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
President

Next Steps: Strategic Planning

Phase 1 of Pitzer’s Strategic Planning process – Engagement, Information Gathering and Planning Themes – is complete. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Pitzer’s future! We are grateful for the time and consideration you have dedicated thus far.

What’s next? 

Now, we get down to the work of identifying and prioritizing the goals and objectives that should be included in the strategic plan. This important shared governance project will establish Pitzer’s strategic priorities for the coming years. 

Keeling & Associates, our strategic planning consultants, will return to campus next Wednesday and Thursday to share the planning themes that emerged in Phase 1 and engage the community in discussions about next steps for Pitzer’s strategic plan.  Join us for these topic-related FORUMS:

Date & Time Topic Location
Wed, Feb 6
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Campus Life & Climate GSC Multipurpose Room North
Wed, Feb 6
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Financial Sustainability, Facilities and IT GSC Multipurpose Room South
Thurs, Feb 7
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Academic Planning GSC Multipurpose South
Thurs, Feb 7
4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
Open Forum (All Themes) McConnell Center Founders Room

See you at the Forums! Your Representatives
Strategic Planning Committee

Strategic Plan Survey

We want your feedback for the future of Pitzer College

Dear Pitzer Community,

Pitzer College is engaged in a strategic planning process this year to define our key priorities and goals that will guide decision making for the coming three to five years. We are writing to ask you to complete this online survey because your input—your ideas, opinions and recommendations—are important!

Completing the survey should take approximately 15 minutes, but your input will influence Pitzer’s direction for years to come. We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. Please make completing the survey a priority.

To complete the survey, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PitzerStrategicPlanningSurvey

The responses you give on this survey are strictly confidential. The survey is being administered by our consultants, Keeling & Associates, LLC (K&A). It is K&A, and not Pitzer, who will receive and have access to your individual survey responses. No member of the faculty, staff or student at the College, including the Strategic Planning Committee, will see individual responses. The report of survey results will contain aggregated data only, without any identification of individual respondents or responses. Summary results of the survey and other information-gathering efforts to date will be shared with the College community next semester.

Thank you for your time and input.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver
President

Strategic Plan 2019

Dear Pitzer Community,

I am writing to you to announce the kick-off of our strategic planning process this academic year. This is an exciting and critically important opportunity for our community to set the direction of the future of Pitzer College.

Last year, the campus engaged in several strategic planning discussions and we will be using the information gathered at those meetings to springboard into the planning process this year. We have interviewed a number of strategic planning consulting firms and I am pleased to share that Keeling & Associates (K&A) will be assisting us with our strategic plan. K&A has extensive experience in higher education consulting and planning, having worked with many colleges and universities, including mission-driven liberal arts colleges like Pitzer. K&A understands and appreciates Pitzer’s core values, including the importance of an inclusive process where all voices have the opportunity to contribute. I am confident that K&A will be a great partner and I want to thank the committee (Professors Sharon Snowiss and Emma Stephens, Office of Admission and Financial Aid Operations Manager Kristina Kelpe, Trustees Don Gould and Tom Brock, Dean of Faculty Nigel Boyle and Chief of Staff/Chief Legal Counsel Jamie Jorgensen) who helped me in the selection process.

This one-page project brief outlines the steps in the process and the timeline. K&A will make its first of two fall semester campus visits next week, October 3-5. The agenda for the College Council meeting on October 4 is dedicated to discussing the process with K&A and to gathering feedback. Please attend if you can. K&A also plans to meet with the Faculty Executive Committee, the Diversity Committee, my cabinet and as many other stakeholders as we can accommodate. We will also post a strategic planning webpage with updates about what’s been done, what’s to come and how you can get involved.

I have been working with the governance groups to staff a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) that will coordinate our efforts. The SPC membership will be finalized in the coming days with representation from faculty, students, staff and trustees. In addition, we will scaffold “working groups” focused on academic planning, economic sustainability, campus life and climate, and facilities (and possibly other subjects) onto existing governance committees to the greatest extent possible.

We hope to finish the strategic plan and develop an implementation plan by the end of this academic year so that we can begin executing our strategic initiatives in the fall of 2019. This is an ambitious schedule and I am asking for your cooperation as we move forward.

Strategic planning is more than developing “wish lists” of our favorite projects; it requires us to make choices and set priorities. We will need to listen to each other and strive to understand points of view that may be different from our own. It offers both responsibility and opportunity for us to create a shared vision for the future of Pitzer College. The success of our strategic planning depends on our whole community being engaged and I urge all of you to join in the process.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver
President