Summary of Discussions

What might a successful process look like?

  • The process addresses big questions (e.g., What is the future we are planning for? What is the right size for IC? What is the relationship of the schools to the college?)
  • It results in a creative and inspiring vision that offers a clear rationale for the strategy. 
  • The process and the inputs are transparent and well communicated, and build trust. 
  • It addresses the next 3-5 years in specifics, but sets the stage for long-term change. 
  • It is not top down, and meaningfully reflects the contributions of participants. 
  • It results in clear priorities for decision making and resource allocation, not wish lists.
  • The resulting plan is both ambitious and achievable, and culminates in real change. 
  • Members of the community understand how they contribute to/connect with strategy. 
  • The community understands and learns about strategy as a result of participation. 
  • The process is fun and promotes energy and pride in IC. 
  • People are engaged and interact with others they don’t normally engage with. 
  • The process cultivates a strategic mindset and responsiveness. 

Who might lead this process?

  • It is important to have representation from a variety of stakeholders and constituencies. 
  • There may be value in including some members from current elected/appointed bodies; there is also interest in including those who are not the “usual suspects.” 
  • The president and Senior Leadership Team have an important role to play, and there needs to be visible leadership from others as well. 

What approaches to engagement and communication might work well?

  • Events should be fun and participatory. 
  • Videos are effective. 
  • Varied modes of participation (surveys, small group discussions, big events, etc.) are important so that people can contribute in the way they feel most comfortable. 
  • The name and framing of the process will shape people’s reactions and expectations (e.g., “strategic planning” sounds corporate and boring). 
  • Provide students with an opportunity to engage their roles as future alumni.

What information/data/perspectives might be useful?

  • Information about our current and future student body and applicant pool is important (e.g., What is happening in K-12 education that could inform our expectations about future students?). 
  • Perspectives from leaders and experts who can speak to the future and its challenges and opportunities will provide important context. 
  • Groups might be sent to other institutions to learn about best practices and innovative approaches.