Refreshing the Strategic Plan 2011-16:
Community Conversation Outcomes
Our community can take pride in recent progress on objectives established during the 2007 strategic planning. We come together now to reflect on that progress and to begin a conversation about Mount Mary's future: How as a community can we not only extend but elevate our work to carry forward the mission of our College in the most meaningful ways?
At the April 2010 College forum, the 2007-2012 strategic plan's six initiatives were reviewed: and repositioned within five new areas - Academic Excellence, Campus Renewal, Student Success, Community Impact, and Financial Vitality - with three critical factors (diversity, Catholic identity, and women's leadership) integral to all five areas. Progress in each of these areas enables us to update
Operation Refresh makes possible accelerated but thoughtful planning through multiple participatory platforms for dialogue: campus convenings, interviews with stakeholders, online surveys, and a dedicated Web site with a confidential email comment link.
The outcome will be a robust scaffold - vision, priority initiatives, strategic keys - for review by the Board of Trustees in late October and ready for building out detailed goals and objectives going forward.
Mount Mary has much to celebrate, with many advances on the goals identified in 2007. We all can take pride in the many accomplishments of recent years, and for me this is a welcome moment to thank all members of the Mount Mary community for their dedication and hard work.
Complacency or self-satisfaction, however, would be a mistake. Mount Mary has great momentum. While there assuredly will be strong challenges in the years ahead, I believe we have the people and programs with the potential to convert those challenges into opportunities for new levels of excellence and meaningful growth in line with our mission and values. To that end, we are refreshing Mount Mary’s strategic plan for 2011 – 2016. Key drivers are:
So I invite you to read on, as I consider where we’ve been, some of the demographic and economic trends with implications for higher education, and Mount Mary’s particular strengths as well as challenges. Finally, I put forward some of the probing questions I believe we must discuss, debate, and ultimately answer. I close with my dreams for our College. Dreaming out loud, I envision a future Mount Mary that fully realizes institutional potential and carries forward the legacy of our School Sisters of Notre Dame in creative and vibrant ways.
Rising cost of a college education
Ongoing economic uncertainty
List of Sources for Trends: Implications
Increasing lack of student preparedness
Rise of for-profit higher ed institutions
Continued pervasive nature of technology
Increasing demand for alternative delivery systems and around-the-clock services
Increasing calls for accountability
Increasing pressure to commit to sustainability goals
21st century learning competencies require educators to rethink what is taught and how
Benchmarking is a process relatively common in the for-profit world undertaken for the purpose of evaluating various aspects of a business in relation to best practice, typically within a company’s own industry. In recent years, benchmarking has been adopted by governments and nonprofits, including higher education institutions. In its simplest form, benchmarking is just a way to gauge one’s own performance against that of others considered to be similar (peer) or, in some way, improved (aspirant).
In 2008, Hanover Research Council (an independent research organization) undertook research designed to identify peer and aspirant institutions to Mount Mary College. The goal of the research was to identify a handful of institutions with which Mount Mary could compare itself to better understand its own operations as well as to glean best practices from others.
The pool of peer institutions was drawn from an initial list of institutions with a predominant (90% or more) enrollment of women. The list was subsequently narrowed by a number of Carnegie Classification variables. The list was then ranked using criteria and weights offered by the college.* This process generated a list of peer institutions that includes the following institutions:
A similar process generated a list of aspirant institutions that includes the following: **
* Potential women’s college peer institutions were selected based on Carnegie and IPEDS enrollments between 1,800 and 2,500. The variables and weights applied were these: Endowment (10%), Recruitment Area (20%), Average ACT (20%), Student Type Commuter (20%), and Enrollment Growth (30%).
** Potential women’s college aspirant institutions were selected based on Carnegie and IPEDS enrollments between 1,440 and 2,160 (+/- 20% of 1,800). The variables and weights applied were these: Endowment (10%), Urbanicity (10%), Pell Grant Eligibility (20%), Average ACT Score (20%), Student Type (20%), and Tuition (20%).
NOTE: This list is relevant to all Strategic Initiatives except Academic Excellence. Please refer to Academic Excellence for the individual list.