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Strategic Planning for Colgate’s Future

Colgate recently completed a two-year-plus strategic planning process, building on our past accomplishments and positioning Colgate to best serve its students, faculty, and staff moving into the school’s third century.

The cover of the strategic planning document

Final Framing Document for Strategic Planning

On January 25, 2014, the Board of Trustees approved the final version of the strategic plan's framing document. The plan had earlier been reviewed and endorsed by the faculty on November 4, 2013. The plan is now available to members of the Colgate community (those with e-mail addresses).


Aerial view of the Colgate campus.

Living the Liberal Arts in our Third Century

President Jeffrey Herbst’s Report on Colgate University’s Strategic Plan, 2014–2019.


About the Process

The university arrived at its final framing document through a dynamic, creative, and multifaceted strategic planning process over the past two years. This process engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, and students on campus in strategic thinking about Colgate's future. In 2011–12, President Jeffrey Herbst appointed working groups on academic excellence, athletics, campus master planning, rightsizing the student population, and technology and teaching. A second wave of working groups in 2012–13 examined teaching and learning, global and international initiatives, and living the liberal arts.

Working Group Reports

The working group reports, available below, were consulted to advise the creation of the strategic plan framing document. It is important to note that these reports were intended to provide guidance for the creation of the final framing document, but not to define it. The final framing document for the strategic plan was released to the Colgate community (those with e-mail addresses) in January, 2014.

Following the efforts of these working groups, their recommendations were collected along with the likely costs associated with those recommendations, where possible. VIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Living the Liberal Arts
A residential liberal arts education is the hallmark of the Colgate experience, where meaningful connections between classroom and communal living further intellectual curiosity, personal growth, and professional exploration. This working group reevaluated current programs and considered new ways to build an enriching intellectual community at Colgate.
Campus Master Planning
It had been more than 20 years since Colgate last undertook a master plan of its built environment and land holdings. Therefore, Colgate partnered with Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Mass., to determine how to best meet the university’s academic mission, future campus needs, and commitment to sustainability through the ongoing evolution of our physical space.

The Campus Master Planning Committee has presented several recommendations for the development of the campus in both the near and long terms.
Global and International Initiatives
Existing programs in off-campus study and other curricular, co-curricular, and research-based opportunities started the process of globalizing the campus. The challenge to this working group was to propose strategies for coordinating, prioritizing, and enhancing this trend toward international awareness and involvement.
Teaching and Learning
This working group absorbed the function and findings of the previous Technology and Teaching working group. The group pursued the question "What teaching innovations that promote faculty learning objectives are worth pursuing given the current and forthcoming technologies?"
This group was convened to address the architecture of the athletics program at Colgate. The group focused its research and discussion on five key areas of the athletics program, and sought input in a variety of venues from a number of different demographics and relevant groups. The report covers a number of purely theoretical scenarios; it is not a concrete plan for action.
Technology and Teaching
The goal of this working group was to research and provide recommendations in response to nine core questions regarding the impact and potential of new technologies on higher education and the Colgate model of educating undergraduates. In the second year of the strategic planning process, this working group was rolled into a working group on the larger subject of teaching and learning.
Academic Excellence
Colgate already has a reputation for being a challenging school, academically. However, in recognition that there is always more that can be done to enhance the academic experience at Colgate and its perception in the outside world, this working group researched and provided recommendations for bolstering academic excellence.
Rightsizing the Student Population
This working group analyzed how four different scenarios changing student enrollment numbers (both increasing and decreasing) would impact various aspects of the university's operations.