President Pamela Gann recently sent out an update to the student body, titled “Updating and Refreshing CMC’s Strategic Plan,” announcing the beginning of a formal review of CMC’s strategic plan. Enrollment, admissions, facilities, athletics, and other topics are slated for evaluation, but some “essential characteristics” are off the table. Details are available in the message, posted in its entirety below.
CMC is among the premier liberal arts colleges in the world, and we are poised to attain even greater distinction. To continue our positive trajectory, a well envisioned and executed strategic plan is a critical need for the Board of Trustees, the President and senior administrative leadership, the faculty, students, and alumni.
In 2002, the College established a strategic plan to help guide us over the ensuing decade. In that plan, we solidified our mission and the teacher-scholar model, and identified top priorities for Admission and Financial Aid, Faculty, Curriculum, Institutes, Student Life, Alumni Affairs, Public Affairs, Financial Planning and Human Resources, and various aspects of the College’s Master Plan, along with key indicators by which to measure our progress. I am pleased to say that, in following our plan, we have made significant strides. For example, our admissions rate has fallen from 25% in 2002, to 16% in 2009, establishing CMC among the top five most selective national liberal arts colleges, and as provided for in the plan, we have reduced the number of in-state students to around 35%, and increased our international enrollments substantially. Our graduation rate has increased to 94%. Our faculty recruiting has been extremely robust and successful, and we continue to make progress in many other areas.
The Board of Trustees and I believe that our 2002 strategic plan has served us well, but now it is time to review, update, and refresh our overall plan to guide us as we move into the next five years and beyond. In this updating process, we ought to examine and hone certain areas that we need to adapt to the changing environment for our students and our financial sources. This effort would not revisit, however, essential characteristics surrounding key aspects of the College, such as: our mission; CMC as a residential –student centered College; our teacher-scholar model for faculty; the balance across various aspects of the College; and our commitment to the consortium.
At its May 2009 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved proceeding with updating and refreshing our plan, and also approved a number of areas to review in this process. These include:
1. Enrollment Growth in Claremont
2. Admission and Financial Aid
3. Selected Topics in Academic Affairs as it Relates to the Faculty and the Curriculum
4. Master Planning of the Campus
5. Financial Planning
6. The Role of Athletics at the College
The strategic planning work will be conducted through existing standing committees of the faculty and the Board of Trustees; therefore, we will not establish a separate set of strategic planning committees. Also, the timeline to complete the work is this academic year, with the Board’s plan to approve the new strategic plan at its May 2010 meeting.
I already appreciate the involvement of students and staff in our master planning efforts to date. As our strategic planning work continues, I will provide updates on our progress during this academic year.
Pamela B. Gann