

  • Sarah Nelson Wright (Co-Chair), Associate Professor of Communication and Media Arts; Director, Theresa Lang Center for Producing
  • David Mold (Co-Chair), Professor of Theatre Arts; Acting Assistant Chair, Department of Theatre Arts (elected)
  • Erin Greenwell, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Arts
  • Todd Heilman, Vice President for Student Success & Engagement
  • Bradley Herling, Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Chair, Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies (elected)
  • Robin Nackman, Executive Director of Career Services
  • Erin O’Connor, Associate Professor of Sociology; Chair, Department of Politics and Human Rights
  • Nava Silton, Professor of Psychology (elected)
  • Michael Salmon, Assistant Vice President/Dean of Academic Excellence; Senior Advisor to the President
  • Emmalyn Yamrick, Associate Vice President for Student Success & Engagement; Dean of Students

Advisors to the Educational Planning Working Group

  • Lennay Chapman, Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Emily Clark, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Curriculum Committee
  • Pielah Kim, Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Lorraine Martínez-Novoa, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Timeline and Process

Fall 2019 – Spring 2020 : Preliminaries

  • President Walk launches the Presidential Task Force for Academic Strategic Planning and on November 20, 2019, presents its charge, which includes “undertaking a strategic review and hypothetical reimagining of the College’s current academic offerings” within the framework of “a potential ‘pivot’ in MMC’s stated institutional identity—from a small liberal arts college that offers a miscellany of academic programs, to a college of the creative and performing arts within a bold liberal arts context.”
  • After conducting a thorough and transparent process that was inclusive of key stakeholders, the Task Force presents to President Walk a report that includes a set of guiding principles and recommendations for sharpening and reshaping academic offerings should a pivot be deemed an advantageous course for the College to take.
  • On February 24, 2020, the Faculty Council passes a resolution endorsing the Task Force’s guiding principles and recommendations for academic strategic planning.
  • On February 25, 2020, the Board of Trustees passes a resolution which states that based on the recommendation of President Walk, the Board endorses pursing the repositioning of the College within the general framework proposed by the President, explored by the Presidential Task Force on Academic Strategic Planning, and endorsed by the Faculty Council.
  • The Staff Town Hall on March 2, 2020 includes a presentation on the work of the Presidential Task Force on Academic Strategic Planning and its recommendations.

Summer – Fall 2020: Foundations

  • President Walk and the Cabinet consider options for aligning development of the next Strategic Plan with Middle States reaccreditation.
  • On September 24, 2020, the Educational Planning Committee passes a resolution endorsing the plan to align development of the next Strategic Plan with preparations for Middle States reaccreditation.
  • On October 6, 2020, the Board of Trustees passes the resolution brought forward by the Educational Planning Committee to align development of the next Strategic Plan with preparations for Middle States reaccreditation.

Spring 2021: Preparation

  • Determine scope and duration of the next Strategic Plan.
  • Appoint Co-Chairs to lead development of the next Strategic Plan.
  • Identify core focal points for the next Strategic Plan.
  • Appoint Educational Strategic Planning Working Group and develop its charge.
  • Update community on process for developing the next Strategic Plan.

Summer 2021: Research and Initial Work

  • Educational Strategic Planning Working Group coordinates asynchronous Faculty Workshop, engages in research necessary to fulfill its charge, and begins synthesizing research findings and identifying emerging priorities.
  • Educational Planning Working Group prepares for Fall Faculty Workshop and develops process and timeline for engaging faculty throughout the fall semester.
  • Development of actions plans for other focal points continues in consultation with appropriate constituencies.

Fall 2021: Drafting, Revising, Finalizing the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan

  • Action plans are finalized.
  • Strategic Plan Development Co-Chairs use action plans as basis for drafting the Strategic Plan.
  • Draft of the Strategic Plan is shared with the MMC community to solicit feedback.
  • Draft plan is revised based on community feedback.
  • Revised draft is circulated to the community to solicit additional feedback.
  • Final draft of the 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan is developed for consideration by College governance bodies on the following dates:
  • Monday, November 22: Faculty Council discusses and votes on the final draft. If approved … 
    • Tuesday, November 23: The President, in consultation with the Cabinet, reviews the Faculty Council-approved final draft and deliberates. If approved …
    • Late November: The President forwards the final draft to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for consideration. If approved …
    • Tuesday, December 7: The Executive Committee of the Board presents the final draft to the full Board at its Annual Meeting. If the Resolution for approval is passed …
    • January 1, 2022: The 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan goes into effect.

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