September 5, 2006
Dear Members of the Faculty and Staff:
I am delighted to begin a new academic year. The fall term promises to be rich and exciting, with a wonderful set of lectures, panels, exhibitions, and performances already planned.
The most important work we will undertake this year is the completion of the strategic plan that will guide the college over the next decade. I am sure that you recall that we ended last year with the identification of eight strategic directions. I encourage you to read the report of the Committee of Mission and Priorities that identifies and describes them.
Read "Re-imagining a Liberal Arts Education" (HTML version)
This year we will develop focused initiatives to address each of these objectives. Staff and faculty may submit concept papers of no more than two pages for initiatives to the Committee on Mission and Priorities by October 16, 2006. I will be sending an e-mail to the campus about this process very soon.
To begin our campus discussion of each of these directions, I have scheduled a set of round tables for faculty and staff. (Similar events for students will be scheduled later in the term.) I imagine these occasions as lively, focused conversations about how best to move forward in each of these areas in the most strategic way for the college. I will be leading each discussion, together with senior staff. In our conversations, we will explore each direction in greater detail, define the goals we have in pursuing it, and identify promising ideas and strategies.
I have chosen to compress the round tables in a fairly narrow time frame in order to stimulate our thinking and to identify those who might wish to serve as members of working groups, where such groups may be appropriate to develop ideas or proposals. I encourage you to attend the discussions of areas that are of particular interest to you. Lunch will be provided at round tables scheduled at the noon hour.
Carol T. Christ