Arcadia 2025 Adaptive Strategy

 

Arcadia University’s legacy is extraordinary. More than 165 years ago, we began as an institution offering women a liberal arts education. In the decades that followed, we pioneered opportunities in international education, writing across the curriculum, and so much more. Even during turbulent times, the University continued to evolve and advance.

From our founding as Beaver College in 1853 to the present day, Arcadia University continues a remarkable journey as a top-ranked private university in Greater Philadelphia and a national leader in international education. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia nationally among the top universities in study abroad as well as among the top regional universities in the North. The Princeton Review has named Arcadia among the “Best in the Northeast” for five consecutive years, while the University’s Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs are nationally ranked in their respective categories by U.S. News & World Report.

Together, we have moved the Arcadia community forward in immeasurable ways. Our community embarked on the foundation for strategy work two years ago with the arrival of the University’s 22nd President, Dr. Ajay Nair. We were intentional as a community to engage in strategy development as an inclusive process, with a thriving model that was adaptive. Given the uncertainty of the times, we reimagined the strategy process and the strategy itself. ARCADIA 2025 is a strategy intended to help us experiment and take initiative, ask questions and create synergies, and move Arcadia ahead in often unknown and unknowable environments.

Today, disruptions in higher education are unprecedented. We must create an agile organization that doesn’t merely withstand external pressure—we must grow from disruption. The adaptive strategy we are developing as a community will help us build the Arcadia University of the future by drawing on the intrinsic qualities that make us unique, while ensuring that every Arcadia student can reach their full potential.

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Our Approach: A Community of Practice

With an understanding of the major disruptions that are occurring in the higher education industry, we built a community of practice to enable and articulate our shared passions and commitments.

We began the paradigm shift in our community by building a shared agenda through our mission, vision, values, and strategic themes through UKnighted town hall meetings and the leadership of the Aspirational Steering Committee. Ultimately, our Adaptive Strategy is guided by our mission, vision, and values.

Our Mission

Arcadia University provides a distinctively global, integrative, and personal learning experience for intellectually curious undergraduate and graduate students in preparation for a life of scholarship, service, and professional contribution.

Our Vision, Our Dream, Our Passion

Arcadia University’s pioneering, global, integrated, liberal arts, and professional learning experience cultivates leaders who are intellectually fearless and uniquely prepared for life and work. Our highly regarded, values-based learning community reflects the world in which we want to live.

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A Paradigm Shift

Our community work to date has uniquely positioned us to develop several possible scenarios and initiatives, culminating in nearly 100 initiatives organized around strategic themes. These initiatives have been prioritized into an appropriately ambitious, financially affordable, and flexible portfolio of strategic actions by our leadership team.

Through shared governance structures, and with Board oversight, we will execute, monitor, adapt, and redirect our strategy as needed to advance Arcadia. As we encounter unknown challenges, the University is well-positioned to thrive with this new philosophical shift in our strategic thinking and acting. The strategies described herein allow us to be nimble and pivot quickly as the future unfolds.

Rather than a rigid commitment to a strategy that is pinned down to programs and initiatives on a five- or even ten-year horizon, ours will provide constant assessment and evaluation in shorter intervals, where pivoting and shifting our efforts can be much more easily accomplished. Our Adaptive Strategy approach is guided by:

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Methodology

A Balanced Approach

Because Arcadia has been in a highly active state of development for the past two years, this Adaptive Strategy contains tactical details as part of its articulation. Strategic goals remain appropriately ambitious and innovative in nature and present different and new approaches to advancing an area of interest. In total, they represent a longer-term (two-to-four years) directive, are aligned with the Arcadia Vision, and focus on long-term success. Strategic goals require active leadership by the President’s Cabinet for execution, working closely with next-level managers.

Through extensive scenario planning, our Adaptive Strategy represents a balance of actions focused on operational effectiveness, pilots or experiments that can be ramped up or scaled down quickly, and large-scale commitments where there is increasing clarity around a planned scenario in the face of uncertainty. Working collaboratively with the Board of Trustees, the administration will implement a cycle of execution, monitoring, adaptation, and potential redirection that will move Arcadia toward the most advantageous high-impact opportunities.

