Prologue

This ten-year Strategic Plan outlines four Initiatives designed to enhance the learning experience of all Westminster College students. It complements the Mission Statement of the College by outlining specific goals that are both adaptive to current and emerging realities, yet sensitive to its church-related, values-based liberal arts heritage. Though the Plan's Initiatives and Goals address multiple areas for attention, the singular focus is on the students who shall always remain the principal beneficiaries of our educational efforts.

A thorough analysis of internal and external environmental conditions was conducted to provide a context for the recommendations leading to the identification of the Key Goals contained in the Plan. The final Initiatives broadly address many of the challenges and trends revealed in this analysis. Important themes that surfaced within this contextual overview included: changing student demographics; rise of competition; affordability; academic reputation; tradition versus innovation; and our physical plant, among others. This analysis significantly informed the institutional direction presented herein.

The success of the Plan shall be assessed through evaluative measures outlined in a separate but complementary Operational Plan. While the Strategic Plan represents a policy statement addressing institutional direction and priorities, the Operational Plan is an administrative tool. Assessments within it shall focus on the many operational strategies implemented to meet the Key Goals for each of the four Initiatives, which address the following topics:

  • To ensure that we support our employees who are responsible and accountable for our students' educational experience.
  • To enhance our institution's academic reputation and our intellectual environment.
  • To remain accessible and affordable in an era of continually escalating costs.
  • To expand and enhance the functionality and physical attractiveness of our campus.

This assessment shall be embedded, pervasive, and informative throughout the lifespan of the Plan.

Broad institutional representation characterized the formation of this Plan. Trustees, alumni, administration, faculty, staff, and students all contributed to this final document with more than 80 people actively contributing to it. Though not all recommendations were incorporated, the Plan represents a realistic outline of goals and aspirations needed to advance Westminster College in these uncertain and challenging times.