President Donald R. Eastman III

Strategic Planning

Download the Mid-term Report on the College's Ten-Year Strategic Plan
(146 KB PDF file)

From the President's Keynote Convocation Address
September 10, 2003

As we begin the Fall of 2003, the quality and harmony of our work together are at an all-time high, which makes this an ideal time to take on our primary common task this year: to build a focused, imaginative strategic plan for the College's next decade.

We kicked off this strategic planning process last May with a campus-wide communication and a joint session of trustees and those faculty and staff appointed to one of six strategic planning committees. Copies of the documents distributed so far are available on this Web site.

We will develop this plan in two steps: In the first stage, six committees of faculty and staff will recommend strategic priorities in six specific areas of strategic potential. In the second stage, a group of faculty and staff will develop an institutional strategic plan building on the most promising of those strategic recommendations. We expect to have a plan approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2004.

This planning effort is the third chapter in the four-part planning process I outlined in the fall of 2001: A financial plan, followed by a campus master plan; and a strategic plan to be followed by a capital campaign plan.

I hope that you will, in the months ahead, find ways to be in sustained conversation with the committees convened to discuss our future: Push them, question and support them; make them earn their proposals. This plan, therefore, must be your plan.

While Eckerd College is in no position to take great risks with our enterprise, I do believe that our strategic plan should include at least some risk-taking initiatives. As a still very new institution, we must find increasingly imaginative ways to answer the question, "Why Eckerd? In what ways does this College distinguish itself in academic quality and in the total educational experience?"

As we seek to continue to set ourselves apart as an innovative college, a place of special qualities, we are likely, I think, to need to take some additional programmatic risks to even more clearly define and deepen the "Eckerd experience." We must remember that the key question of strategy is, "What will provide competitive advantage?" and the second question is, "How can we maximize that competitive advantage?" Each of our strategic priorities must be proximate answers to these questions.

We have had our troubled hours at Eckerd College, but they have only in the long run made us stronger. The next step in making Eckerd College even stronger is to develop an imaginative strategic plan that we can translate into a compelling capital campaign plan-one that compels support because of the quality of its ambition and commitment.

What we seek is to create a story of nothing less than your highest aspirations for your professional lives and those of your students.