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Strategic Plan Implementation Update

Dear Macalester Community:

Since the Macalester Board of Trustees unanimously approved the college’s Imagine, Macalester strategic plan, we have organized implementation efforts and several groups have begun work on elements of the plan. 

As we meet with groups around campus, we hear excitement about the plan and the participatory process that led to its creation. Our discussions with the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC), the Academic Department Chairs, the Chair of the Strategic Planning and Analysis (SPA) committee, the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), and the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) Executive Board have provided important insights about opportunities and barriers that different approaches to plan implementation will have for different constituencies. We look forward to conversations with others on campus as well as our Alumni Board and Parent Council. Finding ways to balance the energy and impulse towards action while being intentional about the pace of this work is important as we center the well-being of our community members.  

Many of the strategic initiatives and goals are interconnected. Meeting the foundational imperatives of the plan—academic distinction, financial sustainability, social responsibility, and community well-being—requires action from multiple areas of the Macalester community. Groups such as the Task Force on the Budget (TFOB) and the Twin Cities Advisory Task Force, composed of alumni, have been working to advance elements of the plan. Additional examples include:

  • Curriculum: Committees in the existing governance structure have begun work that will inform curricular efforts. FAC has added implementation to their regular agenda and invited us to attend these sessions to share information and gather feedback.  SPA is composed of faculty, staff, and students and will prepare two working papers. This semester, their focus is on four-year developmental curricula and next term they will examine issues related to the academic calendar. 
  • Culture: The Institutional Research and Assessment  team is in the process of analyzing the responses to our Campus Climate surveys (student survey fielded in October and November of 2021 and faculty/staff survey fielded in February and March of 2022). Summaries of the initial analyses are being shared with various campus constituencies in order to invite different perspectives into the process of making meaning of the data.  The outcome of these efforts will inform and assist with assessing potential tactics for addressing aspects of campus culture described in the strategic plan. A big thank you to those students, staff, and faculty who completed the surveys. The employee response rate for the HEDS Diversity & Equity Campus Climate Survey was 71%.
  • Campus: The Comprehensive Campus Plan steering committee led by Nathan Lief includes faculty, staff, students, and alumni. As many of you know, this group is currently assessing campus infrastructure through the lenses of sustainability, the residential and campus-life experience, the academic experience, and community connections. The architecture firm HGA is working with the committee to guide data gathering and to assist in plan development. This committee intends to finalize a report at the end of the spring term. We extend our appreciation to those who participated in the campus-wide survey and the listening sessions this committee has held so far this fall. 

Please stay tuned for opportunities to be involved in this work. We recognize that not everyone will participate in every conversation or working group. We do, however, anticipate providing multiple opportunities for participation, input, and communicating about implementation activities. The next few months will be a period of foundational work and we look forward to sharing a community-wide update early in 2023. In the meantime, we invite you to visit the strategic plan website and to send questions or suggestions to [email protected].


Paul Overvoorde and Jeff Allen
Co-chairs, Strategic Planning Implementation Committee

November 16, 2022