Messages to the Community

Strategic Planning Community Update: What Comes Next

A Message from Dr. Renée T. White, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Lara Penin, Professor of Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons School of Design

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff, 

‌As co-chairs of the University Strategic Planning process, we write to share an overview of where we are today in this project, what we’ve learned up to this point, and our roadmap for engagement for this academic year. 

Where We Are Today

‌With President Shalala’s support, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been actively engaged since the start of the semester in mapping out how this work will continue and evolve. As we undergo moments of change and transition as a university, it is critical that this process continues as a living framework designed to meet us where we are and where we will be several years from now. 

‌Following input shared by faculty, staff, and students last spring, we have developed new outreach strategies to build and strengthen relationships with constituency groups and community leaders across the university. ‌First up is a series of updates on the process and data findings from the Spring. These have already begun this week and will continue through October with the colleges, departments and governing bodies across the university. Following these updates, we will host Future Visioning Workshops with each group through December 15. 

Student Participation

‌Students – your experience at The New School is what brings us all together. We are eager to engage with more of you and appreciate the interest many of you have expressed at orientation and affinity group meetups. We are currently seeking student nominations to participate in information and visioning sessions that will take place this semester. If you would like to nominate a fellow student or yourself, please submit your nomination here by October 12.

Emerging Themes

‌We wanted to share several themes which emerged across the sessions we held last semester as these areas will guide the direction of our process going forward: 

  • ‌A request for more community engagement opportunities; 
  • ‌A need for increased transparency about work taking place across the university as participants expressed a desire to contribute to meaningful decision-making; 
  • ‌A desire for improved communications and awareness of resources available for our community; 
  • ‌Additional conversations to explore what the goals of integration are, and where to integrate and centralize vs. where to maintain a distributed approach as we address our needs for equity across the colleges and areas of knowledge.

‌This process provides an opportunity for us to ask what it means to be a progressive university and to look at how that is evident in our daily practices. Our intended outcomes for Strategic Planning continue to be: to foster a more connected community that has renewed inspiration and investment in our mission and vision; to establish a set of aspirational and actionable priorities to guide the university for the next several years; and to provide resources to support leaders at all levels across campus to better align our efforts to manifest the best version of The New School possible. 

‌Have a question or a meeting you’d like us to join? Please reach out to us at‌ 

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