Data-Informed Culture, Continuous Assessment, and Interconnectedness

The Adaptive Strategy’s themes, goals, and objectives include many points of interconnectedness that will help us build more integrative approaches to complex initiatives that, along with their key performance indicators (KPIs), readily embrace goals and objectives found under other themes that will work to achieve desired outcomes. Through extensive and regular assessment and scenario planning in all levels of planning, the University will use cutting-edge software to align, organize, document, report, and monitor our actions. This system will support a data-informed adaptive strategy, program review, accreditation, and managing academic and administrative outcomes.

College, Departmental, and Divisional Alignment

The four Themes and associated strategic goals capture a series of objectives and initiatives that are threaded throughout the Adaptive Strategy and cut across all of our colleges, departments, and divisions. With support and direction from the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, departments will further align their strategy with the University’s strategic direction and provide annual reports to ensure accountability. The University will produce a comprehensive annual report to document progress.

Financial Sustainability

Once the strategic direction was approved in February by the Board, we have continued our work with the Board and community to align an adaptive multi-year business plan, further develop risk profiles for initiatives, solidify KPIs, continue work on a Campus Master Plan, and develop a collaborative system with the Board to monitor and respond to uncertainties. The strategic direction and associated goals, objectives, and initiatives in this document were prioritized because they will enable or directly contribute to student success and increased revenue. The Provost and Chief Financial Officer will work through our new budget governance process, and with the Finance and Infrastructure Committee of the Board, to align our strategic direction with the proposed fiscal year 2021 operating and capital budgets and a five-year business plan. We will seek approval in May for the fiscal year 2021 capital and operating budgets as well as a five-year business plan which supports the strategic direction, with the understanding that the adaptive nature of the strategy calls for periodic reviews that may result in redirection of strategy and associated resources.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Theme Team leaders and identified initiative owners will undertake a process that articulates the specific metrics (e.g., number of persons, percent of matriculants) as well as target dates for completion. These specific data points will then be entered into a dynamic online strategic management system that will be actively managed and monitored by staff and administration. In addition, the initiative-level KPIs will inform a smaller set of plan-level KPIs that will more efficiently enable us to measure success. Status reports will be regularly generated from the strategic management system and provided to key stakeholders and Board committees for review.

Risk Analysis and Mitigation

Our Adaptive Strategy implementation process will include performing risk analyses of potential threats and shifts coming from both external and internal contexts. With direct involvement by members of the Board of Trustees and with community support, our leadership team will work to monitor and consider key uncertainties (e.g., business model risks, reputational risks, operating model risks, enrollment supply risks, compliance risks) and related signposts (e.g., KPIs) that will ensure our adaptability and antifragility as an organization.

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Strategic Theme One: Academic Excellence Through Impact and Authenticity

Arcadia University’s long-standing traditions of innovation, inclusion, and global engagement establish a unique evolutionary opportunity for the next decade: to redefine academic excellence as Arcadia’s success in meeting students where they are, building transformational academic and professional experiences, and measuring attainment in terms of social impact and self-fulfillment.

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Theme One Strategic Goal #1: Unbounding the Liberal Arts and Sciences

Objective #1:

Deepen the Undergraduate Experience through Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and Global Lenses

Arcadia will solidify and expand on its national leadership in global engagement and interconnect it with a leading higher education model for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Initiatives:

  • Develop and pilot an Inclusive Pedagogy Framework that can be applied to a wide range of undergraduate courses at a wide range of levels
  • Expand and diversify Preview, Global Field Study (GFS), and College of Global Studies experiences (TCGS) to embrace more regions, cultures, and academic disciplines (including service-learning)

KPIs:

  • Preview, GFS, and Study Abroad participation
  • Thrive Index (a composite of student engagement and success indicators)
  • Identity awareness and cultural competency indicators
  • Course offerings identified as having strong JEDI and/or Global content
  • Enrollment in courses identified as having strong JEDI and/or Global content

Timeline:

Inclusive Pedagogy Framework ready to pilot in Fall 2020; Phase 1 of Preview and GFS expansion launches in Spring 2021; Build and pilot draft version of Thrive Index in Summer 2020

 

Objective #2:

Launch New Undergraduate and Graduate Programs across Pedagogies and Modalities

Leveraging market demands and opportunities for social impact, Arcadia will expand and diversify its programming, paying particular attention to the synergies among its four academic epicenters: liberal arts, health sciences, global business, and education.

