In December 2015, the University of Mount Union concluded Advancing Excellence, an ambitious five-year strategic plan that focused on the curriculum, the student experience, enrollment, diversity, financial stability, and visibility. As the close of the plan neared, the University began work to create a new strategic plan, one that would build upon the successes of the previous plan and help propel the University into the future.
The planning process began in the summer of 2015. Board of Trustees Chair Allen Green and newly appointed University President Dick Merriman consulted with trustees, administrators, and staff to determine the best means to undertake an inclusive planning process.
As a result of this consultation, the University engaged Dr. Carol Christ, president emerita of Smith College and a consultant with the Association of Governing Boards, to stimulate and lead campus conversations about the planning process. Dr. Christ visited the campus several times in the fall of 2015/early 2016, meeting with the Board of Trustees and with faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
Dr. Christ’s recommendations have informed the planning work undertaken since December 2015. The entire University community participated in a planning discussion in early January 2016. Members of the University’s administration and faculty who facilitated those January discussions participated in a similar planning retreat with members of the Board of Trustees later in January. At their January meeting, Mount Union’s trustees formally authorized the creation of a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, chaired by president Merriman.
After months of work, and with input and assistance from many members of the University community, the Steering Committee has prepared a proposed strategic plan that is realistic and aspirational, that leverages the University’s existing strengths and recent accomplishments, that builds on the successes of Advancing Excellence, and that focuses on the student experience. The proposed plan is not meant to address all the important tasks the University will undertake in the next five years. It focuses, instead, on areas that provide the most opportunity for innovation, growth, and continued excellence.
The timetable calls for the plan to be presented to the faculty with a request for its approval on Monday, September 19 and for the plan to be reviewed and endorsed by the Board of Trustees at its October 7 meeting.