Daemen’s Drive To National Distinction: Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020


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Daemen’s Drive to National Distinction: Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020 will serve as a blueprint for Daemen College’s continued recognition as a true college of national distinction.

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from the president “Daemen’s Drive to National Distinction: Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020 will serve as a blueprint for Daemen College’s continued recognition as a true college of national distinction.” March 12, 2015 Dear Friend of Daemen College, A change in College leadership in 2013 initiated an update to the existing plan. The original plan remains intact, but a short, one-sentence version of the mission statement was added, as was a values statement and vision statement. These statements economically capture the vision and values expressed in the original plan. In recent years, Daemen College has received substantial national recognition. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected Daemen as one of only 240 institutions nationwide to receive its prestigious Community Engagement Classification. For seven consecutive years, Daemen has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service learning, and civic engagement. The 2015 Military Advanced Education’s Guide to Colleges and Universities selected Daemen as a “Top School” nationally. And in 2014, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Daemen one of the best colleges to work for in the nation. Daemen’s Drive to National Distinction: Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020 will serve as a blueprint for Daemen College’s continued recognition as a true college of national distinction. A draft of these additions was first made available to the entire Daemen community for comment and input. In addition, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College led an all-faculty public discussion about the proposed additions. Following that discussion, proposed changes were again made available to faculty and the Daemen community at-large for further comment. All comments received from that last call for input were overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Given the community’s strong and enthusiastic support, the Cabinet endorsed the final plan, and the Daemen Board of Trustees approved the revised plan in January, 2015. DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 1 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020 I am pleased to present to you Daemen’s Drive to National Distinction: Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020. This plan represents the work of the entire Daemen community, and it outlines the College’s systematic plan to rise to new levels of excellence. Work on the strategic plan began in December of 2010 and extended through 2011 and into 2012. The Daemen College Board of Trustees approved the plan, originally titled simply, “Daemen College Strategic Plan 2012,” on September 18, 2012.


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planning process The Strategic Planning Steering Committee was appointed in December 2010 and met regularly during the 2011 calendar year . A Vision Statement was articulated: Daemen College will continue to thrive by preparing students for professional excellence, intellectual rigor, and service in the global community. The Steering Committee organized its work under two subcommittees – Student Success and Finance – chaired by the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and Business Affairs, respectively. Members of these subcommittees established smaller working groups focused on specific themes (e.g., intellectual rigor, fiscal stability), inviting other members of the campus community to participate in developing strategic recommendations. Representative liaisons between the Student Success and Finance subcommittees ensured ongoing communication and integrated planning. Several strong and intersecting themes emerged clearly as a result of this process: these are reflected in the text of the Strategic Plan. During the annual assessment process, every academic and administrative unit is required to address explicitly how its goals and objectives are contributing to attainment of Strategic Plan goals and objectives, including progress on any Strategic Plan KPIs within the unit’s purview. Cabinet-level review provides annual assessment of overall progress toward Strategic Plan goals and the capability to identify and address any specific areas for improvement, with the Vice President for Academic Affairs providing a status report to the College community. Subcommittee and working group reports and associated assessment data, the foundation of this Strategic Plan, are furnished to all appropriate sectors of the institution for their information and continued use in securing the College’s forward movement toward an environment of increasing professional excellence, intellectual rigor, and service in the global community. DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 3 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020 Planners followed a template that posed these questions: (i) Where are we today? (ii) Where do we want to go? (iii) What will be our tactics? (iv) What resources will we need? and (v) How will we know when we get there? These questions necessarily evoked assessment-based responses as well as integrated consideration of required resources.