Initiatives:

  • Build and rollout Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Physician’s Assistant (PA) hybrid programs
  • Redesign the curriculum/program development process to be more data-driven, agile, and outcomes-focused

KPIs:

  • Enrollment in DPT program
  • Enrollment in PA program
  • New programs and modalities
  • New program enrollment
  • Collaborative ventures in programming across the University’s five academic units

Timeline:

DPT and PA hybrid programs rollout in Spring 2021; Pilot of New Program Development process ready in Fall 2020

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Theme One Strategic Goal #2: Transforming Lives and Communities through Strategic Enrollment

Objective #1:

Increase Undergraduate Enrollment and Diversity through New Recruitment and Enrollment Strategies

Arcadia will develop comprehensive, innovative, and contemporary strategies that will redefine how students are recruited and enrolled at the University.

Initiatives:

  • Develop a data-informed three-year comprehensive undergraduate recruitment and enrollment plan (including international)
  • Revise current practices to maximize yield
  • Assess, evaluate, and revise the campus guest experience
  • Establish a campus-wide approach for transfer student success

KPIs:

  • Yield rate
  • First-year student enrollment in the fall term
  • New transfer student enrollment in the fall term
  • Students from diverse backgrounds
  • New market opportunities identified
  • Conversion of visitors to enrolled students
  • Transfer students retained

Timeline:

Phase 1 of new plan deployed for the Fall 2021 recruiting cycle (starting Summer 2020)

 

Objective #2:

Increase Graduate Enrollment through a Strategy Focused on Program Mix and Recruitment

Leveraging its unique mix of programmatic and professional strengths, Arcadia will develop and execute a graduate program strategy that delivers compelling professional growth, extends Arcadia’s brand, amplifies its social impact, and generates new revenue.

Initiatives:

  • Assess graduate program mix for market alignment and, based on the results, develop plans for launching new programs
  • Develop an adaptive Graduate Enrollment Plan

KPIs:

  • Total applications for fall enrollment in graduate programs
  • Yield rate for graduate students
  • Tuition discount rate for graduate students
  • Market share in recruiting regions
  • New market expansion opportunities identified

Timeline:

Market analysis completed by March 2020; New Program Development process launched in Fall 2020

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Theme One Strategic Goal #3: Empowering Students Through Transformational Teaching, Learning, Mentoring, and Research

Objective #1:  

Implement Whole-life Advising and Planning 

Implement an advising framework designed to support our students as they pursue academic and life goals at Arcadia and beyond.

Initiatives: 

  • Conduct an advising self-study and external review
  • Design a broader and more inclusive network of positions, programs, and offices that will provide academic, co-curricular, and career advising for students
  • Launch professional development activities to better equip advisors to work with graduate and undergraduate students on academic, co-curricular, and career goals

KPIs:

  • Undergraduates making satisfactory academic progress 
  • Students’ perception of importance and satisfaction with academic advising 
  • Graduating seniors and new alumni who report that a faculty or staff member helped them to connect with their current employer 

Timeline:

Conduct advising study/review in Summer 2020; Launch workshops in Fall 2020; 
Design of more inclusive advising network by January 2021

Objective #2:  

Expand our Commitment to Teaching, Learning, Mentoring, and Research

Grounded in the belief that the entire Arcadia community should be committed to transforming lives, and recognizing the opportunities for pedagogical innovation across all disciplines, we will create a physical and virtual entity that builds capacity within and across units, roles, and programs to deliver on Arcadia’s mission, vision, and values.

