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Strategic Plan 2018-2021: Fulfilling Our Promise

On September 24, 2018 the Ramapo College Board of Trustees endorsed Strategic Plan 2018-2021: Fulfilling Our Promise.

Dashboard 2021: A Visual Mapping of Outcomes and Indicators

Dashboard 2021 demonstrates institutional effectiveness and progress on Fulfilling Our Promise. It was originally published in Spring 2019. It is updated periodically as data becomes available. The most recent version of Dashboard 2021 is dated November 6, 2019.

Dashboard 2021–2019 Results as of 11.6.19

Strategic Plan Updates

Fall 2019

In Fall of 2019, the College issued an updated version of Dashboard 2021: A Visual Mapping of Outcomes and Indicators (available above) dated September 18, 2019. This version includes 2019 data for the majority of the 63 indicators. In addition, it reflects the following changes: 1) Indicator 41 language was revised to more clearly identify alumni members; 2) 2018 data for indicators 27, 28, 46, 52, and 62 were corrected, and 3) Sources identified for various indicators were refined to more clearly reflect the time of year in which the data becomes available.

Overall, we have a good story to tell regarding our effectiveness under year two of Fulfilling Our Promise:

Goal 1: Increasing Student Success and Engagement

Of the 19 indicators used to measure effectiveness on Goal 1: Increasing Student Success and Engagement, we have data on 15. Of those 15, 11 are clearly moving in the right direction and the efforts that have been underway to positively move the needles related to the development of student’s critical thinking skills and participation in co-curricular activities, as well as our graduation, retention and residency rates merit praise. Areas that stand to benefit from more considered attention include our receipt of competitive grants and strengthening our commitment to faculty-student research.

Goal 2: Cultivate and Support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Of the 16 indicators used to measure effectiveness on Goal 2: Cultivate and Support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, we have data on 13. Of those 13, 12 indicators reveal positive progress. These indicators include participation in trainings, the value students and faculty place on international and intercultural experiences, and retention and graduation rates for non-White students. Our concerted efforts on Goal 2 will be further informed by an imminent Action Plan from the Goal 2 Implementation Team. Last semester, through the shared governance protocols, a Goal 2 Team was formed and, with input from the Student Government Association, Faculty Assembly, and Ramapo Staff Association, it was charged with assessing our related data and recommending an action plan to advance the indicators. The action plan is expected to be provided to the Office of the President in early October, and reviewed and made available to the entire College in November.

Goal 3: Advance Innovation as The College’s Promise and Obligation to its Students, Community, and the State of New Jersey

Goal 3 of the Strategic Plan is to Advance Innovation as The College’s Promise and Obligation to its Students, Community, and the State of New Jersey. Goal 3 has 11 associated indicators and we have data available for 9 of them right now. Of the 9, I am pleased to recognize steady growth in our engagement of high profile employers and influential alumni, and in how we optimize technology and software in our operations. One strategy on this front that is already bearing fruit was a year-long campus wide software consolidation project which created a global catalog of all software. This has helped us identify redundant as well as under-leveraged software tools. In addition, upon learning of employee sentiment as well as a need for greater clarity across stakeholder groups regarding our physical plant and the care it requires, the Facilities Management website has been revamped with a gallery of project photos and personnel profiles aimed at introducing and better recognizing the team of hardworking men and women who make up our Facilities Management Department. To these ends, innovation does not always necessitate bold new transformations, it simply requires the good will to step back, reflect, and approach a challenge or process differently; and where we need to see greater traction on innovation is in how we bring a Ramapo College education to more students despite a shrinking pool.

Goal 4: Improve Long Term Financial Strength

Of the 17 indicators used to measure effectiveness on Goal 4: Improve Long Term Financial Strength, we have data on 8 of them—this is largely because we are awaiting the fall conclusion of the Foundation’s Audit and the winter conclusion of the College’s Audit.  The 8 indicators demonstrate a cautiously stable outlook. They point to our strategic stewardship of campus resources and our fundraising proceeding on track, they also reveal, however, that tangible influence in Trenton on our appropriation is difficult to grasp, especially in light of the Governor’s sequestering of the additional $1M we were successful in lobbying for Ramapo this year.

Further, the Goal 4 indicators reinforce much of what we already know but do compel us more quickly into action. We know that the business model for higher education is changing. We know that we must be willing to approach challenges differently and we know that we must accept that doing so will result in change, and that such change need not impede our mission but rather push us to re-imagine our delivery of it.

Next Steps

As more of the source data for the indicators becomes available, this report and the Dashboard will be updated. All Unit planners are encouraged to consider how they can collaborate with others across campus to advance any of the 63 indicators and to capture those plans in their annual Strategic Planning On-Line (SPOL) submissions.

Integration of our Strategic Goals and Indicators into our unit and school plans is essential to the College’s overall effectiveness. If you have questions on how to proceed, faculty are encouraged to speak with Dr. Mike Unger, Director of Assessment, or a member of the College-wide Academic Assessment Committee (CWAAC). Administrators and staff are encouraged to speak with Dr. Dorothy Echols Tobe, Chief Planning Officer, or a member of the Administrative Assessment Committee (AAC).

