Chatham University

Planning Process - Strategic Plan

Chatham University's Strategic Plan is the product of a year-long, inclusive, planning process which drew upon the diverse perspectives and experiences of the Chatham community: students, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as friends and supporters from the external community.

The planning process began with conversations that Dr. David Finegold, began having with key stakeholders shortly after his appointment as Chatham's 19th President in July 2016. Dr. Finegold synthesized the results of his "listening tour" in an analysis of the University's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) which he presented to the Board of Trustees (and later to the campus community) in Fall 2016.

Chatham formally kicked off the strategic planning process in Fall 2016 by establishing five Board of Trustees Task Forces to embark on a 6-months-long, deep study of areas of critical importance to Chatham's future: Access & Affordability, Eden Hall and Sustainability, Growth & Capacity, International, and Online Education.

To oversee the planning process and integrate the work of the Task Forces, Chatham established a Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) that included undergraduate and graduate students, faculty from across the university, alumni, staff, administrators, and the Trustee chairs of the five Task Forces. The SPSC was charged with drafting a new Strategic Plan to present for the Board's approval in Fall 2017.

For nearly a year, these two groups worked synergistically, with the work of one informing and advancing the work of the other:

  • The SPSC met jointly with the Board for its Winter 2017 meeting, reviewing the work of the five Task Forces and helping to identify issues and areas deserving further study;
  • Over Winter and Spring 2017, the SPSC created revised drafts of new Mission, Vision and Values statements for Chatham, which the Board then reviewed, revised and approved at its Retreat in June 2017;
  • At that same Retreat, the Board used a Prioritization Tool (created by a member of the SPSC and tested by the other SPSC members) to help the Board rank the initiatives suggested by the Task Forces in their final reports;
  • The results of the Board's prioritization exercise guided the SPSC's work drafting a new Strategic Plan in Summer 2017;
  • The SPSC completed and submitted a draft Strategic Plan to the Board in July 2017.
  • From July to August 2017, Board members provided suggested revisions to the plan which were then incorporated into a final version of the Plan.
  • Dr. Finegold shared this version of the Plan with the campus community when school resumed in Fall 2017, and the campus community was given opportunities to provide feedback through the Strategic Planning site on Chatham's website.
  • The Board formally approved the Plan in September 2017.
  • The Plan was announced and made public in conjunction with Dr. Finegold's Inauguration in October 2017.

More about the Strategic Plan