NEC Strategic Planning Forums a Great Success
AND A SUPER WEEKEND IT WAS!
Strategic Planning Forums a Great Success
The New England College community turned out to add their voices to the Strategic Planning process on Super Weekend September 23 and 24. Each of the committees held back-to-back forums allowing excellent participation from students, faculty, staff, Trustees, and alumni. The result was a series of lively discussions focused on the five areas of study - community, campus, enrollment, learning and scholarship, and outreach.
Each of the committee co-chairs led their discussions with insightful questions and captured the responses and observations of those in attendance. The information collected at the Super Weekend forums was shared in each of the study area committees and will be reported to the full NEC community at a later date.
Demetra Blanchard, Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and co-chair of the Outreach Committee observed, “While we had a good sense of what to expect in the forums, we were offered several different perspectives depending on the make-up of the group. Students offered us one perspective while we received insight that was particular to alumni as well. The forums were valuable in that they provided us with a variety of perspectives, some that we had not thought of. They also reminded us of things that we know but were important to hear again. I think it was helpful to get so many people together. I really got the sense that participants felt their opinions were valued and that they appreciated the opportunity to share them.”
Mark Watman, Assistant Professor of Writing and co-chair of the Community Committee had a similar response. “The open forums allowed the Community Committee to hear directly from faculty members, students, administrators, Board of Trustee members, alumni, and outside consultants. We heard strong opinions and collected a wealth of insightful information on how we should envision the future of the New England College community. It was a valuable experience.”
To wrap up this portion of the Strategic Planning process, the blogs, which have been hosting a parallel conversation online, will remain open for another week. Dr. Nelly Lejter, Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and co-chair of the Enrollment Committee, found the blogs to be instrumental in facilitating this process. “The best thing about the blogs was how the comments from different people really helped us think about the topics from innovative perspectives,” she said. “The posts required us to take into account elements that we had not even thought of, and to do so in even more creative ways than we had originally imagined.”
The Strategic Planning blogs will be accessible from the College’s home page for another week. Please take a moment to check the conversations and add your voice.
In the next step of the Strategic Planning process, committee co-chairs will develop a list of aspirations based on the conversations, meetings, forums, and responses from the blogs. These aspirations will be shared with the President’s Strategic Planning Council which will coordinate and refine the list. The completed set of aspirations will then be presented to the Board of Trustees. The new strategic plan for New England College will be completed by May 2011.