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Imagine, Macalester: February Update

Dear Macalester Community,

This email is part of a series of updates on our strategic planning process. Previous updates can be found here

A huge thanks to our Strategic Planning Champions who have spent the past few months asking for your input and listening to your suggestions. And thanks to all of you for your participation in our Imagine, Macalester process so far. Below we highlight additional opportunities for engagement as the next stage of the process approaches. As we shared in our December update, the more members of our community who participate in the strategic planning process, the stronger our plan for the future will be.

Following are examples of the many ways we are engaging with, and gathering ideas and input from, various college constituencies:

Current faculty, staff, and students

  • Our campus kick-off events in mid-November, led by Credo, our strategic planning consultant 
  • Listening sessions held generally for all faculty, and for specific groups, including BIPOC and NTT faculty
  • A listening session for all students, with break-outs for students who hold specific identities; in addition, student Champions met 1:1 with interested students, as well as with a range of student groups
  • Listening sessions held generally for all staff, and for specific groups, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ staff 
  • Regular updates and links to the strategic planning survey in direct emails, Mac Daily communication, and campus signage

Alumni and parents

  • Two Town Hall listening sessions in January, one for all parents and one for all alumni
  • Broad listening sessions hosted by alumni Champions for all alumni, and hosted by parent Champions for all parents
  • Specific listening sessions with designated groups including the Alumni Board, Class Agents, alumni of color, Career Task Force, and international alumni
  • Regular updates and links to the strategic planning survey in direct emails and in the Mac Wire newsletter

Our neighbors and community leaders

  • Twin Cities Advisory task force discussion
  • High Winds Fund Committee discussion
  • Meetings to come this spring for community leaders and neighborhood partners

Our Board of Trustees

  • An introduction to Credo at the October Board meeting
  • A listening session next week with members of the senior leadership team and representatives from Credo 

We want to provide you with information about next steps with special attention to a couple of ways in which we’ll solicit your feedback (in bold): 


  • You are strongly encouraged to continue to share your ideas via the strategic planning survey by February 28, the last date to submit input for the “dreaming” phase of the process. Look for additional ways to provide feedback on the submitted ideas in March.
  • The senior leadership team and the Champions will begin to review and aggregate all of your input to develop broad themes that will guide our work. That work will continue in March.


  • Broad themes will be shared with the various community constituencies for feedback to ensure we have understood your input correctly before further refining them into proposed priorities.
  • Members of the community who wish to engage on the themes will be invited to additional discussion sessions to flesh them out.


  • Champions and the senior leadership team will review feedback on the broad themes and will develop 3-5 high-level priorities to present to the Board of Trustees at the May Board meeting.


  • Following Board approval of the proposed priorities, the college’s senior leadership team will use the summer to develop measurable goals and objectives that align with each priority. These will form the basis for the draft plan.

Late August/September

  • We will share the draft plan with the community and will request and welcome additional feedback from all of you prior to presenting the draft plan to the Board at the October Board meeting.


  • The plan, including key success metrics and methods for assessing and periodically reporting on progress, will be presented to the Board for its approval. 

As always, questions and suggestions can be directed to [email protected], and we hope you continue to follow along on updates shared via the Imagine, Macalester hub at

With gratitude,

Dr. Suzanne M. Rivera, President
Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy, Executive Vice President and Provost

February 16, 2022