Spring 2019

The College issued Dashboard 2021: A Visual Mapping of Outcomes and Indicators. The original Dashboard 2021, dated Spring 2019, is available here.

Fall 2018

On September 24, 2018 the Board of Trustees formally approved Strategic Plan 2018-2021: Fulfilling Our Promise. In December, the College unveiled a preview of Dashboard 2021 as part of its winter Communications meetings.

Summer 2018

During the summer of 2018, the recommendations of the Task Force on Extending the Strategic Plan were further reviewed and discussed by President Mercer, members of the President’s Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees. The findings and recommendations of the Task Force were largely advanced by these groups and additional decisions were made to strengthen the revitalized Plan.  These decisions largely included recognizing “innovation” as an institutional priority and, in turn, the establishment of a new goal to advance innovation. In addition, a visual mapping of the Plan’s associated metrics was developed in a supplemental Dashboard 2021.

Spring 2018

In the spring of 2018, following the December 2017 adoption of the Report of the Shared Governance Task Force which outlined dynamic protocols for shared decision making,  President Mercer, SGA President Lally, and Faculty Assembly President Kwak, met and agreed to establish a Task Force charged with evaluating, modifying as appropriate, and extending the current plan. The charge issued to the Task Force on Extending the Strategic Plan was mutually agreed upon and noted: The Task Force on Extending Strategic Plan 2013-2018 is charged with making recommendations on adding, continuing, modifying, or closing out individual objectives and outcomes within the current Strategic Plan so that the goals may be extended for three years (2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021). Those recommendations, to the extent possible, shall be documented in a manner that largely reflects the format and ethos of the Plan 2013-2018 (as approved in June 2013). The recommendations were advanced to President Mercer in summer 2018.

Fall 2017

In the fall of 2017 the progress on the strategic plan was again assessed by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.  That overarching assessment led to plan updates which primarily maintained the plan’s overarching four goals, shifted thinking away from “targets” and toward “outcomes”, and reinforced the importance of efficient and effective mission-driven operations.

Spring 2016

In Spring of 2016, the College hosted a Community Forum focused on Goal 4 of the Strategic Plan. The forum presented progress on Goal 4, additional initiatives in support of it, and featured breakout sessions for attendees in the areas of diversity training, student success support and barriers, campus climate, and Diverse Learning Environment Survey data.

Fall 2015

Ramapo College’s Strategic Plan was approved in June 2013.  Under the leadership of President Peter Mercer, significant resources were redistributed to meet institutional goals as outlined in the Strategic Plan. In the year and one half since the plan was approved, much has been accomplished. The Strategic Plan Update Report is now available for review, it denotes the progress and challenges associated with the Plan’s 52 achievement targets.

Fall 2013

Through the leadership of Dr. Dorothy Echols-Tobe, Chief Planning Officer, the implementation of the Strategic Plan is underway. Modeling the highly collaborative and cross-representative approach that was used to develop the Plan, the implementation of the Plan will be guided and monitored through a similar process. The Strategic Planning Implementation Team’s charge is to review Unit Plans re: Strategic Planning Objectives/Target Strategies (52 outcomes/measures), discuss plans with Target Lead Agents, prepare and make recommendations to the Planning Steering Committee; and to analyze recommendations from the Cabinet re: Program Reviews.

The Team includes: Nicole Pulliam, Asst. Director, Cahill Career Center; Sandra Diaz, AVP, Institutional Advancement; Stephanie Barlow, Asst. Director, Residence Life; Mike DiBartolomeo, Assoc. Director, Enrollment Management; Thierry Rokotobe-Joel, Associate Professor, Anisfield School of Business; Scott Frees, Associate Professor, School of Theoretical and Applied Science; Missy Long, Counselor, Office of Specialized Services; Stephen Sondey, Director of Purchasing; Gurvinder Khaneja, Director of Instiutional Research; Vinnie Guinta, SGA President; and Dorothy Echols Tobe, Chief Planning Officer.

The Planning Steering Committee reviews recommendations/actions from the Implementation Team and forwards them, as appropriate, to Cabinet. The Planning Steering Committee includes: Beth Barnett. Provost and VP of Academic Affairs; Maria Krupin, VP of Administration and Finance; Cathy Davey, VP of Institutional Advancement; and Dorothy Echols Tobe, Chief Planning Officer.

June 2013

Throughout the months of March and April 2013, the Strategic Planning Task Force solicited feedback from the College on the March 1, 2013 draft of the Strategic Plan. During this time the Task Force presented 22 “On the Road” presentations of the draft plan to faculty, staff, and students, and collected notes from 19 of them; received 51 Web feedback forms, 9 emails, and 8 missives; and the draft plan was covered by The Ramapo News in its April 4 issue. Sans the News article’s readership, the SPTF made approximately 600 touch-points throughout the feedback process.

