The Process

Early in 2016, President Chapdelaine, based on responses to a campus climate survey and her “listening tour” of campus constituents since her arrival in July 2015, proposed three pillars or themes for the next strategic plan: Academic Excellence, Partnerships, and Strengthening the Hood Community.

In fall 2016, the planning, budgeting and assessment committee (PBAC) was tasked by the president to develop the College’s strategic plan, slated to begin in July 2017. In order to encourage widespread input from all constituents, members of the PBAC facilitated a series of brainstorming sessions. These sessions included three campus-wide forums for faculty and staff for each of the strategic pillars, respectively, a meeting of the Board of Associates, graduate and undergraduate forums, and a session with the Alumni Executive Board. In addition, a digital town hall was created to provide resources (i.e., self-study, SWOT analysis, institutional and benchmark data, relevant readings, notes from discussion sessions, etc.) and further facilitate community-wide discussion and feedback.

In January 2017, the PBAC developed a draft of possible strategic objectives based on the input from all constituent groups, as well as a revised vision and values statement. These were then shared with the entire Hood community through a campus forum. Via an electronic survey, the proposed strategic objectives were distributed to faculty, staff, the Student Government executive board, the Student Senate, the Graduate Student Association, and the Alumni Executive Board. Specifically, participants were asked to prioritize each of the proposed objectives in terms of importance. This feedback was then used by the PBAC to develop a final list of proposed strategic objectives. In March 2017, the Board of Trustees held an all-day retreat, in which they first brainstormed their own possible strategic objectives and then reviewed and gave feedback on those drafted by the PBAC. 

The PBAC then created a draft strategic plan that incorporated all input received to date, and also created goals for key institutional metrics. In April and May 2017, the draft strategic plan was shared with all campus constituents – the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, students, the Board of Associates and the Alumni Executive Board for a final round of comment and input. Based on this feedback, the PBAC produced a final draft of a proposed strategic plan, which the Board of Trustee’s approved at the June 2017 board meeting. After approval, the PBAC, in consultation with appropriate constituents, developed action steps, a timeline and metrics for each strategic objective. Person(s) responsible for monitoring progress for each objective and resources needed were also determined. 

Concurrent to the development of the strategic plan, the community reviewed and gave feedback on the College’s mission statement, again through a campus forum and electronic channels. The draft mission statement was the focus of a strategic discussion at the June 2016 Board of Trustees meeting and was subsequently approved by the board. The revised mission was significantly shortened from the previous version; however, the core tenets remained largely unchanged. The new mission places a greater emphasis on the student as an active participant in the learning experience and also on the importance of preparing students for civic engagement. Following the approval of the mission, the president, in consultation with the chair and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, developed a statement of the College vision and values, which are included in this plan. 

This strategic plan was developed from a highly participatory and inclusive process, informed by internal and external data and thus, we believe, represents the best thinking of Hood’s community, reflecting the core values, vision and our shared commitment to a stronger and exciting future for Hood.