What's in store for Whitman College in the near future?
Roundtable sessions are taking place nationwide with Whitman alumni, parents and friends as the next step in the college's recently announced comprehensive Strategic Planning Initiative. Input from alumni, parents and friends is vital at this stage, according to John Bogley '85, vice president for development and alumni relations.
"The events we are holding this winter and spring will engage all who attend in envisioning how we can best strengthen Whitman," Bogley said. "All the input we receive will be collated and presented to the Strategic Planning Committee as that group continues its work toward defining four to six strategic imperatives."
Gatherings were slated for this winter in areas with large alumni populations, including Southern and Northern California, Walla Walla and Seattle. Additional discussions occurred in New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland and Spokane. President Kathleen M. Murray attended many of these meetings to gather feedback from the wider Whitman community. Feedback can also be provided online.
Whitman began a comprehensive Strategic Planning Initiative last fall to determine the college's direction for the next five years and beyond. The Strategic Planning Committee—comprised of faculty and staff, students and representatives from the college governing boards—will finalize and announce the goals by the end of this year.
Since the creation of the Strategic Planning Committee last year, a number of themes have emerged in talks with groups on- and off-campus: diversity, equity and inclusion; access; the academic program; the power of place; and life after Whitman.
"The opportunities and challenges facing higher education in general and Whitman in particular are fascinating and complex," said Strategic Planning Committee Co-chair Nancy Serrurier.
"The alumni and parent roundtables are an invaluable way for the Strategic Planning Committee to hear from important constituents in a format conducive to thoughtful conversation."
Serrurier, who is vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, heads the committee alongside Murray and Chair of the Faculty Melissa Clearfield.