Strategic Plan: A message of thanks from President Melvin L. Oliver

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Trustees,

Following a year of intense collaboration involving countless Pitzer College community members, I am delighted that our strategic planning goals and objectives were approved unanimously by the College Council on April 25.  Completing the strategic plan during this academic year was an aggressive goal and we should be proud of the hard work that went into this milestone achievement.

The strategic planning process was truly a community endeavor in the best of Pitzer traditions. A number of key conversations during the 2017-18 academic year gave us a running start as we began information gathering efforts in the fall semester.  Hundreds of community members contributed to the development of the planning themes.  Over 800 people responded to our surveys, another 800+ comments were shared during the November Idea Wall activities, and over 250 people met with our planning consultants, Keeling & Associates, during their campus visits.  The breadth of our community commitment gives me confidence that the strategic plan accurately reflects our priorities for Pitzer in the coming five years.

Please join me in thanking some of the key contributors to this process, starting with the members of the Strategic Planning Committee, co-chairs Brinda Sarathy (faculty) and Don Gould (trustee), Melissa Coleman (faculty), Brendan Schultz (student), Matthew Brunstad (student), Shahan Soghikian (trustee), Carlos Alvarez (staff) and Mike Segawa (staff).  The SPC’s leadership was invaluable and we are fortunate to benefit from their wisdom and dedication to the College.  In addition, our Working Groups were instrumental in bringing key perspectives from a broader range of campus constituents, and we extend our thanks to those individuals for their critical work.  Finally, Jamie Jorgensen, Melanie Lacy and the Keeling & Associates team were key players in keeping our process focused and organized.

On May 17, we will present the strategic planning goals and objectives to the Board of Trustees for approval.  Assuming approval by the Board, we will begin the equally important work of implementing the strategic plan.  We will again need to rely on Pitzer’s collaborative spirit to implement our plan successfully.

I can think of no better person to lead these efforts than Jim Marchant, and so I am very pleased to announce that Jim has agreed to take on the new role of Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Community Relations.  Jim’s role will be to bring focus to the achievement of our goals by coordinating the efforts of key people, internal and external constituencies, and resources to formulate a workable tactical plan that will lead to measurable and concrete outcomes. Jim brings decades of experience at Pitzer to this important work, and his familiarity with our campus and the challenges we face make him ideally suited for this project. Jim will begin by working with the summer FEC and continuing his work in the fall with our existing committees to build an implementation plan that will involve a cross-section of our community.  Please join me in congratulating Jim on his new role.

Again, I want to thank all the many contributors to our strategic planning process.  I very much look forward to building on the outstanding work that has been done and engaging with you as we pursue our goals together.

Melvin L. Oliver

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