Measuring Up to Our Mission
The college has taken a two-tiered approach to assessing progress on its strategic plan, which is organized as six pillars, each with an overarching goal:
Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship—Promote a learning-centered environment that facilitates excellence in teaching, research, and creative activity.
Student Engagement—Engage students as active participants in their cognitive, personal, and professional growth by promoting opportunities with articulated learning outcomes.
Global Connectedness—Promote increased cultural understanding by enhancing opportunities for greater interaction in the global arena.
Diversity—Demonstrate a strong and public commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus community.
Community Partnership—Create and enhance partnerships that are mutually beneficial to the campus and community.
Sustainability—Promote individual and collective responsibility for the continued well-being of the college, community, and environment by encouraging educational initiatives, environmental protections, and fiscal responsibility.
Cabinet, which ultimately is charged with implementing the strategic plan, has worked with the Strategic Planning Council (SPC) to identify performance indicators related to each pillar. These metrics—there are more than 60 of them—are charted on the SPC website and updated by the Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness. When viewed collectively, they describe how our campus has, in the broadest sense, advanced its ideals.
Tracking of performance indicators began this fall. However, in 2010 the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC) developed objectives under each pillar as part of its work. These were conceived as action items—22 in all—that, once complete, would move the college closer to succeeding in its mission. After adoption of the strategic plan, SPARC was sunset and Cabinet assumed responsibility for the objectives.
While the performance indicators focus on trends, this report documents accomplishments and what is happening now. The college has met many of its initial objectives, and others, particularly relating to academics, have been added.
For example, although not envisioned by SPARC in 2010, the creation of an Academic Master Plan and the restructuring of the Division of Academic Affairs definitely are strategic undertakings, and arguably are the most sweeping and significant current objectives. Pursuing these has resulted in the suspension of efforts directed at some of the other Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship objectives.
It also is noteworthy that the strategic plan was rolled out during a time of great transition. At the state level, New York’s financial condition, mid-year budget cuts in 2010, an early retirement program, and the task of advancing Rational Tuition all have shaped our campus.
There have been as many internal as external changes. Cabinet has welcomed five new members since SPARC first met. The SPC and Budget Advisory Committee—bodies that play key roles in monitoring the strategic plan and aligning resources with goals—had to be created. The college’s decennial Middle States Accreditation began—and will continue into next semester.
In the coming year, the college is expected to reach several milestones. The StAR program will disburse funding for strategic projects. Distinct schools within the Division of Academic Affairs will be created. The reconstituted President’s Council on Diversity will begin its work. And an updated Other Than Personnel Salary (OTPS) budget model for academic departments is on the horizon.