Initiatives: 

  • Establish a Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM, multi-phase implementation)
  • Develop an outreach strategy and support system for Inclusive Pedagogy Framework (see Goal #1, Objective #1)
  • Deepen support for faculty research and expand student involvement

KPIs:

  • Faculty, staff, and student participation in CTLM programming
  • Faculty efforts published, exhibited, presented that involve students
  • Students presenting research and creative work regionally, nationally, and globally 
  • Grants submitted, secured that involve students
  • User agreement that CTLM (Phase I) is an important University resource for building capacity within and across the institution

Timeline: 

Form CTLM Working Group/develop pilot programming for rollout in Fall 2020; Establish CTLM physical space to start in Fall 2020

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Theme One Strategic Goal #4: Expanding Global Reach, Interdisciplinary, and Experiential Opportunities

Objective #1:

Leverage Philadelphia’s Career Landscape to Provide Engaging Opportunities for Student Learning and Development

Building strong relationships in and through businesses, organizations, and institutions in the Philadelphia region, we will provide robust opportunities for students to learn and grow through practical experiences and internships.

Initiatives:

  • Launch Intern Philly
  • Expand and deepen employer relationships with employers and organizations, especially with social impact organizations

KPIs:

  • Internship placement opportunities
  • Center City employer and organization partnerships
  • Intern Philly enrollment
  • Revenue

Timeline:

Launch Intern Philly in Summer 2020

 

Objective #2:

Enrich Global Ventures and Initiatives

Expand, deepen, and enhance shared academic, experiential, co-curricular global initiatives supporting student engagement and learning, faculty collaboration and research, and innovative institutional partnerships.

Initiatives:

  • Establish institutional Global Learning Advisory group to develop global goals and strategy
  • Establish institution-wide comprehensive learning goals for global engagement

KPIs:

  • Student global learning outcomes
  • Total enrollment for all global programs
  • Participation in global programs (e.g., Preview, GFS, study abroad)
  • International student satisfaction with academic/student life experience
  • International collaborative programs (across Colleges and departments)

Timeline:

Complete plan by Fall 2020 (6-9 months)

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Strategic Theme Two: Student Success and Engagement

Promote all aspects of student achievement through engaging curricular and co-curricular programs and services that empower personal and professional success.

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Theme Two Strategic Goal #1: Advancing Socially and Intellectually Transformative Learning

Objective #1:

Design a Student Success Strategy for Underrepresented and Underserved Students 

Develop equitable and inclusive programs that are designed to support students from underrepresented and/or underserved backgrounds.

Initiatives:

  • Design a data-driven plan for supporting underserved students 

KPIs:

  • Underrepresented and/or Underserved Enrollment (graduate/undergraduate)
  • First-year students from underrepresented and/or underserved populations
  • Graduation rates
  • Course pass rates
  • Student engagement (i.e., NSSE)

Timeline:

9 months to develop and implement

 

Objective #2:

Create a Career Ecosystem

Enhance career education and preparedness of undergraduate students by creating a career ecosystem, woven throughout curricular and co-curricular experiences throughout students’ time at Arcadia.

Initiatives:

  • Develop a strategy for career readiness of Arcadia graduates
  • Design and implement a Career Readiness Fellows Program to train faculty/staff as mentors
  • Launch a career and professional development web-based resource portal

KPIs:

  • New graduates employed or enrolled in graduate/professional education within six months of graduation
  • Faculty and staff who join the Career Readiness Fellows Program
  • Students using the Office of Career Education resources/services
  • Seniors participating in a career-building internship, practicum, or research experience
  • Career development courses in the curriculum

Timeline:

Strategy development by Summer 2020; Launch Fellows program by Fall 2020; Launch resource portal by Spring 2021

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Theme Two Strategic Goal #2: Implementing a Holistic Approach to Student Success and Achievement

Objective #1:

Create a Collaborative Model for Student Experience

Enlist the campus community in creating an institutional climate supportive of student success by integrating student-focused systems and service.

Initiatives:

  • Form a cross-functional Student Experience Task Force
  • Develop a Student Experience Vision Statement
  • Identify key initiatives for improving support of student success and achievement

KPIs:

  • Cross-functional units actively represented and participating in Student Experience Task Force and initiatives
  • Student Satisfaction Construct (NSSE)
  • Student Engagement Construct (NSSE)
  • Key Initiatives and outcomes identified

Timeline:

End of May 2020 - 6 months

 

Objective #2:

Develop a Practice that Informs, Facilitates, and Improves the Well-being of Students

Create a uniquely Arcadia framework based on best practices for inclusive excellence, student success, achievement, belonging, and well-being.

