Strategic Plan 2022–2024
A Bold Path Forward
MMC’s Strategic Plan 2022–2024
A Bold Path Forward: MMC’s Strategic Plan for 2022–2024 offers a vision for Marymount Manhattan College to thrive in a rapidly changing higher education landscape. At its core is the College’s Academic Strategic Plan, which serves as a roadmap for building upon MMC’s distinctive strengths as it focuses and enhances its academic programs.
To support this effort, this Strategic Plan prioritizes student success and engagement to ensure that the College enrolls students who can flourish in its creative, urban environment and provides the holistic support required for these students to persist through graduation and be well-positioned for post-college success. It also affirms the College’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion by establishing goals that build upon the significant work that has been done to support all members of the College’s diverse community. Finally, the plan identifies clear goals for optimizing the College’s many resources, not only financial resources but also human resources, campus facilities, technology infrastructure, and more.
The Strategic Plan’s pillars correspond to the priorities outlined above:
On December 15, 2021, the Board of Trustees adopted the Academic Strategic Plan for 2022–2024. As the Academic Strategic Plan was being developed, members of the President’s Cabinet developed detailed Functional Area Plans, which set goals and priorities in support of the Academic Strategic Plan. Accordingly, the Institutional Strategic Plan brings this work together into a unified document that identifies priorities under each of four “pillars” on which the plan is grounded. The College completed this Institutional Strategic Plan for 2022–2024: A Bold Path Forward, which offers a vision for MMC to thrive in a rapidly changing higher education landscape. At its core is the Academic Strategic Plan that serves as a roadmap for building upon the College’s distinctive strengths as it focuses and enhances its academic programs. At the same time, the Institutional Strategic Plan serves as the foundational source to inform the budget process and institutional long-range planning.
The 2022–2024 Academic Strategic Plan offers a pathway for enhancing the value and distinctiveness of an MMC education in order to prepare students to meet today’s challenges. These challenges are numerous: a global pandemic, institutions and industries transforming to respond to social justice movements, a climate in crisis, growing disparity in wealth, rapidly changing technology and communication, significant changes in higher education, and questions about the value of a college degree. During these difficult times, institutions of higher education will succeed and flourish by engaging students in contemporary and compelling ways of learning, by preparing them for careers that address the challenges of the day, and by offering an educational experience that showcases the distinctive strengths of the institution. At MMC, those strengths are:
- A strong commitment to social justice;
- A national reputation for the Performing Arts, which can be leveraged to enhance, develop, and promote programs in the Creative and Visual Arts;
- Pedagogy that focuses on transdisciplinary learning, student-faculty collaboration and research, and experiential learning;
- New York City as a resource for curricular and co-curricular educational experiences that prepare students for fulfilling careers and civic lives.
Informed by these distinctive strengths, the four Goals of the Academic Strategic Plan aim to position the College to fulfill its mission as it meets current challenges and prepare for those to come. Because the College’s education mission informs the work of all of its divisions, departments, and office, these goals serve as the foundation of this Strategic Plan.
Goal I.1: Pursue Social Justice
Integrate the College’s foundational commitment to social justice as a core feature of students’ educational experience.
Goal I.2: Embrace Knowledge-Based Creativity
Support the College’s programs in the performing arts and build on their strengths to enhance and develop programs in the visual and creative arts and programs that integrate research and creative practice.
Goal I.3: Transcend Boundaries in Teaching and Learning
Differentiate MMC’s educational experience by expanding on our pedagogical strengths: transdisciplinary learning, student-faculty collaboration and research, and experiential learning.
Goal I.4: Leverage New York City
Embed the College’s distinctive location in New York City across students’ educational experiences and pre-professional preparation.
The Academic Strategic Plan sets out nine inter-connected Strategies for achieving these goals:
- Strategy 1: Revise current programs and create new programs.
- Strategy 2: Highlight MMC’s pedagogical strengths.
- Strategy 3: Redesign the General Education Program to differentiate the MMC learning experience.
- Strategy 4: Increase Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the College.
- Strategy 5: Improve student persistence.
- Strategy 6: Create alliances that support cross-departmental collaboration and make visible MMC’s strengths.
- Strategy 7: Integrate curricular and co-curricular programming.
- Strategy 8: Further enhance opportunities for career preparation.
- Strategy 9: Enhance connections between MMC’s main campus and its college programs at the Bedford Hills and Taconic Correctional Facilities.
Specific Action Items for implementing these strategies and achieving these goals are presented in the Academic Strategic Plan.
For the College to thrive in the coming years, it must redouble its efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate a diverse student body. Doing so requires assessing all areas of student support and engagement, taking advantage of opportunities to efficiently utilize existing resources, and identifying strategic investments that can strengthen this work. It also necessitates a coordinated approach that brings together staff from across all of the College’s divisions and departments to identify and implement strategies for positively impacting student persistence and ultimately improving graduation rates.
Goal II.1: Recruit a diverse student body and provide all students with the support and encouragement they need to persist through graduation.
To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
Strategy 1: Develop and implement a comprehensive enrollment plan, with actionable initiatives to meet targets for new students.
Such a plan is essential for achieving the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan and will be informed by relevant data and market analysis.
