A Message from the Strategic Planning Committee

Dear Pitzer Community,

We write on behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) to update you on the College’s strategic planning process and to let you know about important opportunities to participate during the coming months.

Thank you to all who were able to participate in last week’s strategic planning meetings and activities, as well as the activities held during the first week of October. We are grateful that so many of you have taken the time to attend and contribute thoughtfully to the planning process.

Our activities to date have included the following, all of which have been facilitated by our strategic planning consultants, Keeling & Associates (K&A):

  • Discussion during the October 4 College Council meeting, attended by approximately 110 individuals.
  • Idea Wall exercises on Monday, November 5 and Tuesday, November 6 in the McConnell lobby, which was visited by students, as well as faculty and staff, over the course of six hours—drawing well over 700 responses to the six questions.
  • Presentation and discussion during the October 12 Board of Trustees meeting.
  • 48 individual and small group interviews, which were attended by approximately 225 faculty, staff, students, parents, and staff members from the Claremont Colleges Services.
  • Meetings on November 5-7 with each of the three Working Groups to identify key issues to be discussed during the strategic planning process and to discuss data and information needed to consider these issues

Whether or not you had the opportunity to participate in these activities, we hope you will participate in a confidential online survey, open to all members of the Pitzer community (faculty, staff, students, parents, trustees, and alumni). The first phase of the survey is set to launch on Tuesday, November 27, and will ask questions about your experiences and your ideas and recommendations for Pitzer’s future. Your participation is essential to ensuring Pitzer’s next strategic plan truly reflects the goals of its community.

In addition to the survey, our next steps include the following:

  • K&A will share a summary of the Idea Wall activities, including the number of comments and themes and ideas generated. We will share that summary on our website.
  • Members of the SPC and Working Groups will meet regularly between now and the end of the semester to discuss emerging issues and ideas for the strategic plan.
  • Members of the SPC and Working Groups may also engage additional members of the Pitzer community in conversation to ensure as many voices as possible are heard during this process.
  • During intersession, K&A will analyze all of the data collected to date and create a list of preliminary themes. These themes will be shared with the College community during K&A’s next visit, likely in early February.

If you would like to share feedback on any of these activities, or the planning process in general, please feel free to contact the co-chairs or a member of the SPC

With best wishes for the remainder of the semester and a restful Thanksgiving break.

Brinda Sarathy and Don Gould
Co-Chairs, Strategic Planning Committee

Strategic Planning Committee

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) membership is comprised of two members from each group faculty, staff, students and trustees.

Faculty: Brinda Sarathy (co-chair) and Melissa Coleman
Staff: Carlos Alvarez ’15, Mike Segawa
Students: Matthew Brunstad ’20, Brendan Schultz ’20
Trustees: Don Gould (co-chair) and Shahan Soghikian ’80, P’20

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