Initiatives:

  • Expand the use of student surveys for assessment and benchmarking
  • Develop a Thrive Index instrument that can be applied to various student cohorts

KPIs:

  • Assessment and benchmarking opportunities for student experience, satisfaction, and success (i.e., NSSE, SSI, GSS)
  • Areas of student experience assessed and benchmarked (i.e., transition, well-being, habits of the mind, satisfaction)
  • First-year student transition and engagement
  • Correlation between Thrive Index and traditional student success measures

Timeline:

1-3 months for prototype instruments; 12 months for the fully formed instruments

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Theme Two Strategic Goal #3: Championing a “Student at the Center” Framework

Objective #1:

Design a Robust New-Student Experience from Acceptance to the First Day of the Second Year

Through thoughtful attention to our students’ experience during their first year at Arcadia, including first-year, transfer and graduate students, design a comprehensive plan for this timeframe that includes targeted programs and communication plans which facilitate curricular and co-curricular activities, reflection, and learning.

Initiatives:

  • Identify and strengthen opportunities to enhance new students’ experience • Design programs to develop these opportunities • Develop a graduate student survey to measure engagement, satisfaction, expectations, and priorities

KPIs:

  • New Student Engagement, Satisfaction (e.g., NSSE - construct)
  • Average first term GPA of new students (FYS/TR/Grad)
  • Credit accumulation and satisfactory academic progress
  • Curricular and co-curricular collaborations and opportunities for students
  • New student retention rates fall to spring and fall to fall (FYS/TR/Grad) strong JEDI and/or Global content

Timeline:

Design - 6 months; Pilot - 12 months
 

Objective #2:

Provide High-quality, Meaningful Opportunities For Parents and Family Members to Engage with the Arcadia Community

Integrate critical elements of successful, sustainable, and scalable programs that seek to inform and connect families to the Arcadia community in impactful ways.

Initiatives:

  • Identify and create opportunities for family engagement
  • Develop communication programs for families to support their students throughout their Arcadia Experience

KPIs:

  • Outreaches that inform families about programs, events, and opportunities to engage
  • Social media engagement • Participation of families and guests at orientation
  • Participation of families and guests at family weekend
  • Professional development on family and community engagement
  • Parent giving
  • Participation from parents of underserved/ represented groups

Timeline:

July 2020 - 8 months

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Theme Two Strategic Goal #4: Creating a Vibrant Residential and Campus Environment

Objective #1:

Develop a Residential Engagement Strategy

Build a robust residential program that increases participation rate, enriches student learning, and fosters a spirit of engagement and community among students, staff, and faculty.

Initiatives:

  • Design a comprehensive residential strategy to include models for student well-being, academic engagement living and learning programs, special interest residential programs, and the Resident Assistant Program

KPIs:

  • Students living off-campus who move to on-campus housing
  • Quality of student housing, on-campus student life, student activities, overall satisfaction (i.e., NSSE)
  • Roommate changes
  • Retention rate of students in on-and off-campus housing
  • Attendance at campus events (e.g., athletic, performance, speakers, OID)

Timeline:

Strategy Development - 5 months; Implementation - 18 months

 

Objective #2:

Reimagine Arcadia’s Graduate Environment

Create a sense of belonging and enhance engagement for graduate students within and beyond their program.

Initiatives:

  • Identify issues and needs specific to our graduate students (including online)
  • Create a comprehensive strategy designed to improve graduate students’ overall experience

KPIs:

  • Resources available to graduate students during evenings and summer
  • Graduate student resource utilization rate during evenings and summer
  • Usage rate of campus services by graduate students
  • Engagement, satisfaction, sense of belonging (i.e., graduate student survey)

Timeline:

End of May 2021 - 18 months

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Strategic Theme Three: Social Responsibility and Impact

Forge partnerships and alliances, affirm the talents of diverse populations, engage in difficult dialogue, and question our own practices through the lenses of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Theme Three Strategic Goal #1: Lifting Ourselves and Others Through Partnership

Objective #1:

Expand Vibrant Partnerships Across the Region

Create local partnerships and alliances with mutually beneficial goals both to strengthen Arcadia’s commitment to the community and to elevate students’ learning experiences through a meaningful application.

