Since the time of its charter in 1946, Marist College has matured from a small, local college into a nationally recognized leader among comprehensive institutions grounded in the liberal arts. Today, Marist is a highly selective institution with an international reputation for quality and distinctiveness. We pride ourselves on developing students with the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century. The College now educates more than 5,000 students with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, and it is recognized as a leader for the manner in which it uses information technology to enhance the teaching and learning process. More than $300 million in capital construction and improvements have been implemented on the Poughkeepsie campus over the past decade alone, and the College recently received a $75 million gift including a 60-acre riverfront estate in Esopus, New York, and an endowment to support the Raymond A. Rich Institute for Leadership Development. Additionally, the reach of the College has grown to include a branch campus in Florence, Italy, an extension site in Fishkill, New York, and a global online presence.
The College's Strategic Plan 2004-2009, Building on Success, recognized that Marist has done many things well in the half-century since its founding. But as the College has changed, so too has the world around it, including the landscape of higher education. Students graduating from Marist today are entering an increasingly complex and closely networked global economy with a unique set of opportunities and challenges. In order to fulfill its mission, the College must find a way to balance a continued commitment to the guiding principles and traditions that have contributed to its success with the need for innovation and change.
In May 2010, President Dennis J. Murray named a 40-person Steering Committee, and the College embarked on a yearlong, comprehensive, institution-wide strategic planning process. This process was broad-based and inclusive; it engaged students, faculty, administrative staff, alumni, trustees, and other stakeholders in shaping the institution's strategic direction for the next five years. Opinions were solicited in person through 12 Steering Committee meetings, five Board Planning Retreats, 12 campus-wide briefings, and seven academic-school meetings. In addition, the College made use of its extensive technology platform to distribute draft documents electronically for community review and comment.
The key issues at the heart of the planning process were two basic yet multifaceted questions: Does the direction proposed in the Plan make the College a stronger, more distinctive, and more competitive institution? Furthermore, does it help us to construct a long-term, sustainable economic model with a value proposition that attracts students, an economic proposition that enables the College to enhance its solid financial position, and a people proposition that allows the College to attract and retain the type of faculty and staff capable of delivering the value proposition?
Drawing from a comprehensive analysis of the College's strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats, as well as the recommendations of all constituent groups, the Steering Committee identified eight broad, institution-level Strategic Goals. These Strategic Goals represent a continued commitment to the College's historic institutional strengths, as well as the identification of new directions for experimentation and growth. Knowing that vision becomes reality only where the path for implementation is clear and concrete, targeted and achievable initiatives support each Goal, shaping a vision for the future that is linked to the College's annual operating plans.
The development of this Plan would not have been possible without the active involvement of the Steering Committee members, who gave so generously of their time and insights. We are also especially grateful to members of the Board of Trustees for the direction and guidance they provided throughout the planning process. It is with gratitude to the collective wisdom of the campus community and great confidence in the inclusiveness of our process that we present this Strategic Plan, an important step in continuing and enhancing the success of Marist College.