On Tuesday, Dec. 6, members of the Gustavus community met to discuss the college’s strategic plan. The plan, known formally as the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, began in 2016 and is set to continue until 2026.
President Rebecca Bergman has committed to understanding the challenges that face higher education, in particular liberal arts colleges like Gustavus Adolphus College. The plan addresses the amounting concerns, and in alignment with the college’s mission and core values, strengthens the Gustavus education.Kathi Tunheim, Associate Professor, Board of Trustees Endowed Chair in Management and Leadership heavily believes in the overarching vision.
“Helping implement the new strategic plan is extremely important to the college. Unlike most places that formulate a strategic plan, we are actively pursuing the goals outlined. In order to lead progress and to make change, I understand that sometimes we have to take three steps forward, and then three steps back, to then take three steps forward in education.”
During the meeting, those present were in consensus that the plan was without doubt “three steps forward”.
The Gustavus Acts Plan recognizes that the Gustavus community must “reflect the diversity of the world from which they come to which they will return”. The college strives to produce global citizens that are better equipped to work in our ever evolving interdependent world; by delivering a distinctive education that emphasizing intellectual curiosity and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration.
In accordance with its vision of “equipping students to lead purposeful lives and to act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence”, the first goal of the Gustavus Acts strategic plan is to diversify and expand the Gustavus community. And much like every goal pursued in the Acts Strategic Plan, Goal 1 includes multiple strategies led in a collaborative approach by faculty and administrators of Gustavus Adolphus College.
Goal 1 pursues to expand, maintain, and improve multiple facets of the Gustavus community. In addition to the student body, Goal 1 hopes to develop and explore certificate and master’s degree programs “in areas that draw on our strengths and meet market needs”. During the meeting, prospects of a future Entrepreneurship Center at Gustavus and the perchance of developing a new physical assistant and athletic training program were discussed.
Rev. Grady St. Dennis, Chaplain and Director for Church Relations, believes that by engaging in community learning, and “educating for the sake of common good, in the spirit of accompaniment by building up others” is in the parallel with the beliefs of the founders of Gustavus Adolphus College.
“We want more experimental approaches in our classes, we want students engaging in the world.” – Kathi Tunheim
Goal 2 of the Acts Strategic Plan hopes to create a learning environment that pushes intellectual curiosity, that engages with the general community, and that expands mentoring programs in order to strengthen the integration of curricular and co-curricular learning experiences. In addition to this, Goal 3 strives to strengthen the College’s reputation with external constituencies.
“We want more experimental approaches in our classes, we want students engaging in the world,” Tunheim said.
The Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan seeks to ensure a student’s comprehensive educational experience here at Gustavus Adolphus College. Acts Strategic Plan provides a framework for a stronger and innovative education, one that promises a liberal arts education of recognized excellence and student postgraduate success.