The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Strategic Plan enters new phase

By Leah Lucas

While students were still on break, all on campus was not idle. The Strategic Planning team, in particular, was working harder than ever. The Steering committee, comprised of twenty-seven faculty and staff, joined by President Kington, convened on January 17th for an all-day workshop to consider as a group 72 ideas that have come from the six working groups. The committee members voted on the top ideas and 16 were selected for initial discussion. The group also identified the core areas of emphasis that the strategic planning process must address.

Angela Voos, co-chair of the strategic plan, states these as being: “to address the core areas that the board has established, to address the vision that President Kington has for Grinnell College – that is, for it to be an institution that is adaptive and responsive to an unknown future, to make sure that students are prepared for the futures they will experience and to create a strategic plan that is true to our mission and core values.”

Voos goes on to explain the current status of the Strategic Plan.

“Current work on the strategic plan is focused on developing a narrative around the five or six overarching themes that have emerged during the first semester.  After the working groups have considered these narratives and added ideas under them that they see as essential, the next step will be to consider the strategies that have risen to the top of the list and make decisions for implementation.”

A central goal of the strategic planning process is to create more flexible infrastructure to adapt to a changing world. President Kington supports the goal of strategic planning process to foster a culture of innovation and flexibility. “It is a given that institutions that are flexible and innovative will have a strategic advantage in the long-term,” Kington states.

Throughout this process, the Strategic Plan has remained committed to transparency, and for this reason, a working group on transparency was formed to accompany the other five working groups.

“We are trying to be as inclusive as we can and also as open as we can,” Voos said. “It turns out that it is very hard to keep everyone informed. Things move very quickly and it has been a bigger challenge than I thought just to keep all the lines open.”

However, there are a couple of easy ways Voos cites to keep up-to-date on the latest strategic planning news. Visiting the website can help to explain the strategic planning stages and its current progress, and the email address [] goes directly to Voos’ inbox, to which you can direct all questions, comments or concerns about the planning process.

“It is pretty exciting given what this campus has come up with,” Voos said. “I think that they have raised the level of the planning process. It feels like they are taking the core of the experience that Grinnell students and faculty and staff have and raising it to a new level.”

Although there are varying perspectives on the strategic planning process, it is important to mention some of the seemingly basic, but perhaps most essential ideas discussed. As Kington states, “No matter what happens in the future, we want to get better at connecting with our alumni and helping them to remain connected to the school and to each other.”

And that is something I think we can all agree on as the Strategic Plan moves forward to meet its big deadline in June 2012.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *