RECAST | Draft Strategic Plan and Trustee Meeting

From: Bridges, George
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 8:17 PM
To: Bridges, George
Subject: Draft Strategic Plan and Trustee Meeting


Evergreen’s transformation of higher education began more than 50 years ago. Over the last two years, Evergreen’s evolution has gained significant momentum. As we draft a new strategic plan, we are building on that momentum and framing the next chapter of our story. In this message, I will recap the stages of our recent evolution and invite you to continue our cross-campus conversations by providing input to our draft strategic plan.

In 2018, we launched Evergreen Renews to deepen our commitment to student success and stabilize enrollment. Last year, Evergreen embarked on a generative and broadly collaborative process of designing the college’s future, initially through “Blue Sky” conversations, then during the development of “Big Bets,” which has evolved into “New Academic Directions.”

At the same time, important strategic work of fostering growth, equity, and resilience for our students and Washington has been underway with the launch of the campus climate survey this past spring and through the development of our tribal relations plan.

The scale of input into this work to design our future has been breathtaking. For example:

  • Hundreds of Evergreen students, staff and faculty have participated in the campus conversations over Evergreen Renews, Blue Sky conversations, and dialogues about Big Bets and New Academic Directions
  • Over 500 ideas were submitted during the Blue Sky process
  • 124 meetings occurred prior to when the new academic concept model was affirmed by faculty
  • 143 students responded to a survey about the ideas

In June, the Governor’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) charged us to synthesize our bold ideas into a brief strategic plan, due with the college’s budget request on September 14, 2020. A strategic plan is also required to maintain our accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Building on the broad consultation over the last two years, the Evergreen senior leadership team has developed a framework of high-level goals, objectives, and tactics for submission to OFM. This draft encapsulates core ideas and initiatives emerging from many cross-campus conversations and strategic work.

The framework will guide us in achieving three key goals:

  1. Achieve unprecedented levels of student academic success and personal development in a manner responsive to students’ unique career goals, talents, identities, and diverse perspectives
  2. Significantly expand support for our local community, region, state, and nation during an unprecedented period of social and economic turbulence
  3. Become a much stronger, more resilient, and adaptive college by expanding our capacities to serve a much wider range of students and to achieve our vision for fully contributing to the larger society

This draft framework will be discussed in this week’s board meeting, introduced via a brief message about our approach from me and a message from Director of Government Relations Jeremy Mohn about the plan’s importance for our advocacy with the Legislature. The draft and links to the messages are available in the board materials.

I encourage you to view the recorded messages, review the draft plan, and attend the Board of Trustees meeting to hear the discussion.

In addition to seeking input from our governing board, the Agenda Committee and Campus Leadership Group will have the opportunity in the next two weeks to discuss the plan and upcoming work with senior leaders.

I welcome your input on the draft to by September 1. Your input will be reviewed carefully by the senior leadership team as we make final revisions prior to the September 14 submission. We also welcome your suggestions about future phases of this work as we seek to realize our future vision in the months ahead.

To be clear, the draft plan is by no means complete. There is much critically important work underway, and more planned for the fall, to ensure our vision and plans will be well-implemented and transformative for the college. This includes feasibility analyses of curricular elements, anticipated outcomes of the new models of instruction, and identifying resources needed to ensure the plan’s success. We will continue to seek campus input on the plan and its implementation as this work continues.

A final note. Many, many colleagues have worked tirelessly on these activities over the summer. Thanks to all who have made this new direction possible. Your ideas, energy, passion, and knowledge will shape a more resilient, adaptive, and strong Evergreen.

Best wishes,

George S. Bridges

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