Executive Vice President Quarterly Strategic Plan Update

This post was original sent as an all-campus e-mail by Suzanne Mellon, executive vice president, to the Saint Anselm College community.

This is the second quarterly update from the Office of the Executive Vice President to promote increased communication and transparency in the important work that is occurring across the college. The updates come out in February, May, August, and November, providing valuable information from all major areas of the college, as well as strategic planning implementation and the work of select committees and task forces.

Vision 2015, Looking Within – Reaching Beyond

We are completing the first year of implementing the strategic plan.  The tactical teams have developed strategic objective worksheets for their tactical plans, and have begun to put many operational plans in process. The dashboard and “report card” on various objectives of the plan will come out in June with more updates in the fall.  You can see a new video on the strategic plan at http://www.anselm.edu/strategicplan. Here is an update of progress in specific areas:

Creating Educational Distinction

Objective 1 - A proposal for a new core curriculum for the college, which meets the stated objectives, was brought forth by the Curriculum Review and Revision Committee this past January and its content was debated by the Faculty Senate in several meetings this past semester.  Approval of the proposal was suspended until more detail can be furnished about the first year and capstone programs, and a resolution can be reached about the language requirement.  Both of these matters are being addressed this summer, and formal deliberation on the proposal by the Faculty Senate will resume in September.
Objective 2 – Five new majors (Education Studies; American Studies; Peace and Justice Studies; Environmental Politics and Sustainability; and Physics) and 20 new minors were approved in FY11.
Objective 3 – The college was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, in recognition of our commitment to service and civic engagement. Objective 5 – The Center for Teaching Excellence helped organize four workshops, two book groups, three Faculty Learning Communities and three campus speakers, and co-sponsored a Teaching, Learning and Technology conference with Instructional Technology. [Read more...]

Strategic Plan Update

I recently updated the campus community on progress related to our strategic plan, Vision 2015: Looking Within – Reaching Beyond. I would like to share with you the steps we are taking towards achieving the plan's five core commitments. [Read more...]

Expanding Opportunities for Study Abroad

Submitted by: Sarah Gookasian, Study Abroad Administrator in the Center for Experiential Learning

The study abroad office of the Center for Experiential Learning is on its way to meeting our strategic objective #12 of expanding opportunities for study abroad for the Saint Anselm College students. 

 The first initiative that we are researching is the creation of strategic partnerships to form signature Saint Anselm College programs overseas.  The first program we are reviewing is the Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS) based in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Our investigation has demonstrated that ICADS will offer our students the chance not only to improve their Spanish language skills and learn about Latin American culture but also provides students with experiential learning opportunities through internships and field studies which also supports strategic objective #3. 

We are excited by the prospect of this program and will be meeting with the program directors in Costa Rica in February.

Creating Educational Distinction

One of the priorities of Vision 2015 is to offer students a high-quality and distinctive curriculum that integrates the deep learning of the liberal arts with career, community engagement, and cross-cultural experiences to enable our graduates to achieve personal and professional success in a global society.

In this video, Brian Penney, Ph.D., a marine ecologist and professor of biology, discusses the importance of a liberal arts education to the sciences, specifically the foundation it provides for critical thinking and understanding the natural world around us.

Video produced by College Communications and Marketing

Visit the Creating Educational Distinction section of the strategic planning Web site for more information about this Vision 2015 priority.

Curriculum Revision Update

Submitted by Gary M. Bouchard, Ph.D.

As the fall semester draws to a close, I offer this brief update on the process of the Curriculum Review and Revision Committee. Using the principles and outcomes that we sent to the campus community in September, and the substantive responses to these principles and outcomes provided us by department chairs, we have worked at fashioning possible models for a new core curriculum for Saint Anselm College.

While proceeding forward with this work, we have also engaged in formal conversations about current and proposed curricular content with a variety of individuals and groups on campus. During the past several weeks in particular, we have dedicated ourselves to listening to various constituents and express our gratitude to the Inclusiveness Committee, the Student Government Association, the Council on Being Catholic and Benedictine, and the Dean of Students Office.

In order to complete our proposal, we have agreed to gather for a second two-day working retreat on January 10 and 11. We are hopeful and determined that early next semester we will have crafted a proposal for a new core curriculum and accompanying rationale that we can present to the President, the Dean, and the Faculty Senate. We look forward to then taking part in broader community forums and discussions concerning our proposal.

I wish you to know that you have all been extremely well served in this process by the members of this committee, who are not only sacrificing significant amounts of time, but are bringing to this process the careful thought, determined effort and generosity of spirit that it requires and deserves.