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mission The mission of Daemen College is to prepare students for life and leadership in an increasingly diverse and complex world by integrating the intellectual qualities acquired through the liberal arts with the preparation necessary for professional achievement. values The faculty, staff, and students of the Daemen College Community value • a diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and beliefs • a student centered atmosphere • holistic/experiential learning • advanced information literacy • rigorous critical thinking and creative problem solving • effective communication skills • keen moral and ethical discernment • acute affective awareness • informed civic engagement • an understanding of the role of context • intellectual rigor • local and global responsibility • professional preparation vision Daemen will continue to • Attract first-rate faculty and staff as one of the nation’s best colleges to work for • Create a state-of-the-art living and learning environment • Provide an excellent innovative education in a sustainable, supportive learning environment • Become a national model for high quality, affordable undergraduate and graduate education • Become a national leader in blended curriculum • Become a national leader in scholarship and research • Become one of the region’s premier NCAA Division II athletics programs intellectual rigor, and service in the global community. As a college of national distinction, Daemen College will continue to thrive by preparing students for professional excellence, DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 5 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020


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expanded mission statement The mission of Daemen College is to prepare students for life and leadership in an increasingly complex world. Founded on the principle that education should elevate human dignity and foster civic responsibility and compassion, the College seeks to integrate the intellectual qualities acquired through study of the liberal arts with the education necessary for professional programs aims at preparing graduates who are dedicated to the health and well-being of both their local and global communities. accomplishment. This integration which recognizes equal value in liberal studies and professional With a Daemen education, students will acquire the skill to solve problems creatively and think perspective. They will be able to work with others and be invigorated by environments that present challenges and demand innovation. Daemen students are expected to be active life-long journey. participants in their own education and informed citizens who understand that learning is a At the heart of Daemen’s integrated learning experience is the relationship that can develop critically. They will be comfortable with diversity and will recognize the importance of a global between the College’s faculty and its students. Daemen prides itself on maintaining a studentof the College community. Assisted by a supportive faculty, Daemen students are encouraged to pursue goals beyond their initial expectations, to respond to academic challenges, and to develop habits of mind that enrich their lives and their community. centered atmosphere and a close professional and collaborative association among all members DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 7 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020


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history Daemen College is a private, nonsectarian, co-educational, comprehensive college in Amherst, New York. Its attractive suburban location offers convenient access to the cultural amenities of in easy driving distance. metropolitan Buffalo and the scenic outdoor recreation areas of Western New York, the Niagara Frontier, and the Great Lakes. In addition, the College is near Canada, with cosmopolitan Toronto The College was established in 1947 as Rosary Hill College by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, whose foundress was Magdalene Daemen, a Dutch woman dedicated to working with the poor. Her faith and courage have inspired many to give themselves a liberal arts college for women, the College became co-educational in 1971, extending its to the service of others. The College has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on commitment to academic excellence to the education of both men and women. In 1976, the as well as baccalaureate degrees. College became independent and nonsectarian, changing its name to Daemen College. In 1992, New York State amended the college’s charter, authorizing the award of graduate level degrees Committed to an academic atmosphere that leads to open inquiry and debate, Daemen has achieved a creative balance between programs providing career preparation and education in the field experiences, collaborative research with faculty, and study abroad. The Core Curriculum is personally and professionally throughout their lives. designed to develop students’ skills and competencies in seven areas that will benefit them liberal arts. Programs in the major and the competency-based core curriculum encourage students to expand their horizons beyond the classroom through internships, service-learning, clinical and DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 9 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020 Higher Education since 1956. Institutional accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2011. Originally


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executive summary Daemen College will fulfill its mission and continue to thrive in the coming years by emphasizing intellectual rigor, service in the global community, and professional excellence. To ensure that these ideals are realized, the College will maintain an environment conducive to the individual student’s intellectual, social and cultural development. Based on assessment of our current position and the strategic priorities thereby identified, it is anticipated that the Plan will continue to serve the College for approximately the next five years. The Plan is intentionally flexible, sufficiently broad to allow current thinking to be adapted in a rapidly changing global support together with public concern over the increasingly high cost of higher education. and professional excellence in five broad areas, as follows: environment, while acknowledging the budgetary implications of diminishing state and federal The Strategic Plan develops the themes of intellectual rigor, service in the global community, STRATEGY ONE Rigorous Education for the 21st Century STRATEGY TWO Global Competency and Service to the Global Community STRATEGY THREE Persistence to Professional Excellence STRATEGY FOUR Campus Facilities, Aesthetics, and Sustainability STRATEGY FIVE Fiscal Stability DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 11 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020


