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Macalester Board of Trustees Approves Our Strategic Plan

To All Members of the Macalester Community: 

Today we write to share our newly approved strategic plan, along with our gratitude and congratulations. 

On Friday, October 7, during the fall meeting of the Macalester Board, trustees unanimously approved our most recent draft of the strategic plan. The approved plan and a one-page overview are posted on the Imagine, Macalester website. 

The plan amplifies what makes us distinctive: the powerful combination of a signature liberal arts curriculum, grounded in a residential campus experience, focused on our unique location in the vibrant Twin Cities, with an emphasis on citizenship within the wider world. It organizes initiatives into three categories–Curriculum, Culture, and Campus–and uses four foundational imperatives–Academic Distinction, Financial Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Community Well-Being–to animate our work and measure its success.

Over the past year, you helped imagine an ambitious future for the college, building on our many strengths. Our goal was to ensure that the process to develop the plan was as inclusive as possible, and that all members of our community had multiple opportunities to share their perspectives, which so many of you did! Your participation and feedback strengthened the plan. Thank you for being a part of the process, and congratulations as we move to the next stage: implementation.  

Achieving the goals outlined in the Imagine Macalester plan will require sustained involvement and deep collaboration. Recognizing the additional investment of time and effort needed to advance this ambitious agenda, the trustees approved an allocation of $1M from the college’s cash reserves for implementation activities. These funds will be used to support things such as: workshops, conferences, speakers, or site visits that further strategic priorities; pilot projects to test a course of action; payments for extra labor, changing course assignments, or staffing adjustments for those with significant responsibilities to implement elements of the plan. We will share more about this soon. 

We are delighted to announce that Paul Overvoorde and Jeff Allen will co-chair a Strategic Planning Implementation Committee. Working closely with them will be Sara Suelflow, Bethany Miller, and Julie Hurbanis. This committee will create a framework for staging the development of tactics and coordinate communication around implementation plans and progress among the Senior Leadership Team, working groups, standing committees of the faculty, the Staff Advisory Council, Macalester College Student Government, alumni, parents, and community members. They will share information on how to be involved in the implementation stage of our work.

This will continue to be an inclusive and transparent process. To that end, we pledge to keep the Imagine, Macalester website updated and to send periodic communications to all of Mac’s constituencies when we make progress on high-level milestones. We will keep the [email protected] email box open so that you can directly send suggestions and questions along the way. 

This community has leaned into imagining Macalester’s future and our work together is just beginning. Over the next weeks, months, and years we will be activating this plan together as we position Macalester College for the future. We are grateful for your commitment to Mac and we look forward to continuing to be inspired by your innovation and creativity. 

With appreciation for your support thus far and for your continued engagement in bringing our plan to life,

President Suzanne M. Rivera
Provost Lisa Anderson-Levy

October 11, 2022