During its planning work, the Steering Committee acted on the recommendations offered by Dr. Carol Christ, president emerita of Smith College and a consultant with the Association of Governing Boards, who had been engaged to stimulate and lead campus conversations about the planning process. Dr. Christ made the following recommendations:
- The planning process should result in greater campus understanding of the current situation of Mount Union and of higher education generally.
- The process for developing the plan should be inclusive and collaborative, with broad involvement by the University’s people.
- As the process unfolds, the community should receive updates about its progress and there should be multiple opportunities for University community members to contribute suggestions to and perspectives about the plan.
Concerning the plan itself, Dr. Christ recommended the following:
- The plan’s focus should be institution-wide and student-centric.
- It should clarify Mount Union’s value proposition and what differentiates the University in its competitive environment.
- The plan should address the lack of nimbleness and agility at Mount Union and should focus on improving communication, empowerment, and trust within the University.
- Mount Union’s strategic plan should focus on diversifying sources of revenue.
- The plan should be forward-looking, not an opportunity to return to arguments of the past, and it should be fact-driven.
- The strategic plan should contain goals that express measurable outcomes that are realistically aligned with the University’s available resources.