Initiatives:

  • Develop Easton Road as a vibrant community-university corridor reinvigorated through visible community partnerships
  • Expand targeted dual enrollment programs and agreements, including certificates

KPIs:

  • Number of student and faculty participation in courses, internships, research, student teaching, Education practicum, and PT and Counseling clinical practice along the Easton Road Corridor
  • Number of Community-engaged courses and events in the Easton Road Corridor
  • Number of neighbors and partners involved in Easton Road Corridor planning sessions
  • Number of high schools and students participating in dual enrollment programs

Timeline:

Easton Road Corridor community listening sessions to be held in Fall 2020, with pre-meetings to be held in Spring and Summer 2020; Dual Enrollment Certificate course clusters offered to partners in advance of Fall 2020

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Theme Three Strategic Goal #2: Supporting Populations of Promise

Objective #1:

Meet the Financial Needs of Diverse Applicants and Affinity Groups

Through meaningful awarding of financial aid, help students find clear pathways toward success related to their diverse interests and affinities.

Initiatives:

  • Implement data-driven financial aid matrix to support enrollment growth

KPIs:

  • Yield rate by financial aid matrix cell
  • First-year students enrolled in the fall term
  • Freshman retention rate by demographics and financial awards

Timeline:

Strategic Packaging Matrix will be deployed Fall 2019 for Fall 2020 financial aid packages; Enrollment and yield goals to be met progressively over five years

 

Objective #2:

Expand Specialized Admission Programs

Arcadia will give more students opportunities to see a clear home for themselves as they make their college choices.

Initiatives:

  • Implement and establish Arcadia Civic Scholars Program for students in any major who are passionate about driving social change

KPIs:

  • New student yield rate for those who were offered Civic Scholars
  • First-to-second year retention of Civic Scholars

Timeline:

Launch inaugural cohort in Fall 2020

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Theme Three Strategic Goal #3: Strengthening, Connecting, and Amplifying Civic Life

Objective #1:

Promote Dialogue and Safeguard Open Expression

Promote engaged discourse through clear frameworks for open expression and a renewed emphasis on dialogue and debate.

Initiatives:

  • Create lectures, seminars, and dialogueseries (e.g., Ten-Minute Teach-In) to open minds to new ideas and cultivate new ways of thinking
  • Create training sessions for participants to lead difficult dialogues

KPIs:

  • Percentage of training participants who go on to facilitate dialogues
  • Number of campus lectures, panels, and events about contentious issues or contemporary policy debates

Timeline:

Pilot Ten-Minute Teach-Ins before Fall 2020; Launch training offerings in Fall 2020

 

Objective #2:

Expand Community-engaged Teaching and Learning in Local and International Settings

Provide applied learning opportunities for students to practice community engagement and produce meaningful outputs beyond the traditional classroom.

Initiatives:

  • Expand and diversify structured, for-credit community-engaged courses enabling students to gain real-world experience while serving and learning in cross-cultural contexts 

KPIs:

  • Number of community-engaged academic offerings each semester
  • Number of students participating in communityengaged learning experiences annually
  • Percentage of Arcadia’s global centers offering a community-engaged course each semester
  • Number of international service-learning courses in Spring 2020/Spring 2021
  • Percentage of community site leaders who report their associated Arcadia course has made a positive difference for them and they would welcome continued/future collaboration

Timeline:

Initial Training - Spring 2020; Expanded offerings - Fall 2020

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Theme Three Strategic Goal #4: Grounding and Integrating Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Objective #1:

Position Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) at the Center of All of the Institution’s Work

Initiatives:

  • Produce a JEDI Framework with uniquely Arcadian characteristics
  • Offer training sessions related to the JEDI Framework to inform and affect University activities and decision-making processes

KPIs:

  • Number of participants in training sessions for the use of the Framework
  • Climate Survey indicators • Identity awareness and cultural competency indicators

Timeline:

Develop draft JEDI Framework in Spring 2020; Solicit community feedback in Fall 2020; Produce final Framework by the end of Fall 2020; Offer training in Spring 2021; Offer additional training and consultancy in Fall 2021

Objective #2:

Expand Environmentally Sustainable Practices

Create new programs to measure and address campus carbon footprint, and organize education around the most relevant and current topics.

