Rachel Vitello

Equinox Staff

Keene State College faculty has organized a plan to help KSC grow as a community over the next three years. The Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 has been put together to help prioritize the enhancement of the campus. The strategic plan includes four goals: identity/distinction, student achievement, sustainability and resiliency and community and culture.

This plan is a more focused approach to the strategic plan that was made in 2015. The 2018-2021 strategic plan was authored by Interim President Melinda Treadwell. “The aspirations [of the 2015 plan] are still valid. I wanted this plan to align our values and where we’re putting our resources to make progress,” said Treadwell.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins said, “This plan really narrows down the work that was done back in 2015. It’s a more focused effort. It was looking at the work that had already been done by faculty, staff and students on campus to inform the current plan, and now we’ve narrowed things down.”

As for how the plan is put together, Vice President for Finance and Administration Susan LaPanne said, “Ultimately, the Cabinet and President decide everything, but they look to me for recommendations. I recommend the approval for a particular initiative, or the suggestion that we truly consider how a particular aspect of activity supports the mission.”

The strategic plan involves multi-year financial projections and the budgets for multiple projects that hope to be accomplished in the next three years.

LaPanne assists in managing the budgets across the school.

According to LaPanne, different areas across campus create a budget request, and they all get sent to the finance staff.

The finance staff then compiles them all and ranks them by importance to comply with what the ultimate budget needs to be.

“When we first compile, it almost always goes over, so the first thing we do is assemble them and rank it so we know what is essential, what is awesome and what is really not on target, and set priorities so if funding becomes available, some of those other initiatives can be funded later,” said LaPanne.

However, Atkins said that the financial aspect of the strategic plan is only one piece of it.

“The emphasis of the overall plan is really on enriching the overall student experience to prepare students for life beyond Keene State.”

Treadwell said that student opinion on the plan as well as its success is important:

“The student should feel that the values [resonate with] them. The student voice is essential to know what we’re missing and what we need to invest in. It should shape where student experiences become deeper and more meaningful.”

One goal of the strategic plan is student achievement.

“Some tangible things we’re focusing on is more collaborative programs between student affairs and academic affairs, like expanding the Living Learning Communities,” said Atkins.

Atkins also said that the school is going to work to support more internships outside of the classroom, and to create support structures to increase learning in the classroom.

The overall mission of the plan is to increase the progress of the KSC campus in all respects.

Treadwell said,

“At the end of these three years, folks will say we set some reasonable goals and we set some audacious goals and we did it. That, to me, will be the great outcome.”

Rachel Vitello

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