Strategic Plan Summary (to download or print)
- Strategic Plan Summary (revised as of 5/18/20)
The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021 outlines priorities for the College that both renew and reimagine our commitments to liberal learning, and the importance of both presence and place in the residential experience. Mount Holyoke is already well regarded for the excellence of its faculty and academic programs, the intense intellectual engagement of our students, and the professional distinction of our alumnae.
Our strengths lie in the global diversity of our students, in our commitment to supporting purposeful engagement, and in the explicit linking of the liberal arts with the needs of a rapidly evolving set of challenges that will determine the quality of life on this planet. We imagine our globally astute, imaginative, critically thinking graduates as the next generation of valued leaders who will be sought throughout the world to help create a more equitable and sustainable paradigm for future generations.
Our vision of Mount Holyoke as a robust and nimble community will enable us to move forward decisively, to position the College for the strongest of futures through the pursuit of strategic objectives focused on our mission and its relevance; through investment in energetic staff and faculty creativity, as well as in imaginative educational models and programs; through continuous evaluation of structures, assets and costs; and consistent promotion of the opportunities, values, and quality Mount Holyoke provides.
Our priorities are specific enough to direct our energies and yet suggestive enough to be an invitation to the creativity and vitality of our faculty, staff and students, in response to global challenges and opportunities. Our priorities represent sustained investment in academic rigor in teaching, learning and scholarship, and commitment to inclusive excellence; they require us to actively engage and embed the diverse perspectives that members of our community bring to our work together. These priorities require us to act not only for the sustainability of the College, but for that of the environment, and they challenge us to continue to integrate, make visible, and develop the preparation for global careers and for leadership that the Mount Holyoke experience provides.
Goals and Strategies
A. As one of the leading 21st-century liberal arts colleges for women, Mount Holyoke will integrate enhancements in liberal arts education with preparation for leadership.
- Clearly and effectively articulate the case and vision for a distinguished women’s college in the 21st century.
- Identify new markets, both domestic and international, and develop programs that expose future students to a Mount Holyoke education.
- Advance women’s leadership throughout academic and cocurricular programs on campus, in global learning experiences, and by making Mount Holyoke the source and venue of choice for intensive leadership development programs.
- Amplify and promote environmental efforts as a commitment to the future of our campus and the planet.
- Amplify and diversify opportunities for students to partner with faculty in research, scholarship, and artistic endeavors.
- Further develop our practices in and innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including effective assessment and evaluation, to increase the impact and improve the outcomes of learning experiences on and off campus.
- Better integrate academic and cocurricular learning, such as through expanded residential and theme-based learning communities.
- Enhance, develop, and promote opportunities for student leadership.
- Make advising and mentoring more holistic, integrating students’ academic choices, personal development, global learning, internships, and career preparation.
- Advance and sustain curriculum-to-career strategies, such as Nexus and The Lynk, to connect students’ academic work with practical applications of the liberal arts and sciences.
- Expand opportunities for global learning through study and internships abroad.
B. We will elevate and sustain a powerful “maker culture” supported by stateof-the-art facilities and technology.
- Develop or improve, appropriately equip, and regularly update both physical and virtual/digital “maker spaces” that provide support, inspiration, and tools to ignite the creativity and entrepreneurship of students, faculty, and staff.
- Link students’ work as “makers” with their academic programs and the residential, cocurricular, and global elements of their lives at Mount Holyoke.
C. We will broaden the scope and diversity of educational programs, including professional and graduate study available to our students through PaGE, and through intentional partnerships with other institutions.
- Expand and encourage students’ engagement with the multiple educational opportunities offered through the Five College Consortium.
- Explore the development of educational partnerships with colleges and universities in the Five College Consortium, in the US, and in other countries to offer a broader array of undergraduate, professional, and graduate programs and activities in various configurations.
- Develop, in a self-sustaining way, programs in PaGE that contribute to the academic reputation and reach of Mount Holyoke College.
Within the spirit and framework of our robust commitment to the liberal arts, Mount Holyoke will embrace new opportunities and directions in teaching, academic programs, and research and scholarship to better prepare students to respond to the needs and challenges of a global society.
Goals and Strategies
A. We will pilot, launch, promote, and rigorously evaluate distinctive and innovative academic programs that advance the College’s mission.
- Encourage and support faculty creativity in and across all disciplines,
- including emerging areas of study and research.
- Develop or enrich academic programs in areas of strength or need, such as film and media studies, environmental studies, entrepreneurship and international business, global health, data and computer sciences, gender studies, and ethnic studies.
- Sustain rigor and disciplinary depth, while expanding interdisciplinary teaching and team-based educational programs and activities.
- Support excellence and innovation in teaching, such as by creating a center for learning and teaching and expanding faculty development opportunities.
B. We will establish and implement ongoing processes of review and assessment of academic programs to ensure their alignment with both students’ needs and the highest and best use of limited resources.
- Work within the principles, structures, and values of collaborative governance to establish a system, process, and criteria for ongoing, regular, and accountable reviews of academic programs.
- Develop, strengthen, restructure, or discontinue academic programs using the system, process, and criteria as determined above.
C. We will advance and strengthen the College’s signature academic centers.
- Review the functions, activities, and resources of the Centers for Global Initiatives, Leadership, and Environment to identify needs for new or additional support.
