Hampshire is entering the second phase of strategic planning. For the last four months, members of our College community have engaged in extensive conversations with our consultants, Keeling & Associates, LLC (K&A), to discuss their aspirations, ideas, and concerns about the College and its strategy for the next three to five years.
Above are two documents provided by K&A that represent their findings from meetings and interviews with a wide variety of individuals, groups, and offices and a survey of students, staff, faculty, and Trustees. These data provide essential context for the next phase of the project, which is the formulation of Hampshire’s direction, priorities, and strategy. At the same time, the findings summarized in these reports should not narrow our perspective.
Not surprisingly, the summaries identify more problems than ideas; that is the inevitable consequence of conversations about “what must be on the table” in strategic planning. Those problems are real; they have strategic implications, and we need to address them. But the plan—as a design for our future—will be based in a positive vision. Please keep this in mind before you consider sharing information from these documents outside our community, given the potential for harm or misunderstanding if data or comments are taken out of context.
The first document, “Final Discussion Theme Summary,” articulates the themes that emerged during the course of more than 100 telephone and in-person meetings that K&A staff conducted with members of the Hampshire community. This document provides a faithful and coherent rendition of what was said. However, it is not, nor is it intended to be, an analysis or evaluation of what the consultants heard, nor a screen of what is accurate from what is misperception. The theme summary is a report, not an assessment.
The second document, “Strategic Planning Survey Findings,” provides an analysis of responses from 589 faculty, staff, students, and Trustees to the web-based survey that K&A developed in consultation with the Hampshire Strategic Planning Steering Committee. (A copy of the original survey instrument is included as an appendix, as is a breakdown of responses by demographic category.) The survey was designed to encourage thoughtful and reflective responses, mostly qualitative in nature, to questions concerning the College’s direction, priorities, and strategy for the next three to five years.
The third document, "Executive Summary," reports the themes that repeatedly surfaced during the analysis of the data collected from individuals and groups through meetings, in-person and telephone interviews, and the survey. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it a final list of themes to be considered for strategic planning.
This work is a great credit to our community and a testament to our collective good will. As we go forward into the next stage, let us be sure to continue exercising both critical thinking and an appreciation for the people with whom we are working, studying, and teaching. All of our efforts are woven into the subject material of these documents, and we are working together for the benefit and future of Hampshire.
We welcome and strongly encourage your participation in strategic discussions during K&A’s forthcoming visits to campus January 27-29, 2014 and February 19-21, 2014. See the subheading titled "K&A on campus visit schedule" for details.
Please contact Joanna Olin, Chief of Staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions pertaining to the data or the visits.
Note on the Strategic Planning Survey
The strategic planning survey was sent as a unique link to all Hampshire faculty, staff, and student emails from email@example.com on November 12, with subsequent email reminders on Nov. 15, 19 and 22. The survey closed on December 6 to allow Keeling and Associates to begin analyzing the data and drafting findings based on the survey and their over 100 meetings and phone calls that occurred during the fall semester.
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