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Strategic Plan Implementation Update: January 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Last Tuesday, nearly 200 faculty and staff colleagues met to hear an update on our strategic plan implementation, and to provide input on draft changes to Macalester’s Statement of Student Learning.

Paul Overvoorde shared the following updates on ways the plan, and the work of the strategic plan working groups, is shaping what is happening on campus and decisions that are being made. The process continues to be inclusive and iterative and has led to the following progress:

  • Zero-based budgeting–This spring, with input from each division, the college’s Task Force on Budget (TFOB) is working on a FY25 budget recommendation, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their May 2024 meeting. 
  • Campus–Multiple elements of Phase I in the Campus Comprehensive Plan are being implemented. The graphic, below, provides an overview of that work.
Campus comprehensive plan timeline graphic
  • Culture–Progress has been made in both student and employee well-being initiatives:
    • Student well-being updates include: international students can use financial aid for study away; the college added an option for winter break housing; Mac Nav was introduced to streamline access to student resources, and the timing of student move-in and orientation was adjusted.
    • Employee well-being updates include: the hiring of Kara Zetzman, the college’s first training and development manager; work on compensation transparency (including an external review of the staff salary grade structure); establishing the exceptional performance awards; making the winter break a permanent employee benefit; and updating the parental leave policy for staff and NTT faculty, which was announced during the session and in an email from Human Resources.
  • Curriculum
    • EPAG is supporting a pilot set of Introduction to the Liberal Arts first-year courses for fall 2024; the EPAG ad hoc curricular committee is gathering input on elements of potential curricular change; SPA is discussing the weekly schedule; and one of the working groups is gathering data about high-impact practices and the breakdown of participation in order to inform strategies to amplify these experiences for all students.
    • Bethany Miller and Joan Ostrove (co-chairs) highlighted the work of the Student Learning Committee (SLC) to revise the current Statement of Student Learning. The SLC is advancing this revision by developing a Statement of Community learning that will serve as a succinct preamble to an updated set of Institutional Learning Outcomes. The SLC will share updates with the community this spring.

Next steps:

  • Faculty and Staff: Register for the February 15, 2024 and March 21, 2024 Strategic Plan Implementation sessions. These Thursday sessions will take place in Kagin- lunch available at 11:15 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.

With gratitude for your continued engagement,

Paul Overvoorde, Bethany Miller, Sara Suelflow, Julie Hurbanis
Strategic Plan Implementation Committee