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March Strategy Update

Dear TCNJ Faculty, Staff, and Students,

As reported last month, nearly 300 members of the college community participated in the Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities’ (CSPP’s) focus group conversations or submitted their responses through a Qualtrics survey about TCNJ’s next strategy framework. Thank you again to everyone who shared their feedback and to the over 60 volunteers who contributed to the effort by facilitating, note taking, and analyzing the data.

The robustness of the community’s feedback is especially noteworthy, both in its quantity and quality. CSPP has recently completed its summary report of this critically important stakeholder input, and we are delighted to share the report with you.

The report indicates a significant level of consensus on a number of key themes, including the desire for action and an understanding that the college will need to make tough decisions moving forward. The report also highlights the impact of the eight-month gap in the campus-wide conversation about strategy as a result of the COVID disruption. By the time CSPP began its work in late September, many of the assumptions the campus had entertained in early 2020 were gone.

Given these extraordinary times, we and the Board of Trustees have decided that before we move to the next stage of our work, we should study the most pressing threats and possibilities in the COVID/post-COVID landscape. We have decided to adjust CSPP’s timeline to allow for a thorough external analysis of national and regional data that will help us see how TCNJ is positioned in higher education’s new world. These data will be helpful to TCNJ and the Board of Trustees in considering the alternative pathways before us and tradeoffs in charting our future.

The college is in the process of identifying a firm to assist with this next phase of our strategy work. Although the timeline for completing the framework will be extended into the fall, we are confident that adding this new step will result in a stronger product. Our goal is to create a new strategy framework and implementation roadmap that will ensure TCNJ’s continued focus on educational quality, inclusive excellence, and financial sustainability. We also remain committed to TCNJ’s long history of shared governance and the value of engaging the community in the ongoing work. Our revised timeline will be particularly sensitive to what elements of the work can occur during the summer and what must occur during the academic year.

We will provide another update once an external firm has been selected and an adjusted timeline has been finalized.

Thank you for your continued interest and engagement as we gather crucial information and move forward.

Sincerely,

Kathryn A. Foster
President

Jeffrey M. Osborn
Co-Chair, Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

David Blake
Co-Chair, Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities
Professor of English