Strategy 2: Establish a cross-divisional and cross-departmental Recruitment and Retention Team to increase yield and first-to-second semester retention rates.
It is imperative that the College continues to identify and successfully implement strategies for supporting student enrollment and re-enrollment. To do so, it needs to put into place mechanisms for ensuring cross-divisional and cross-departmental collaboration in support of student recruitment, retention, and degree completion.
Strategy 3: Strengthen the Office of Student Success Advising to better support persistence and degree completion.
The Office of Student Success Advising shows great potential as a “one-stop shop” for academic and developmental advising. Efforts must be made to bolster the effectiveness of this office, given its position as a key partner with the Office of Admission to welcome new students to the College and with the faculty and staff to promote student persistence and degree completion.
Strategy 4: Develop and implement a holistic First-Year Experience
The College commits to assessing previous iterations of its first-year experience, researching alternative models and best practices, and implementing a holistic first-year experience that bridges curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities to welcome new students to the College, supports these students throughout their first year, and promotes their persistence to their second year and beyond.
Over the last several years, the College has made great strides toward developing a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus community, where all members experience a deep sense of belonging. In 2015, President Kerry Walk appointed the College’s first Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Officer, who chairs the President’s Council on EDI, also established in 2015. Since its inception, the President’s Council has led College-wide effort to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion through major initiatives, collaborative partnerships, educational opportunities, and policy development.
Goal III.1: Sustain and expand the efforts of the President’s Council on EDI to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion across the College.
To achieve this goal, the President’s Council will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Assess and enhance strategies for recruiting, hiring, and retaining faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups and those underrepresented at MMC.
- Strategy 2: Assess and enhance strategies for recruiting, retaining, supporting, and graduating students from historically underrepresented groups and those underrepresented at MMC.
- Strategy 3: Conduct a Campus Climate Survey to assess progress and identify areas of need.
- Strategy 4: Provide equity-based competency trainings, workshops, and EDI-based learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
- Strategy 5: Incorporate progress on EDI-related initiatives into College-wide assessment practices.
The College’s ability to realize the bold vision set forth in this Strategic Plan depends on optimizing the many resources at the College, such as financial resources (including budget planning and fundraising), human resources (including faculty and staff recruitment and retention as well as emergency management, to keep our community safe), campus facilities, information technology, and marketing and communications.
Goal IV.1: In support of the College’s educational mission as envisioned by the Academic Strategic Plan and associated functional area plans, pursue strategies for ensuring sound fiscal stewardship, making optimal use of current resources and identifying priorities for strategic investment.
To support implementation of the Strategic Plan, the College needs to continue following current practices for developing annual budgets that are informed by shared governance and engage key stakeholders. It must also continue developing a multi-year financial plan with clearly stated processes for the allocation of funds, and the establishment of budgets, timelines, and benchmarks for progress towards financial sustainability. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Successfully execute an annual budget process that synchronizes with the goals of this Strategic
- Strategy 2: Enhance the multi-year budget model and continue developing a multi-year financial plan
Staff and Faculty Recruitment and Retention
An essential element for successfully implementing the Strategic Plan will be expanding and retaining faculty and staff members in key areas that support its educational vision. The College aims to recruit, develop and retain the right faculty and staff to push the College’s mission forward and support students. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Streamline faculty and staff hiring processes
- Strategy 2: Update post-COVID flexible work arrangement policy
- Strategy 3: Revise the performance management process
- Strategy 4: Continue to automate and streamline critical HR processes
To ensure the health, safety, and security of the community, the College commits to reviewing and updating the emergency management infrastructure that successfully guided the College through the global pandemic. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Update the post-COVID emergency management infrastructure
- Strategy 2: Build out the existing emergency preparedness program through tabletop exercises, simulations, and other initiatives that prepare all members of the campus community to respond efficiently and effectively to crises.
Having completed the Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts project, the College will move forward with multi-year campus master plan to align current and future facilities development with the goals of the Strategic Plan. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Execute participatory campus master planning, to include planning regarding deferred maintenance.
Enhancement of the College’s technology resources, including both instructional technology and other technologies that support operations across the College, will be crucial for the successful implementation of the Strategic Plan. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Develop a plan for continuing to improve IT service and infrastructure to meet future needs and improve operational efficiency
- Strategy 2: Enhance comprehensive IT security, business continuity, and disaster recovery plans
Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications
The fundraising and development arm of the Office of Institutional Advancement seeks to build a solid infrastructure for long-term fundraising success, taking a donor-centric approach to this effort. Marketing and Communications, sited in the Office of Institutional Advancement, plays an integral role in advancing the goals of the Strategic Plan as it works to increase the visibility of the College as part of larger efforts to engage prospective and current students, parents/families, alumni, and MMC friends. To achieve this goal, the College will pursue the following Strategies:
- Strategy 1: Develop an Alumni and Family Engagement Plan.
- Strategy 2: Focus on donor retention and fundraising growth to meet long-term goals.
- Strategy 3: Develop a comprehensive marketing framework for the College.
- Strategy 4: Build the fundraising infrastructure necessary to support the College’s strategy of high-impact, high-ROI mini-campaigns.