The Ursinus 150 Strategic Plan
A re-affirmation of our mission and a plan for the future
Ursinus College stands firm in the belief that liberal education is an engine of individual change and social mobility, capable of transforming students into leaders. Grounded in this conviction, this strategic plan will guide decision making at the College through the sesquicentennial. Ursinus 150 emerged from a collaborative and transparent process in which the views of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees were sought and incorporated into the final product. The pillars below represent the fundamental ethos of Ursinus College. Building upon the pillars, the seven strategic objectives—supported by tactics that will evolve over the life of the plan—inspire our community to realize its full potential. Through collaborative, bold, and imaginative efforts, we will keep the promises we have made to generations of Ursinus students: to provide students multiple paths to success; to make them architects of their own education; and to prepare them for leadership in an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and globalized world.
The mission of the College is to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education. That education prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their society in an interdependent world.
Ursinus College will be the first-choice learning institution for students, for faculty and staff, for our surrounding community, and for philanthropy. The Ursinus Quest: Open Questions Open Minds helps us accomplish this vision by empowering all members of our campus community to exchange ideas, challenge assumptions, build mutual respect and learn from our individual differences.
Learning: Ursinus College is a liberal arts institution rooted in a commitment to inquiry. We learn by questioning deeply held assumptions about ourselves and our world, instilling a passion for lifelong learning in all members of our community. Faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees inculcate the value of ongoing learning in students by embodying it in their own lives.
Living Together: Ursinus College is our students’ home throughout their college experience. In an environment shaped by trust and concern, all community members learn to consider their own beliefs and experiences from the perspective of others. Our residential culture nurtures both exploration and cohesion, inviting students to develop the skills of self-reliance and interdependence in tandem. By cultivating citizenship on campus, we prepare students for citizenship in a world beyond Ursinus.
Building Lifelong Connections: The Ursinus community is undergirded by strong connections—among alumni, trustees, parents, retirees, faculty, staff, and students. These deep roots allow every member of our community to thrive. Taking pride in both past and present, we work together to write the next chapter of the College’s history.
Strengthen our program in liberal education, cultivating the habit of lifelong learning. Liberal education is the bedrock of our mission, and each member of our campus community plays a critical role not only in enrolling our students, but in engaging, nurturing, and sustaining their intellectual development. Supported by a rich curriculum and by faculty and staff committed to helping students excel, students will build their own educational experience in preparation for their future as innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders, and creators.
Promote a vibrant and inviting campus environment. We will position Ursinus as a destination campus, capitalizing on the wealth of cultural opportunities our community has to offer. Showcasing the abundant creativity and intellectual richness of our faculty, staff, and students, Ursinus will function as a high-caliber social and cultural resource throughout the region and the state. Joining forces with our Collegeville neighbors, we will work to make the campus more inviting to visitors, even as we continue to support exciting activities and opportunities for all of us who make Ursinus our home. This invigorating campus culture will foster intellectual curiosity and robust conversation, offering all community members opportunities for learning.
Intensify our commitment to diversity and inclusion. While diversity marks a starting point, inclusion is an ongoing process. As part of that process, all members of our community will continue to develop a thoughtful, reflective, and empathetic understanding of others. We insist that our campus community champion the humanity of all of its members; we commit to breaking down the barriers faced by marginalized people, recognizing the particular constraints and pressures that affect members of underrepresented groups on this campus and in our world. A nuanced appreciation of diversity is a cornerstone of our educational philosophy, a moral imperative, and an essential part of twenty-first century citizenship. By devoting our resources and energy, we will build an inclusive culture, in which every individual, regardless of background, is poised to excel and to find respect for one another at Ursinus.
Champion risk taking. We strive to be a community unafraid to test boundaries, recognizing that crossing disciplinary, social, and cultural frontiers can lead to great achievement. Through its emphasis on experiential learning and interdisciplinarity, Ursinus College encourages students to challenge boundaries in conjunction with faculty and staff. As students, faculty, and staff venture into new fields and explore new professional interests, they model ongoing growth and change for one another. As they learn to embrace risk rather than to fear it, students will pursue creative solutions to difficult problems; create their own opportunities and learn from failure; and develop the habits of independence and responsibility.
Celebrate Ursinus: past, present, and future. We will improve internal and external recognition of the excellent work we do at Ursinus, both in and out of the classroom. We aim to build upon old traditions and craft new ones; to celebrate achievements with pride; to increase philanthropy to support our students’ success; and to embrace innovative approaches to engage alumni, parents, and friends. It is incumbent upon all of us to be ambassadors for Ursinus College as we shape our next 150 years.
Invest in the people of the college as our most important asset. Ursinus College will recruit and retain high-quality students, faculty, and staff who are committed to promoting the college’s mission. As a high-performing institution, we will serve as a magnet for a modern, diverse, and innovative workforce. We will foster a culture of shared governance, balancing collaborative decision making and open discussion with resolve and action. By expanding access to professional development and learning opportunities for faculty and staff, we will support all employees in their endeavors to excel.
Ensure long-term financial sustainability. To position Ursinus College as a national leader in the liberal arts, we will secure and use resources optimally to ensure long-term financial stability. We will prioritize resource allocation to maximize the college’s assets: people, programs, buildings, technology, and investments. Ursinus will design a modern campus infrastructure that adapts to the changing needs of students; improves the college’s reputation; serves as a benchmark for liberal arts campuses nationally; and engages our local, regional, and national partners.
Approved May 13, 2017