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Final Draft of the Strategic Plan (April 5, 2019)

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you the final draft of our strategic plan, which you can view here. As a reminder, you must be logged into myBucknell to access the document.

I cannot adequately express here how grateful I am to the many members of our community who, in one form or another, provided feedback throughout the planning process, including as members of Working Groups; through email; via the online platform; during office hours; in open forums; and/or in department and other small-group or one-on-one meetings. Your input was invaluable in shaping this document and will continue to play an important role as we move into determining the tactics by which we will implement the plan. Together with our students, you’ve challenged the University to be bolder and, as a result, you’ve helped strengthen our strategic commitments, priorities and initiatives, and set our aspirations even higher than they were at the outset of this process.

While I won’t detail all of the revisions that have been incorporated since we circulated the last draft on March 20, I do want to highlight the following changes, which are a direct result of feedback from faculty and staff colleagues:

  • Under the third commitment, we have strengthened the discussion regarding the need to address the inequities between Greek-letter and other student organizations, with additional detail about the work to be done.
  • Under the fourth commitment, we have broadened both the strategic priority and discussion related to environmental sustainability to recognize the many areas in which work must be done, acknowledging that stakeholders across campus will help to craft an Environmental Sustainability Plan to guide those efforts.
  • Also under the fourth commitment, we have expressly and intentionally included a reference to the importance of Bucknell’s human resources — our faculty and staff.

The adoption of this plan will embolden Bucknell like never before to confront some of the most significant matters facing both our University and society more broadly: the environment; issues of diversity and inclusion; the need for equitable access, not only at the time of admission but throughout a student’s education; and the sustainability of both our financial and social structures. This plan also positions us to take full advantage of the unique opportunities afforded to us by the nature of our size, academic breadth, location and — above all — the dedicated people who make up the Bucknell community. Strengthening disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs, supported by exemplary advising and a reimagined first-year experience, will further foster an environment of intellectual aspiration and increasingly attract students who think critically and are driven by their curiosity and desire to grow. In short, Bucknell will not simply weather the disruptions facing higher education; rather, together, we will thrive as an institution and stake claim to our distinct place among our many peers and competitors.

We are among the best undergraduate institutions in the country in large part because — again and again — our predecessors acted with bold intention. They shepherded the University through times of opportunity and challenge. Today we can look back at the generations of Bucknellians who came before us and thank them for their foresight, leadership and faith in the future. I firmly believe that, with the endorsement and execution of this plan, those who follow in our footsteps will look upon this moment in very much the same way.

The faculty will hold a vote on their endorsement of the plan on April 16, after which the Board of Trustees will vote on its adoption. We will keep you apprised of next steps, including the opportunities for you to help develop the tactics by which we will begin executing the plan.

My best,


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