- Consider establishing additional centers or other such structures, as resources permit, based on assessment of the outcomes of innovative and interdisciplinary academic programs and activities.
D. We will amplify efforts to recruit and retain an excellent and diverse faculty who will lead the College in responding to the changing needs of future students.
- Continue to recruit, retain, recognize, and reward a diverse, excellent, and collaborative faculty that is aligned with students’ needs, advances in knowledge and research, and the College’s strategic priorities and curricular goals.
- Continue to provide opportunities to recruit faculty in new or emerging disciplines who contribute to imaginative, new, or revitalized curricular expressions consistent with the evolving liberal arts.
- Provide greater internal support (including funding, spaces, technology, equipment, materials, and professional development) to support and enhance faculty work, including research, scholarship, and artistic creation.
- Increase external funding to support faculty research, scholarship, and artistic creation.
Goals and Strategies
A. We will enhance, preserve, and sustain the Mount Holyoke campus, including both natural and built environments, to provide engaging and beautiful frameworks for residential learning and an engaged community.
- Invest in highest and best use buildings identified in Facilities Master Plan and Sightlines study.
B. We will strengthen connections, networks, and community on campus by developing common endeavors, common spaces, and common times.
- Create additional opportunities, spaces, and infrastructure that support common endeavors and encourage greater engagement among students, faculty, and staff.
- Plan and develop a community center and other social hubs on campus, including a venue for a modern, inclusive dining experience.
- Create innovative learning spaces and adopt new technologies to facilitate global/local engagement and create more intentional opportunities to collaborate both on and off campus and around the world.
- Relocate the Career Development Center to an improved space that inspires students and provides a focal point for Mount Holyoke’s curriculum-to-career programs, as well as connections with our other Centers.
- Develop and implement a plan to improve campus residences in ways that facilitate community-building and support an exceptional student experience.
- Develop and promote digital applications to support networking, encourage participation in campus activities and events, and help students and alumnae stay actively engaged with the College, regardless of their location.
- Better integrate alumnae networks with on-campus and global communities.
- Strengthen the alignment and collaborative functioning of the Alumnae Association and the College.
C. We will ensure that all College policies, procedures, and practices support diversity, equity, inclusivity, and the full participation of all members of the campus community.
- Recruit, engage, and retain diverse and excellent students, faculty, and staff.
- Create a distinctive diversity, equity, and inclusion plan, including provisions for skills-based diversity and equity education for students, faculty, and staff that will apply equally to Mount Holyoke’s campus and our global and digital communities.
- Promote greater coordination, alignment, and visibility of inclusion efforts.
- Preserve, while strengthening, streamlining, and updating, collaborative governance structures and processes.
- Review and revise, as needed, policies, procedures, and practices to both intentionally and consistently support the full participation of all members of the campus community, building upon the College’s principles of shared governance.
- Promote inclusion by honoring the social locations from which members of our community speak and experience the world, in order to question the structures of privilege, empower our students, and prepare them for success.
- Maintain and strengthen programming that promotes understanding, exchange, and a diversity of voices and perspectives in the classroom and working environment.
- Provide faculty and staff development opportunities and encourage campus conversations on issues of difference—including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, and gender.
- Better support international students to promote not only welcome, but also engagement, retention, and success.
- Provide a variety of opportunities for members of the staff to improve their skills, develop their talents, and engage in the intellectual, social, and artistic life of the campus.
Goals and Strategies
A. We will take the necessary steps to sustain and enhance the financial future of the College and to assure a balanced budget.
- Develop and implement a long-term enrollment and retention plan, including realistic projections of total class size with proportions of students in various categories.
- Engage all members of the faculty and staff in collaborative efforts to promote student retention and success.
- Undertake an ongoing process of review and reassessment not only of academic programs (as above), but also student services, organizational and administrative structures and systems, and positions of all types to improve workflows, effectiveness, and communication, and to promote the highest and best use of limited resources.
- Encourage and entertain proposals from College faculty, staff, and alumnae for the creation of new programs or services that will diversify or strengthen Mount Holyoke’s revenue sources.
B. We will create and implement a comprehensive plan for facilities that is tied to infrastructure development, maintenance, and replacement needs, and links with strategic priorities, projected enrollment and retention.
- Prioritize the continued implementation of the Facilities Master Plan created in 2014.
- Connect the priorities of the Facilities Master Plan to this strategic plan, including the development of new facilities and spaces, while simultaneously addressing those that reduce the College’s expenditure base.
- Identify new funding sources for capital improvements, including operating revenues, fundraising, and debt financing.
C. We will calibrate fundraising efforts in relation to strategic priorities and fiscal needs.
- Expand and celebrate alumnae participation in the funding of the College’s priorities.
- Develop a fundraising prospectus that outlines strategic priorities and makes the case to our alumnae for the importance of their investment in and support of the College.
The most important next step is to create a shared understanding of and a plan for how and when we will implement these priorities and the objectives derived from them. We will do this through the shared governance structures and an Implementation Planning Group, the work of which will be reviewed and reported on by the College Planning Committee. All of these priorities require that we work collaboratively, and with discipline, with respect to our financial, human and environmental resources. They require organizational efficiencies and the elimination of any redundancies. They require intellectual energy and
creativity alongside a consistent commitment to excellence and service. Meeting the objectives described here will sustain and renew the academic program, the College, and its campus environment, while further strengthening opportunities for personal and professional growth for students, faculty, and staff.