March 25, 2018

Dear Sage Community,

At the middle of the semester, we thought we would share a progress report on the work of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC). To date, we have:

  • Assembled a SPC with a representative selection of the campus including:
    • 4 faculty members (SCA, RSC, SGS) + Associate Provost (heading MSCHE accreditation review)
    • 3 students (RSC, SCA, SGS) and 3 alumni (RSC, SCA, SGS)
    • VPs for Planning and Finance
    • 2 trustees
    • Directors of Athletics, Res Life, Facilities, Marketing/Communication, Alumni Affairs, Diversity/Inclusion, MIS, and representative from admissions
  • Created an internal web site with extensive resources.  Web site includes 12 articles that have been discussed with SPC as well as the Environmental Scan (a document created by us that describes the external environment for The Sage Colleges and some salient data about TSC). The web site also includes a data section with TSC Trend Report, Women’s Colleges Comparison Data, Clearinghouse Data (where did TSC applicants go to college); TSC student profiles, and TSC comparison/peer schools analysis.
  • Set up a series of community discussions of the future identity of Sage. These included groups of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. These are in progress with at least 10 having already taken place and more scheduled; preliminary results have been collated on Google Forms and then analyzed. We plan to re-engage with similar discussions of draft strategic directions in fall. These were general and preliminary conversations but they involved lots of people, underscored key themes and perceived obstacles, outlined areas of controversy, and laid the groundwork for more detailed analysis.
  • SPC chair met with Board of Trustees Strategy Taskforce where business strategy professor and SPC member Kevin Fletcher teamed with trustee Cathy Hill to lead workshop on business rubrics for situational analysis and apply them to Sage. The Strategy Taskforce is running a similar program for full Board of Trustees.
  • Reviewed Prof. Fletcher’s presentation and results with the whole SPC. Conducted “VRIO analysis” of Sage designed to identify relative distinctiveness of institutional strengths. Shared examples of competitor data analysis and outlined kinds of data that will be available to upcoming taskforces.
  • Next steps for SPC: we will be identifying 4-6 key strategic directions and creating sub-groups to draft white papers with recommendations to share with the whole SPC over rest of the semester.
  • Planning, discussion and drafting the plan will continue through fall semester, 2018.

Please feel free to discuss the progress of the planning process and your ideas with any members of the committee.

Chris Ames

Deirdre Zarrillo
VP for Planning and Administration