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Planning for a Future of Excellence and Distinction

In December 2002, Marymount’s Board of Trustees endorsed a strategic plan for the University, entitled A Future of Excellence and Distinction. The plan set out an ambitious vision for the future and outlined seven critical success factors – areas in which the Marymount community committed to focus its energies and resources in order to realize that vision.

For more than six years, that plan guided the University’s operations. President James E. Bundschuh notes, “Our strategic plan was a vital and effective document. We used it as a framework for budget decisions; we consulted it when assessing the feasibility of new academic programs; we referred to it as we expanded services for our students; and we used it as the context for our campus facilities planning, which ultimately gave rise to Marymount’s 26th Street project, now under construction.”

By early 2008, it was clear that many of the goals set out in the 2002 plan had been achieved, and it was time for the Marymount community to once again come together to consider the University’s future. President Bundschuh convened a Strategic Planning Committee, charging the group with assessing progress made toward the goals defined in the 2002 plan and drafting a new plan to build upon that progress.

A year later, at the Board of Trustees’ May 2009 meeting, the results of the collaborative work of the committee and the University administration were presented for the Board’s approval in a document titled A Future of Excellence and Distinction: Moving Forward Together. Dr. Sherri Lind Hughes, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, says, “This new plan is not a radical departure from its predecessor. The committee’s work showed beyond doubt that our previous strategic plan was an effective one. Guided by it, Marymount made impressive progress on many fronts. The 2009 plan sets out what we believe are the logical next steps to keep our University moving forward.”

One thing that is different is the structure of the new plan.Whereas the 2002 plan was built on seven critical success factors, this plan is formulated around four shared strategic priorities. Dr. Hughes explains, “Our shared priorities are to enhance the intellectual experience at Marymount; to capitalize on the DC region’s rich resources; to build stronger bonds of community on campus and with the world around us; and to honor the values and traditions of Marymount’s Catholic heritage. We developed these priorities as a community, and we are committed to working together to ensure that they inform every aspect of a Marymount education.”

President Bundschuh observes, “In recent years, Marymount’s reputation for academic excellence has increased greatly. So has our reputation as a Catholic university that prepares its graduates for personal and professional success. Guided by our strategic plan, we have achieved record-setting enrollments, a solid financial position, a capital campaign that is raising more money than ever before in Marymount’s history, and the construction of these much-needed new facilities.”

He continues, “We must continue to look ahead and think strategically. Much has been achieved, but we know that much more can still be accomplished. I always say that it’s easy to learn from your mistakes, but it’s harder – and more important – to learn from your successes. Marymount’s new strategic plan builds on our successes and uses what we’ve learned to chart a path toward an even brighter future for this University and the students it serves.”

Shared Strategic Priority:
Enhancing the intellectual experience
Marymount University will offer rigorous academic programs that nurture scholarship and inquiry, engage students and faculty in interdisciplinary study, and provide educational opportunities that help students achieve their personal and professional goals. We will
  • promote inquiry-based learning through increased student-faculty collaboration, expanded faculty development and support, and increased funding
  • encourage interdisciplinary inquiry through development of dual-degree programs, collaborative teaching, and support for research across disciplines
  • provide a cohesive curriculum founded in the liberal arts, emphasizing writing and inquiry, and promoting career preparation
  • make optimal use of the new academic facilities provided by the 26th Street project to enhance and expand the University’s programs in the sciences and health sciences
  • strengthen Marymount’s emphasis on fine, performing, and applied arts through expanded facilities, activities, and curriculum
  • expand students’ global perspective through the study of foreign languages, increased study abroad opportunities, and academic offerings with an international emphasis
  • increase the resources to advance teaching and learning through enhanced facilities, additional scholarships, and a strong faculty
  • use technology, alternative schedules, and off-campus locations to extend academic programs, while maintaining Marymount’s emphasis on attention to the individual student

Shared Strategic Priority:
Capitalizing on the region’s rich resources
Marymount University will engage fully in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region through enhanced academic programs, expanded co-curricular and cultural offerings, increased service to the community, and strengthened ties to regional leaders and employers. We will
  • build and enhance academic programs that align with the region’s history, culture, and economy
  • establish a systematic, integrated approach to careerpreparation that uses the region’s resources to help students
  • achieve their personal and professional goals
  • introduce students to, and engage them in, the region’s cultural opportunities through the curriculum, activities, and service opportunities
  • offer innovative summer programs that capitalize on DC-area resources for current, prospective, and visiting students
  • strengthen relationships with alumni, philanthropic organizations, and professional leaders in the region to expand opportunities for students
  • create a distinctive market position for Marymount as the university that draws upon the rich resources of the nation’s capital in a creative and comprehensive way

Shared Strategic Priority:
Building community
Marymount University will be an inclusive and welcoming community where students, faculty, staff, and alumni find commonality in shared values and experiences and know that their unique contributions are valued. Programs and services will create connections and foster unity within the campus community and encourage engagement with the broader world community. We will
  • ensure a diverse student population with a mix of undergraduate and graduate students and achieve targets of 2,400 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students
  • improve student retention through an increased emphasis on individual attention, quality programs and services, enhanced facilities, and commitment to students’ personal and professional development
  • develop an annual “Common Purpose” or theme to unite the community in study, service, and related activities
  • engage students, faculty, staff, and alumni in programs, organizations, and activities that advance common interests and cultivate leadership
  • expand recognition of student, faculty, staff, and alumni achievements
  • create campus common spaces to encourage interaction among members of the University community
    promote accessibility to all campus facilities
  • use the Internet and other technologies effectively to connect students, faculty, staff, and alumni across time and location
  • strengthen programs and initiatives that extend beyond the campus to benefit the wider community

Shared Strategic Priority:
Honoring the values and traditions of Marymount’s Catholic heritage
Consistent with its identity as a Catholic institution of higher learning founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Marymount University will be a community committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition, education of the whole person, mutual respect and caring, and service to others. We will
  • sustain and strengthen Marymount’s Catholic identity and emphasize students’ intellectual, spiritual, and moral growth through the curriculum
  • establish a Center for Mission and Ministry to sponsor programs and services that offer students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all faith traditions opportunities for moral and spiritual growth
  • expand service-learning and volunteer opportunities to promote a spirit of service to others
  • strengthen student, faculty, and staff commitment to social justice for all people
  • build Marymount’s reputation as a leader in ethics education through programs that encourage thoughtful examination of ethical issues and the development of personal and professional ethical standards and conduct
  • provide opportunities for interfaith dialogue within the campus community
  • promote stewardship of the environment through conservation of resources and a commitment to sustainability