September Strategic Planning Update

Message sent on September 30, 2021

Kristin Stuempfle and Tim Shannon update employees about the strategic planning process and the progress that committees have made in recent months.

Dear Colleagues,

We hope your academic year is off to a wonderful start! We are writing today to provide you with an update on our strategic planning process. Our committees have worked extremely hard over the past four months to further develop and integrate their plans, now positioning us for broader community feedback this fall. We’d like to express our deepest thanks to all committee members for their dedication to this important work and for the inspiring ideas they have put forward to date.

We encourage you to read our progress summary below, as well as to attend the engagement sessions that are open to the community in the weeks ahead.

Strategic Planning Committee

As the committees submitted their draft reports, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) reviewed the ideas brought forward, identifying opportunities for further development and exploration, while earmarking any obstacles the SPC will need to address to bring the plans to fruition. In addition, the SPC has provided committee chairs with actionable feedback, ensuring the plans continue to develop in a manner that achieves the charge of our strategic planning process: to reimagine our programs (who we are and what we do), as well as our structures (how we do it) and resources (how we support it).

Curriculum Review Committee

This summer, the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) presented a draft of the curriculum map to faculty and administrators of the various strategic plan committees; incoming and outgoing members of Faculty Council; and Musselman Library staff who regularly engage with faculty and students. These sessions were held via Zoom (two sessions) and in person (one session). The CRC asked for feedback on the curriculum map and revised it in accordance to the feedback received.

Following a CRC update at the September 9 faculty meeting, the CRC distributed the “Curriculum Review Committee Report and Proposed Curriculum Map” on September 10. This detailed document provides information on committee membership, the committee charge and key questions, the committee’s timeline and process, and the proposed curriculum map, including curricular requirements, learning goals, and rationale.

In the month of September, the CRC met with APPC, SERC and Admissions staff, department chairs, and held six open listening sessions. The feedback from these sessions will be used to further strengthen the proposed curriculum before it is formally introduced at faculty meetings later this semester. As a reminder, the faculty will vote on the proposed curriculum. This component of the strategic planning process is faculty-led and contingent on faculty approval.

Finally, the CRC co-chairs have regularly met with the Integrated Learning Committee co-chairs to share progress, identify areas of overlap, and ensure intentionally integrated plans between the committees—plans that will result in an even stronger, more dynamic educational experience for our students into the future.

Integrated Learning Committee

Since our last update to the community in May, the Integrated Learning Committee (ILC) has continued its work on co-curricular themes and processes under the new strategic plan. After two all-day meetings in July and August, the ILC narrowed its focus on content areas and ways of learning that will be integral to the College’s co-curriculum moving forward.

The themes below are designed to be woven throughout many programs offered to students and throughout the entirety of their undergraduate career.

  • A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice: students will have the opportunity to explore how to create diverse and inclusive communities, to enhance their intercultural knowledge and skills, and to develop understanding of issues related to equity and justice.
  • A commitment to civic and community engagement: students will learn how to make an impact on their communities, whether those communities are viewed as local, regional, national, or global.
  • A commitment to the exploration of the world of work and professional paths: available to all students, as one aspect of pursuing impactful and meaningful lives post-graduation.

The ILC also recommends that in order to reinforce these themes, the College support processes that engage and deepen student learning:

  • A commitment to experiential learning, where students apply their learning to situations beyond the classroom. Students will have ready access to internships, externships, job shadowing, research, entrepreneurship opportunities, and other programs that provide hands-on, experiential learning.
  • Develop meaningful and impactful relationships through the advising and mentoring networks provided by the College. Students will learn how to build and maintain mentoring relationships that will support their academic, personal, and professional success.
  • Supporting and encouraging documented reflection as a means of deepening student learning and integration of learning. E-portfolios are one means of achieving this goal.

The ILC is in the process of a series of community engagement sessions to receive feedback on these themes and processes. Some of the feedback meetings will be limited to students, while others will be targeted to faculty, administrators, and staff. The ILC intends to ensure that a wide range of student and employee perspectives are heard in the feedback sessions.

Teagle Bridge

In recent months, a number of members from the CRC and the ILC have voluntarily participated in the Teagle Bridge. This collaboration has been important to making tangible progress on student learning goals related to civic literacy and community engagement. The work of the Teagle Bridge is providing shared understanding, language, and commitments to inform conversations on civic literacy and community engagement occurring in the CRC and ILC, since members of the Teagle Bridge also are members of each of these other committees. Although the work is ongoing, it is exciting to see civic literacy and community engagement initiatives emerging from the CRC and ILC.

Structure and Resources Committee

As we all know, the work of our Structure and Resources Committee(SRC) is an important component in ensuring our strategic plan is built upon solid footing. It will allow us to respond effectively to an ever-evolving and increasingly challenging higher education environment, which includes demographic changes resulting in increased competition for talented students; stressed financial models; and the need to align revenues and expenses.

With continued assistance from the Huron Consulting Group (Huron), the SRC further intensified its pace, particularly over the summer months when the group held seven remote and in-person meetings to complete its work, finalize its highest priority recommendations, and complete its draft report for the SPC.

During this time, Huron provided the SRC with an overview of its “cost to educate” model, a data-driven methodology for capturing and linking Gettysburg-specific compensation and other instructional costs to effort expended across all courses and other offerings within the academic program. The SRC reviewed the application of the cost to educate model to ensure it appropriately reflects the unique structures, practices, and policies important to the College and the education it offers. The SRC also received a preliminary demonstration of how the cost to educate model can be applied to derive insights into opportunities for additional efficiencies in instruction and academic support once further fluency with the model is developed.

In addition, Huron facilitated two SRC meetings focused on generating, considering, ranking, and prioritizing opportunities for alternative revenue generation, primarily through the development of academic programs that dovetail with the College’s assets and audiences, respond to current market trends, and align with the College’s mission as a liberal arts institution. In doing so, the SRC identified three high priority, overarching opportunity areas for alternative revenue generation:

  • Graduate credentialing
  • Academic summer programs
  • Pre-college programs

The SRC also considered options for the organizational structure, teaching model, and modalities for developing and delivering these new programs.

Community Engagement Sessions

Please join us for the engagement sessions open to the community in the weeks ahead. For more information on the upcoming sessions, please view the Digest and EngageGettysburg.

Sessions open to the community:

  • October 7 – Faculty Meeting | 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom
  • October 8 – ILC Friday Forum | Noon, Zoom Meeting
  • October 21 – Faculty Meeting | 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom
  • November 4 – Faculty Meeting | 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom
  • November 18 – Faculty Meeting | 4 p.m., CUB Ballroom
  • TBA – ILC with JCCTL

Sessions targeted to divisions, offices, and groups:

  • October 1 – ILC with College Life staff
  • October 6 – CRC and ILC at Student Senate-sponsored forum
  • October 8 – ILC with Enrollment and Educational Services staff
  • October 14 and October 20 – ILC with student focus groups
  • October 20 – ILC with Communications and Marketing staff
  • October 28 – ILC with department chairs
  • TBA – CRC and SRC with Faculty Finance Committee
  • TBA – ILC with student leaders
  • TBA – ILC with student organizations

Again, we want to thank the many members of our Gettysburg College community who have contributed to this energizing and important work. As emphasized, we are now entering a critical stage in our strategic planning process. We encourage you to participate in the planned community engagement sessions this fall, as listed above, so we as a community may benefit from the widest range of experiences, perspectives, and ideas when finalizing our College’s new strategic plan.


Kristin J. Stuempfle, Ph.D.
Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor to the President
Professor of Health Sciences

Tim Shannon, Ph.D.
Professor of History