Memo from President Fox on Strategic Map

William L. Fox
October 24, 2011

At its meeting on Saturday, October 22, the St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees voted its unanimous endorsement of the University’s Strategic Map, which will help guide us as we work together over the next decade to shape St. Lawrence’s secure and growing future.

The Strategic Map was developed by 55 faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees this summer and the subject of three forums with faculty and staff, two forums with students, two forums with parents attending Family Weekend, two conferences with the Alumni Executive Council and an online feedback form.  Our next steps in following the map will include the formation of two or three work teams to develop stages of implementation with milestone points in a timeline.  Trustees stated their expectation that goals and objectives developed in the implementation of the Map would be the work of an inclusive, participatory process.

For insight about the trustee deliberations, I share that the Board’s discussion about our strategic direction began in earnest last February and kept pace with the campus conversations about the second Recession Response Task Group report (RRP2) at both its May and June retreat meetings. The discussions this weekend about the map, “The St. Lawrence Promise” included three hours of intense all-trustee and all-board delegate (faculty, student and alumni) sessions that extended into eight  2-hour committee meetings at which additional faculty and student representatives participated. After this extensive process, the Board felt ready for its formal action.

At its own business meeting Sunday morning, the Alumni Executive Council also voted its unanimous endorsement.

I share with you the Trustee resolution of endorsement:

Whereas the Laurentian community of faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni have collaborated to craft a Strategic Map for St. Lawrence’s future; and

Whereas the Strategic Map has been shaped by discussions among these constituents, beginning June 2009 as St. Lawrence welcomed a new president and faced the effects of a serious recession, continuing through the academic years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 with task groups of faculty and staff who addressed financial challenges and suggested expense reductions and revenue enhancement ideas; and

Whereas the Strategic Map, titled “The St. Lawrence Promise: A Lifelong Experience of Thoughtfulness,” has been shared widely on campus, with trustees and with alumni leaders, and has benefitted from the wisdom and advice of those who care about the University; and

Whereas the Board of Trustees supports the process in which the Strategic Map was developed and the vision of St. Lawrence that the Map helps us all to see; and

Whereas the Board of Trustees expects that all constituencies of St. Lawrence University will be integrally involved with the development of specific goals, objectives, strategies and tactics that create the plans to realize the Map;

Therefore be it resolved that the Board of Trustees endorses St. Lawrence University Strategic Map; and

Be it further resolved that the Board of Trustees directs the President and the senior staff to work with all Laurentian constituencies to begin identifying the resources and processes for its implementation.

Master Planning Process
One immediate outcome of the adoption of the Strategic Map is the start of the Facilities Master Planning process.  We have issued a Request for Proposals to a half-dozen nationally recognized firms; one will be selected this fall to lead us all in an inclusive planning process with the expectation of producing a new master plan by the fall of 2012. The Facilities Master Plan will use the University’s Climate Action Plan as a resource tool.   We envision a widely participative process; you’ll hear more soon.