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Process and Progress / Request for proposals and process update

Request for proposals and process update

STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE: Request for proposals and process update


Date: February 24, 2011

To: Hampshire College Community

From: Bill Brayton, Chair Strategic Planning Committee

Subject: Request for proposals and strategic planning process update.

The strategic planning committee continues to invite written proposals for projects that will have a deep impact on the future of Hampshire College. For full consideration, proposals must reach the committee by March 9. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Examples of projects may include:

  New or reorganized major program
  Major change in policy or methods
  A study
  Building or other construction

The strategic planning website is available at:

On the site you will find the committee membership, a list of links to background materials, notes on process and progress, meeting minutes, and a community discussion board ( The discussion board is a forum for collecting input from you regarding your experience during the visioning sessions, your thoughts on the briefing documents, and other information that can be found at, as well as comments and suggestions for the strategic planning process. You may also submit your comments via email at:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Below is an in-progress timeline for the SPC's work as well as a detailed list of our nine (again in-progress) thematic areas. Also included is the subcommittee membership specific to each theme.


What Could The Final Plan Look Like And Who Would Do The Work?

  No "standard" method of developing or presenting content
  Use sufficient language to explain while maintaining interest; briefer is better.
  Format, detail, and length vary widely. Mt. Holyoke's plan is 38 pages (without appendices). Middlebury's plan is   70 pages. Hamilton's plan is 20 pages.

Suggested Content and Responsibilities

  Diana Fernandez will draft the final plan to help with consistent voice.
  Table of Contents [Diana]
  Introduction: How will this plan help Hampshire? [Marlene]
  Dashboard [Mark]
  Method: How did we evaluate initiatives? [SPC]
  Vision: Hampshire's future as seen through the Visioning Forums [SPC]
  Statement of Mission and Values
  Mission: What are we here to do?
  Vision: Where are we headed?
  Values: What are our values and how do they inform our plan? [SPC]
  Themes and Initiatives [SPC]
  List of Appendices provided on-line [Diana]

Themes And Initiatives (Projects)

The Work Of The Subcommittees

Theme Development

  Each theme can be explained in a few paragraphs by incorporating the following elements:
  What areas did you consider within your broad theme?; bulletize them, if you wish
  Critical issue statement (the opportunity we hope to exploit or the problem we're attempting to solve); typically 3-5 paragraph statement--it can be divided into sections, if you wish.
  Use the existing critical issues paper or generate new
  Explain what critical problem or opportunity you address
  Each theme will be followed by the relevant initiatives

Generic Examples of Initiatives

  New or reorganized major program
  Major change in policy or methods
  A Study
  Building or other construction

Specific Examples of Initiative Language

  We will increase the diversity of our faculty by increasing the fraction of international faculty by 5%. NOTE QUANTITATIVE TARGET HERE.
  To help our students compete for major fellowships and scholarships, we will develop an intensive training program to include multiple rounds of interview simulations.
  We will strengthen the bond between students and College by developing a new program of all-campus lectures focused on the world's major challenges.
  We will create a master plan to determine desirable changes to the physical environment and needed additional buildings. This plan will incorporate a space study to examine the utilization of existing spaces.

Some of your projects may come directly from the list of ongoing initiatives that Alan and Marlene generated. This is on our website (

Evaluating Proposed Projects

Before you propose a project to the SPC, please do the following:

First apply a High Level Screen (no documentation needed from you)
  Is the project strategic vs. tactical? If tactical, get it off to a vp, dean, or Marlene for implementation.
  Is it discrete and implementable?
  Can we implement it within the 3-5 year time line?
  If not, put it in the long-term bin. Maintain a long-term bin.
  Does it require one or more subject matter experts? If so, consult them or add them to your subcommittee.

For each initiative that passes through the first screen, apply a second.
Detailed Level Screen
Here, please document the application of the high level screen
The screen: (assign High, Medium, or Low for each of the following and share these evaluations with the SPC)
  Project impact
  Probability of success
  Impact of not doing
  External funding probability
  Provide a rough cost estimate (using subject matter experts)

Sources for Potential Initiatives

  Visioning sessions
  SPC generated
  Monday Group
  Board of Trustees
  Any other campus constituency
  Strategic planning discussion board
  MC 2.0
  Existing Strategic Initiatives List
  New ideas will come to the committee, even as others are evaluated and put to paper. The watchword here will be flexibility. We should be prepared to reevaluate and reprioritize projects to the last moment.

Content And Format

  Mount Holyoke's strategic plan includes almost 30 themes subsuming roughly 120 actionable activities and studies.
  Middlebury's plan has 6 themes and 90 actionable initiatives.
  Colgate's plan included 14 themes and some 85 actionable projects.
  Hamilton College's plan included 6 themes and 85 projects, 15 of which required capital construction.
  Based on our last meeting, the SPC is likely to propose 9 themes, give or take. We're recommending that the subcommittees restrict the number of project recommendations to 5-7, with a bias toward the former, realizing that some areas may have more and some fewer.

One question: many more initiatives will be proposed than included in the plan because of the screens. Do we somehow post those and make them available?

Time line

  Subcommittees meet continuously until March 23. Each committee reports out each week on initiatives under consideration. SPC provides feedback with respect to specific proposed projects throughout.
  SPC evaluates final projects to be recommended to the President. March 23-30. Marlene responds.
  SPC presents project recommendations to the Monday Group for feedback. April 4.
  SPC incorporates feedback and modifies projects, if necessary. April 4-April 13.
  SPC presents projects at open forums for community feedback. April 13-15. (This date may be pushed to the previous week)
  Marlene and others presents projects to Board of Trustees for board feedback. April 13-15.
  SPC incorporates board and community feedback and forwards final recommendations to the President. April 15-27.
  President evaluates and modifies plan. April 27-May 6.
  President and others present completed plan to the Board of Trustees.

How Will We Keep On Track?

  We'll ask each subcommittee chair to report out on progress, and specifically on initiatives under consideration at each Wednesday meeting of the SPC.
  Each report will be no more than 10 minutes long.
  We may increase length of the SPC meeting occasionally to provide more time to discuss individual projects. We may schedule special meetings around specific projects, if even more discussion is required.

Subcommittee Themes and Membership
(Note: The below nine themes were developed in response to highest scoring themes in the visioning sessions as well as subsequent SPC discussions. Committee membership was based on the size of the theme category and the need to strike a balance around expertise and representation. Student members serve on all nine committees.)

Community Spaces
Bill Brayton (Chair)
Andrea Heredia
Mark Spiro
Amnat Chittaphong
Clay Ballantine

Financial Sustainability
Carla Costa (Chair)
Sigmund Roos
Mark Spiro
Marlene Gerber Fried
Alan Goodman
Clay Ballantine
Jason Tor
Andrea Heredia

Academic Vitality
Eva Rueschmann (Convener)
Alan Goodman
Laura Wenk
Kara Lynch
Nick Marshall-Butler

Hampshire's Image
Laura Wenk (Chair)
Zilong Wang
Carla Costa

Green Hampshire College
Jason Tor (Chair)
Dawn Ellinwood
Andrea Heredia
Rebecca Holland

Campus Community Enrichment/Healthy Campus
Dawn Ellinwood (Chair)
Eva Rueschmann
Zilong Wang

Diversity (No Chair)
Zilong Wang
Jaime Davila
Lourdes Mattei
Katie Irwin
Amnat Chittaphong

Lourdes Mattei (Chair)
Jaime Davila
Stephan Jost
Nick Marshall-Butler

Kara Lynch (Chair)
Bill Brayton
Katie Irwin
Nick Marshall-Butler


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