The Strategic Plan October 2020

The Strategic Plan 2020

 

In 2020 and beyond, St. Olaf College will continue to advance its mission of challenging students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.  The college intends to foster excellent experiences and outcomes for all its students in an inclusive community where students, faculty, and staff alike can thrive and find meaningful belonging.

To accomplish these purposes, the College has adopted the following strategic priorities through Fall 2023:

Priority I: Ensure and sustain robust and equitable engagement with high impact educational practices, both for students overall and for students from underrepresented groups.

  1. Maintain robust and equitable participation in vocation- and career-related high-impact learning experiences, such as internships, practicums, and mentored undergraduate research, so that approximately 85% of students complete one or more such experiences, and the participation of students from underrepresented groups is similar to or higher than the participation of St. Olaf students overall.
  2. Maintain robust and equitable participation in off-campus study, so that approximately 70% of students complete one or more off-campus courses or programs, and the participation of students from underrepresented groups is similar to or higher than the participation of St. Olaf students overall.
  3. Ensure high-quality and equitable academic advising of all students, resulting in student ratings of their advising interactions in the National Survey of Student Engagement that exceed the mean results for other participating baccalaureate colleges and show improvement over previous administrations of the survey, and with ratings by students from underrepresented groups that are similar to or higher than ratings by St. Olaf students overall.
  4. Ensure high-quality, accessible, and equitable opportunities for all students to discern and pursue vocation, resulting in 95% or more of seniors securing employment, pursuing further education,  and/or pursuing full-time service within the first six months of graduation, with outcomes for students from underrepresented groups that are similar to or better than outcomes for St. Olaf students overall.

Priority II: Enrich student experiences in co-curricular and residential life, both for students overall and for students from underrepresented groups.

  1. Ensure and sustain robust and equitable participation in high-quality co-curricular programs and activities, so that the participation of students from underrepresented groups is similar to or higher than the participation of St. Olaf students overall.
  2. Reduce the incidence of high-risk behaviors associated with alcohol and drug use, resulting in National College Health Assessment results that are lower than the mean results for other participating institutions and lower than results from previous administrations of the survey at St. Olaf, and with outcomes for students from underrepresented groups that are similar to or lower than outcomes for St. Olaf students overall.
  3. Prevent and remedy sexual misconduct involving members of the St. Olaf community by continuing to enhance education, training, reporting and support.
  4. By Spring 2021, develop a plan for continued renovation of existing residence halls, with priorities and timelines that are congruent with the timeline for the new residential housing project and the Spring 2021 six-year physical development plan.

Priority III: Continue to increase the racial and cultural diversity of St. Olaf students, faculty, and staff

  1. Continue to increase the percentage of domestic students of color enrolling each year, so that by Fall 2023, the percentage of St. Olaf first-year students of color is similar to or higher than the median percentage for first-year students enrolling in our strategic comparison group institutions.
  2. Increase sustained engagement among students who are racially and culturally different from one another, so that St. Olaf’s “Discussions with Diverse Others” engagement indicator in the National Survey of Student Engagement exceeds the mean indicator for other baccalaureate colleges and shows improvement over previous administrations of the survey.
  3. Continue to increase faculty diversity through recruitment, such that at least 25% of new tenure-track faculty hires (on a rolling three-year average) will be domestic persons of color.
  4. Continue to increase staff diversity through recruitment, such that the percentage of domestic persons of color among our staff is similar to or higher than the percentage of domestic persons of color in the College’s hiring markets.

Priority IV: Advance retention and graduation rates

  1. By Fall 2023, achieve consistent first-to-second-year retention above 95%, with rates for students from underrepresented groups that are similar to or higher than rates for St. Olaf students overall.
  2. By Fall 2023, achieve a consistent four-year graduation rate above 85% and six-year rate above 90%, with rates for students from underrepresented groups that are similar to or higher than rates for St. Olaf students overall.

Priority V: Enhance programs and processes for faculty and staff development

  1. Improve employee opportunities for professional development programs and resources provided by the college.
  2. Expand employee professional development opportunities that advance anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.

Priority VI: Enhance fiscal sustainability

  1. Continue to manage costs through careful stewardship of resources such that expenditure growth does not exceed revenue growth.
  2. Continue to prepare and execute balanced annual operating budgets.
  3. Reduce the percentage of the operating budget funded by the comprehensive fee by increasing current, or establishing new, revenue streams.
    1. Preserve the purchasing power of the Endowment by achieving long-term returns that exceed expenditures on spending policy allocations, inflation, and endowment management fees.
    2. Examine programs and resources that have the capacity to generate additional revenue, and develop and execute plans for revenue generation as appropriate to the findings.

Approved by the St. Olaf College Board of Regents, October 2020

Progress Report