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Strategic Plan

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Dear members of the Marist College community, 

We are writing with an update on behalf of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee (SPSC), and to announce the formation of six working groups as we enter the next phase of the process to create Marist College’s new strategic plan. 

These groups are organized around six themes that emerged from a robust community-engagement process. Over the fall semester, the SPSC hosted a total of 23 listening sessions, including some with the overall College community, as well as smaller sessions with individual committees, departments, student groups, and other friends and supporters. A complete list of these sessions can be found here. More than five hundred members of the Marist community, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, and others, also completed a survey focused on the College’s mission, values, and future priorities.  

The SPSC reviewed feedback from these listening sessions and survey, as well as the outputs of Cabinet and Trustee planning retreats, presidential priorities articulated by President Weinman, opportunities identified throughout the Middle States self-study process, and individual suggestions submitted via email. After considering the many worthy priorities and ideas generated by this process, we distilled these inputs and ideas into six emergent themes: 

  • Academic Excellence (co-chaired by Addrain Conyers and Alicia Slater) – This working group will explore curricular and pedagogical innovations and the development of undergraduate and graduate programs to prepare our students to succeed in an ever-changing world.   This working group will consider the future of research, professional development, and teaching at Marist. It will also investigate the future of high-impact practices and how best to enhance and embed active, applied, collaborative, community-engaged, problem-based, and integrative learning in all programs.
  • Student Success (co-chaired by Eitel Lauria and Matt McMahon) – This working group is charged with exploring the development of more robust academic and co-curricular support services to enhance satisfaction and success for all student populations. The focus of this group will be on supporting the student journey from enrollment through graduation and beyond. It will examine strategies to increase student retention, persistence, and success, including academic advisement and other academic support services, health and wellness, student engagement, the residential experience, and athletics and other recreational activities. 
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (co-chaired by Edward Antonio and John Bartlett) – This working group will examine strategies to make Marist a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community with a welcoming campus culture and sense of belonging. It will investigate strategies to ensure equity in all aspects of the Marist experience, and how best to support students, faculty, and staff in their own learning and development. The working group will further examine strategies for embedding DEI in the curriculum and providing faculty with the requisite support to help them make their classrooms and their pedagogies equitable and inclusive.  
  • Internationalizing Marist (co-chaired by Jessica Boscarino and John Peters) – This working group is charged with exploring internationalization as a “strategic, coordinated framework that integrates policies, programs, initiatives, and individuals,” to further position the College as “globally oriented and internationally connected” (American Council on Education, 2022). The group will explore international student programs, recruitment and support services, education abroad, curriculum and co-curriculum, faculty and staff support, and institutional policies to help our students prepare for success in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Special attention will be given to establishing support structures to facilitate study abroad and the international student experience at our Poughkeepsie and Italy branch campuses.   
  • Innovation (co-chaired by Alan Labouseur and Julin Sharp) – This working group is charged with identifying opportunities to create a culture of innovation at Marist. It will examine technologies to enhance student and employee experiences, and develop strategies to make Marist a more integrated, interdisciplinary, creative, responsive, and collaborative community. This working group will articulate bold ideas that will ensure the long-term vitality and sustainability (environmental, financial, and operational) of the College, especially as institutions of higher education continue to face myriad challenges.  
  • Elevating Marist (co-chaired by Sean Kaylor and Daryl Richard) – The focus of this group is to explore strategies to make Marist a school of choice for talented students from increasingly diverse backgrounds and geographies. A central part of their work will be the identification of strategies to better tell the Marist story, highlighting student, faculty, staff, and alumni successes in order to further enhance the College’s reputation and reach, introducing Marist to new audiences. They will also investigate opportunities to enhance access and affordability, such that talented students who are admitted to Marist do not face financial barriers to enrollment or participation in the many opportunities that define a Marist experience.  

The co-chairs of each working group will be joined by a diverse and representative group of 8-10 other faculty, students, staff, alumni, and trustees. A complete list of working group members can be found here. Our thanks to all working group members for their willingness to lend both their time and insights to this portion of the process. 

With respect to next steps, the working groups have been charged with the following tasks:  

  • analyzing the internal and external environment by assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; 
  • investigating and reporting on successful and innovative offices, programs, and initiatives at other higher education institutions;   
  • envisioning new and creative approaches that leverage Marist’s unique identity and strengths;  
  • proposing preliminary strategies and tactics, and with providing a brief justification of each strategy using the internal and external assessment as well as research; and  
  • providing an analysis of the institutional sustainability of the preliminary strategies, and determining metrics of success, assessment, and accountability. 

We will look forward to sharing the progress of the working groups, and to actively engaging our campus community throughout the spring semester, as the plan’s strategic direction and structure begin to take shape. While we will hold some all-campus events and updates, we also intend to continue meeting with individual committees, schools, and departments upon request. If you have an idea, question, comment, or would like to invite the SPSC to participate in a meeting or event, please don’t hesitate to contact us via  

Our thanks again for your active participation in shaping the future direction of Marist – best wishes to all who are preparing for a successful beginning of the spring semester. 

Emily and James 

Emily Saland and James Snyder 

Co-Chairs, Strategic Plan Steering Committee