The excitement of college acceptances is now past for the Class of 2021 and their parents. Conversations have now moved from “Where will I go to college?” to “How are we going to pay for college?”. College affordability dominates both discussions on campus and in the general public. With the price tag for four years at an elite private institution approaching a half million dollars, how can it not?
Nothing can bring forward more coordinated moans from faculty members and administrators alike than the mention of a new strategic planning process. It portends endless meetings, maybe more endless arguments, and imminent frustration that the final product does not reflect “my university.” I will acknowledge that we have reached a point where state funding (or trustee/alumni support in the case of a private institution), regional accreditation, or programmatic accreditation will not be forthcoming without a strategic plan.