Strategic Planning Task Force Looks to Future
Last year, a group of Marlboro trustees, faculty, students, and staff was charged with leading the process of drafting a new strategic plan for the college, a road map for “thriving” to 2020 and beyond. Over the past year the members of the Strategic Planning Task Force have put together and reviewed a great deal of data on the college, on the state of higher education more generally, on the future of the Liberal Arts, and more.
“We collected information concerning how Marlboro compares to other higher education institutions, and concerning the major trends and forces affecting small private colleges,” said Peter Zamore, Marlboro trustee, alumnus, and member of the task force. “The new plan should help assure that all members of the Marlboro community are oriented toward a common set of goals and strategies that are intended to advance Marlboro’s mission.” The plan is also an important prelude to Marlboro’s accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which will take place in 2014.
In June, this series of on-going discussions culminated in a six-hour retreat in which the members of the task force began the process of articulating goals and devising strategies to meet those goals. Since then they have been refining this draft based on feedback provided by the Marlboro College community at Town Meetings, lunchtime discussions, and online.
On September 18, Marlboro sponsored a community leadership summit at the college’s graduate center in Brattleboro to gather leaders in the Windham County region for a conversation about trends and forces in the environment. More than 70 individuals attended and participated in discussions on community connections, environmental sustainability, engaging youth in education, and other relevant themes. Participants not only acknowledged the unique character of Marlboro and its educational model, but also acclaimed the role of the college as an integral contributor to the culture of the region.
“Small liberal arts institutions, and Marlboro in particular, are essential to provide young adults with the opportunity to acquire the core skills necessary to be successful,” said Peter. “Marlboro’s unique environment of self-directed learning, community governance, and frugality helps assure that graduates will thrive in a future that is constantly changing.” By the end of the year, the task force intends to have a plan that builds on previous efforts to push our vision further out into that future.