The Task Force reconvened throughout May to review all of the feedback and to incorporate it, as it deemed appropriate, into the draft plan. Among the more prominent revisions to the draft were:

  • the inclusion of “Diversity and Inclusiveness” as a goal and the development of objectives and targets therein;
  • a more aspirational vision statement;
  • the inclusion of achievement targets aimed at measuring the collection of alumni data as well as student indebtedness; and
  • the enhancement of existing targets to include more measurable language

What followed was a June 1 draft of the Strategic Plan that was presented to the Board of Trustees at its retreat early that month. With only minor revisions, a final version of the plan, dated June 3, 2013, will be presented to the Board of Trustees for endorsement at its June 24 meeting.

February 2013

The Strategic Planning Task Force has largely completed its authorship of The Ramapo College Strategic Plan 2014-2018.

The Task Force originally convened in January 2012 and has been meeting routinely since that time.

During March and April, the Strategic Plan 2014-2018 will be available for College-wide feedback on the plan. During this time, small sub-groups of the Task Force will be taking the plan on the road. These “On the Road” presentations of the plan are designed to provide College stakeholders with an overview of the plan’s development and content, and to collect feedback on the plan’s conceptual and strategic strengths and weaknesses.

The “On the Road” sub-groups are available to address small or large audiences from Unit Council meetings to departmental staff meetings. To schedule an “On the Road” presentation for your colleagues or your club/organization, please contact Brittany Goldstein, Office of the President, at (201) 684-7609 or bwillia1@ramapo.edu.

In addition, College stakeholders are invited to review the plan online and share feedback via the accompanying online feedback form. Feedback gleaned from the “On the Road” presentations and the online feedback form will be incorporated into the plan as the Strategic Planning Task Force deems appropriate.

The Task Force looks forward to your feedback and to presenting the plan for endorsement to the Board of Trustees at its June 24, 2013 meeting.

January 2012

The College’s current Strategic Plan for 2007-2012 comes to a close in June.

In September of 2011, the College embarked upon a new cycle of Strategic Planning by seeking nominations for faculty, staff, students, and others to serve on the 2012 Strategic Planning Task Force.

At its fall retreat, the President’s Senior Cabinet gathered input from faculty, staff, students and others regarding the most significant issues likely to confront higher education over the next five years and how to engage constituents in the deliberations over a renewed strategic plan. As a result, the Strategic Planning Task Force, a representative body comprised of College stakeholders, will embark on the development of the new strategic plan in January 2012.

Adapted from John Bryson’s Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations, the challenge of the 2012 Strategic Planning Task Force will be to deliver a strategic plan that will serve as a management tool to help Ramapo College focus its energy, to ensure that all College stakeholders are working toward the same goals, and to assess and adjust the College’s direction in response to a changing environment. Per Bryson, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.

President Mercer will chair the 2012 Strategic Planning Task Force. The Task Force, a dynamic group of 25 individuals, meets regularly throughout the spring semester and hopes to present a final Strategic Plan for endorsement by the Board of Trustees in June of 2012.

More information and updates on the Task Force’s work will be forthcoming.

If you have questions regarding the 2012 Strategic Planning Task Force, please contact: Brittany Goldstein, Special Assistant to the President, bwillia1@ramapo.edu or Babette Varano, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning, blanni@ramapo.edu.

September 2012

The Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF) began meeting in January 2012.

The SPTF updated the College at recent Communications Meetings and the Board of Trustees in June. There have been significant achievements, including the SPTF’s endorsement of a revised mission statement.

Ramapo College is New Jersey’s Public Liberal Arts College, dedicated to providing students a strong foundation for a lifetime of achievement. The College is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. Ramapo College emphasizes teaching and individual attention to all students. We promote diversity, inclusiveness, sustainability, student engagement, and community involvement.

The SPTF has also endorsed three guiding principles:

  • Principle 1 is to ensure mission and vision consistency
  • Principle 2 notes that there will be due attention to assessment, accountability, and analysis
  • Principle 3 emphasizes collaboration and transparency

The three principles, in turn, inform the four planning goals:

  • Goal 1: Advance Academic Excellence and Engagement
  • Goal 2: Cultivate and Support Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Goal 3: Enhance Institutional Viability and Foster Operational Sustainability
  • Goal 4: Improve Internal and External Relations and Operations

The objectives for each goal are currently being refined and the SPTF continues to meet with the Master Planners and the Master Plan Steering Committee to ensure alignment between the two plans.

The next steps of the Strategic Planning process will involve:

  • Consultation with a third party consultant
  • Fora with the College-at-large so that the SPTF can get direct feedback
  • Kick off of the Outreach and Establishment of Achievement Targets Process through “on the road” work groups who will go out to individual units and discuss with them how they, in turn, respond to the Strategic Plan
  • Compilation and vetting of Achievement Targets
  • Development of an internal resource group to help others implement the plan
  • Board of Trustees review and endorsement
  • Implementation, annual assessment, and iterative development on defining and using data to make decisions.