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strategy one I. RIGOROUS EDUCATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Goal: Daemen College will prepare students for 21st century careers and service to the local and global community by offering rigorous academic programs that are aligned with current market demands and that develop the liberal arts-based skills and competencies necessary to professional excellence. A. New Programs Daemen College will continue its practice of developing new programs that are consonant with institutional mission and that build on institutional strengths. The College will grow its recently initiated baccalaureate programs in Animation, Global and Local Sustainability, and Paralegal Studies, as well as its Entrepreneurship minor targeting majors in the liberal arts and sciences. The College will develop new graduate programs that simultaneously provide the opportunity to market to external constituencies as well as to our undergraduate majors – e.g., a Master of Social Work, a Master of Public Health, and an online EdD for healthcare professionals designed to address the critical shortage of doctorally prepared educators in the health sciences. The College will maintain and continue to develop mutually beneficial relationships with other institutions of higher education both locally and internationally, e.g., our 1+2+1 Bachelor of Nursing program articulated with Erie Community and Genesee Community Colleges, a BS/MS program in Cytotechnology in collaboration with the Roswell Park Institute, and international collaborations with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, the National University of Mongolia, and the University of Botswana, among others. The College will sustain its strong tradition of service, including service to the P–12 community, through our many existing outreach programs, including the Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, the Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education and After School Programs, and our videoconference course offerings to area high schools, as well as the New York State-funded Teacher/Leadership Quality Partnership. The College will cultivate and strengthen relationships with the for-profit as well as non-profit sector and will be alert to mission-compatible opportunities for collaboration. Our partnership with IBC Digital, Inc. to develop an International Center for Excellence in Animation (housing our BFA Animation program) is a recent example of such collaboration. STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020 DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 12


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strategy one B. Alignment of Core Curriculum and Program Goals Core Curriculum assessment initiatives (including focus groups, faculty interviews, and Core and Interdisciplinary Studies committee reports) suggest that Core goals are not yet communicated as clearly or integrated as widely across the campus as is desirable. Print and web communications will be reviewed and revised as needed for clarity and consistency. The College will continue to ensure alignment of institutional mission, Core Curriculum, and program goals through current initiatives, including participation in AAC&U’s LEAP Initiative, the CIC-Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile Consortium, Core evaluation sessions, and the development and implementation of core curriculum and program goal alignment. The College will continue these assessment activities in combination with identifying and using a suitable national assessment tool, such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). C. Student Writing A number of writing assessment activities, including an annual faculty assessment day for student writing, have underscored the need for increased writing proficiency among Daemen students. The College has adopted the AAC&U Written Communication and Information Literacy rubrics and revised the syllabus for CMP 101 to include both of these Core competencies as primary. Resources were allocated for the hiring of two writing specialists – one to serve as Writing Coordinator and another to implement Writing in the Disciplines and Writing Across the Curriculum. The College will continue to create a “culture of writing” by incorporating writing in as many first year courses as possible and will implement Writing in the Disciplines. The College will increase the number of writing tutors and strengthen the training of peer tutors. Resources of the College’s recently awarded Title III grant will be directed to improving student performance in the gateway course of CMP 101 English Composition. D. Academic Program Review Beginning in 2009, the Educational Policy Committee took action to establish a program review process, the necessary groundwork of full enculturation of the institutional assessment process having been achieved. The program review process has been designed as a five-year cycle, with each department’s annual assessment efforts informing program review and with program review informing development of new programs as noted above. Every academic department will have participated in program review by 2016. DAEMEN’S DRIVE TO NATIONAL DISTINCTION | page 13 STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 – 2020 The College will also review the Core Curriculum in light of the global competency objectives described in area II, below, and make a determination regarding inclusion of a global competency Core Curriculum requirement.



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