Driving Forces--Draft: 11/19/09
Strategic Planning and Resource Council

Summary of "Driving Forces"
(based on SPARC workshop 8/20/09, Open Forum 9/15/09, SPARC meeting 10/6/09, SPARC assignments 10/23/09, Open Forum 11/16/09, Writing Committee meeting 11/19/09)

Driving Forces: Those select internal and external factors or trends that will impact most significantly upon the school.  The factors can be demographic, social, economic, political, technological and educational.

In the coming three to five years, the following internal and external factors will impact significantly upon the College:

1.  Economic factors, including the College budget; federal, state, and local economies; and personal financial situations.

2.  Changing populations, notably the increasing diversity of the population and the decreasing number of high school graduates.

3.  Quality of life expectations of students, faculty, and staff.

4.  An environment of rapidly changing technology.

5.  Increased need for assessment and accountability to improve the College and to meet external mandates for data.


The following factors were also identified in the process as potentially significant: 

> Economic

           Lack of predictability might affect planning

           Ability to offer competitive salaries to attract/retain top faculty and staff

            Increased demand for financial aid and private scholarship support

Increasing cost of higher education for students  

Accommodating costs of significant green projects  

> Demographic

            Changes in markets/jobs and gender expectations

            People re‑entering college from workforce, GI Bill, or for additional degrees

            Impact of a refocusing of money to urban areas

Competing with community colleges to attract students

            Institutional identity needed to compete for smaller pool of high school graduates 

> Technological

            Demand for information and access to information

            Changing classrooms and teaching methods

            Distance learning

            Greater demand for support for new applications 

> Political

            System/state mandated initiatives  

            Changing regulations and mandates from SUNY System Administration

            Balance of state support between public and private colleges

            Need for more accountability can impact new programs and innovation 

> Social

            Significant health crises

            Changing ethics and the need for privacy and identity protection


            Need to maintain top-quality programs and welcoming campus community

            Quality of life expectations:

                        Campus Community:

                                    Pride and commitment of campus community

                                    Need for more inclusive communications

                                    Recognizing, rewarding, and encouraging participation

                                    Maintaining safety and the perception of safety


                                    Preparing for post‑graduation life as alumni

                                    Balancing time among work, volunteering, clubs, and friends


                                    Serving our dramatically changing students as they expect

                                    Course enrollment management

            Strengthening of institutional identity

            Need for a branding plan

            Building a feeling of a connected team:

            Building/creating faculty community/unity

            Need to value every member of campus community


            Identifying and implementing green activities  

> Educational

            Balancing higher selectivity and our mission

            Transfer credit articulation

            Provision and appropriate use of space

            Appropriate role of adjunct faculty

            Matching students= interests with programs and faculty

            Perception of the proliferation of administration and non‑teaching faculty

            Appropriate role of the liberal arts  


Last Updated: November 20, 2009