New Purchasing Process and Training

Last spring, the LEAN Pioneer team began training in quality improvement processes with the first process identified as purchasing procurement across the college. This team has been working diligently to create a process that will retain value but will reduce waste and inefficiency, thereby creating more capacity for the college.

We are now ready to roll out the new purchasing procurement process which will affect all departments across the campus. This training will occur in December with the new process being completely implemented by the start of second semester. [Read more...]

Tactical Team Leader Update

View of Goulet Science from Alumni HallIt’s been a busy term so far, and I have been impressed with the communications I am seeing from various tactical team leaders regarding what has been worked on already for Vision 2015! I know that many of you are developing your plans  and finalizing the metrics and indicators which will go to the appropriate VP and the Senior Leadership Team for approval and to the Implementation Steering Committee for their coordination during this term.

We are also in process of developing a comprehensive communication plan that will roll out the strategic plan to alumni, donors, friends. One component will be to have an ongoing feature in the Portraits magazine every edition and feature stories about the successes of the strategic plan.

With the leadership of Doug Minor, we are in the final stages of completing the Web site for the strategic plan, which will be ready for launch shortly around Thanksgiving. One feature we are planning to do is to have a strategic plan blog which will bring to the attention of the community what is happening in real time.  What I would like to do in getting this off the ground is to solicit any of your ideas/thoughts about what exactly is happening in your tactical teams that you are working on related to the plan. Please forward your thoughts directly to me.

Again, thanks for your leadership and participation in the implementation of the plan that is guiding Saint Anselm for the next five years. We are off to a great start!

Practical Learning and Study Abroad

This originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Portraits magazine

Saint Anselm Students and Faculty at Macchu PicchuStudy abroad is one of the kinds of practical learning emphasized in Saint Anselm’s new five-year strategic plan, “Looking Within – Reaching Beyond.” Students have studied at universities and colleges in countries as diverse as Russia,

South Africa and Egypt, and the college has offered faculty-led courses in China, France and Italy. In January, students will study in Vietnam with Matthew Masur, associate professor of history. Nationally, the number of students studying abroad has quadrupled in the past two decades—to about 15 out of every 100 students in a bachelor’s degree program.

As a result, by the time they apply for their first jobs after college, many students have international experience that prepares them for roles in globally connected businesses, political settings, and other fields. Increasing study abroad opportunities for Saint Anselm students reflects two of the main directives in the college’s strategic plan, “Looking Within – Reaching Beyond:” Creating educational distinction and developing ethical leaders for a global society. Students on the Peru trip spent time in the ancient city of Cuzco and in Machu Picchu. Students who  studied tropical biology in Belize learned about two incredibly diverse ecosystems—the tropical rainforest and coral reefs of Belize.

Related Links

Vision 2015: Going Global in Belize

This originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Portraits magazine

Saint Anselm students studied in Belize last summer. The neotropical rainforests and coral reefs of the Central American country are two of the most species-rich ecosystems on earth. It was the third year that professors Lori LaPlante and Eric Berry offered Field Studies in Tropical Biology, introducing students to the biological complexity of the tropics. (Last year’s class also learned a bit about geology, when a 7.3 earthquake struck just off the shore of Honduras.) Using canoes and snorkel gear, students learned to measure coral diversity, survey tropical species, and observe fish behavior.

First-hand experiences stay with them for a long time. I am amazed how often I’ll meet students who had taken the course in the past and still seem to remember every detail…
—Eric Berry, associate professor

The enthusiasm I see in our students reminds me of why I was attracted to field biology in the first place.
—Lori LaPlante, associate professor

Vision 2015: Going Global in Peru

This originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Portraits magazine

Last summer, two Saint Anselm faculty members joined forces in the land of the Incas to offer courses in theology and sociology. Sara Smits taught “Culture and Change in a Globalized World” and Ahida Pilarski taught “The Biblical Concept of Peace” for two weeks in Peru.

The most rewarding learning was perhaps the realization that we all have a common responsibility, as local and global citizens, to construct a better future for humanity.
—Ahida Pilarski, assistant professor

It was a gradual process of changing their ideas of how the world works. You saw it every day, when a student said the words “I can’t believe…” They were able to make the connection and see how they have a lot to offer as global citizens who can help their communities and do something for humanity.
—Sara Smits, assistant professor

Smits focused on the concepts of culture, stratification, and globalization from a sociological perspective. Pilarski, a native of Peru, introduced students to the historical and cultural contexts out of which discourses of peace emerged in the past and continue to be constructed today. Discussions of human rights violations, poverty, religion, and political movements fall into both academic disciplines. Both courses featured presentations by local Peruvians and visits to sites such as Machu Picchu.