Goals for improving life at Union: The Strategic Plan

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By Enza Macherone

After returning to Union this term and logging into Nexus accounts, students will notice that they have been automatically enrolled in the Strategic Plan “class.” The folder, when accessed, opens up to the drafts of Union’s Strategic Plan, which is being discussed each Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, during common lunch, a Strategic Plan open session was held in the Olin Auditorium. Vice President of Admissions Matt Malatesta ‘91 led the session, which focused on D2 of the Strategic Plan, “Integrative Thought & Action for the 21st Century.” This part of the strategic plan focuses on students building bridges between academic interests and different disciplines. In total, there are six Strategic Plan sessions throughout the term.

According to an e-mail from Dean Therese McCarty, “a strategic plan typically outlines general approaches to achieving an institution’s goals over a several-year period.”

Union’s Strategic Plan, which includes many different aspects of college academia and life, is a plan to make the school embody the values its community holds close. “The strategic plan is important because it shapes the priorities the college pursues in projects and other activities,” wrote McCarty. “Also, it articulates our shared understanding of who we are and what we are doing at the college.”

Written in 2007, the Strategic Plan has already had an impact, claims McCarty. She recalled traveling off-campus and reading a magazine ad, which featured a Union advertisement with the slogan, “Ahead of our time since 1795.” This, she enumerated, was an example of a part of the Strategic Plan’s goal—to “call attention to the importance of publicizing our very rich institutional history of innovation.”

This plan is very important to Union, McCarty wrote in her e-mail. “If you look through the various sections of the strategic plan drafts, you will see lots of goals and strategies, which collectively indicate the college’s strategic direction.  These do not include specific projects, but rather general approaches to achieving our goals.”

Just like the students at Union, the college itself has a goal to improve and better itself in constantly reevaluating and asking, “What can we do better?”

Students and faculty are strongly encouraged to attend the open sessions in Olin.

They can provide feedback during the sessions via the Internet.

Union administrators want the Strategic Plan to be about the community as a whole, so all are welcome and encouraged to attend, discuss and ask questions.

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