Initiatives:

  • Engage in a sustainability audit to measure current practices and highlight areas for expansion
  • Design and ratify a plan for promoting and expanding environmentally sustainable practices with concrete goals to be developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders

KPIs:

  • Percentage improvement based on key sustainability indicators (baselines to be determined)
  • Number of new sustainability efforts

Timeline:

Execute audit Spring 2020; Launch committee in Fall 2020; Produce a comprehensive plan by June 2021

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Strategic Theme Four: Campus, Culture, and Community

Arcadia’s strength is its people. Investing in our campus, culture, and community unites us in purpose and empowers our community to contribute and lead our institution into the next decade. We will develop a culture of engagement, intentionally entering into supportive relationships with students to create a sense of belonging and development as work-ready and life-ready adults. 

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Theme Four Strategic Goal #1: UKnighted in Purpose, Empowering to Lead

Objective #1:

Develop a Plan for Digital Transformation

A multi-phased digital transformation effort that will fuel innovation, enhance learning, maximize institutional resources, and improve business processes and stakeholder experiences at Arcadia University. The transformation will create the framework and infrastructure by which technology and data can be leveraged as key institutional assets.

Initiatives:

  • Develop a University Data Governance (UDG) framework
  • Implement an Information Security Program
  • Launch a whole student lifecycle engagement platform through a modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • Pilot Data Analytics and Visualization project at an Institutional Level

KPIs:

  • Data stewards identified vs. the number of departments and colleges (domains)
  • Approved and implemented standards, policies, and processes
  • Full-time faculty and staff who have participated in information security training
  • Information security maturity level (rubric)
  • Personalized communications that are mapped and segmented by strategic groupings (CRM)
  • Admission conversion and yield rates
  • Institutional level data visualizations

Timeline:

University Data Governance - 6-9 months

Information Security Program - 36 months

CRM - Phase I - 8-12 months

Data Analytics -12 months

 

Objective #2:

Achieve Shared Governance Excellence

Enhance organizational effectiveness, intentionally balancing participation in planning and decision-making among
various campus constituents.

Initiatives:

  • Codify shared principles and systems of shared governance
  • Evaluate and strengthen current Board structure and implement recruitment and
  • succession planning based on benchmarks

KPIs:

  • Diversity in university-wide committee participation
  • Participation rates in cross-functional areas
  • Campus-wide leadership reflects core competencies that are mission-critical to the success of the University
  • Board representation reflects core competencies and philanthropic objectives that are mission-critical to the success of the University

Timeline:

Evaluations 1-2 years

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Theme Four Strategic Goal #2: Creating Impactful Philanthropy and Strategic Finance

Objective #1:

Support University Advancement Engagement Initiatives

Increase awareness about the power of communal giving and impact philanthropy through radical generosity.

Initiatives:

  • Execute the endowed scholarship match program
  • Restructure the Alumni Association/Leadership Council and Steering Committee; strengthen alumni engagement opportunities (volunteer, event, and philanthropic)
  • Implement a strong stewardship program to recognize donors at all levels
  • Offer philanthropic education to the community
  • Continue positive trajectory in annual giving and build a major gifts program

KPIs:

  • Unrestricted dollars raised (The Fund for Arcadia)
  • New or supplemental gifts closed to establish or enhance endowed scholarships for the Arcadia Financial Aid Initiative
  • Gifts of $25,000 or more
  • New prospective donors and visits to qualify, cultivate, and solicit
  • Educational sessions held

Timeline:

2-3 years

 

Objective #2:

Develop a Multi-Year University Budget Model

Develop a funding plan utilizing operational surpluses, redeployments, partnerships, new initiatives, philanthropy, investment, and debt to redeploy, cultivate, and grow the resources available to power strategic initiatives.

Initiatives:

  • Engage the campus community, leadership team, and Board in an integrated and transparent budget process
  • Develop a capital budget process

KPIs:

  • Revenue
  • Bond Covenants
  • Reduction in redundancy
  • Rate of funding for high priority initiatives (increase enrollments, maximize occupancy, and retain students)

Timeline:

6-9 months

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Theme Four Strategic Goal #3: Fortifying Unified and Compelling Storytelling

Objective #1:

Launch an Institutional Branding Initiative

Create a brand platform that is authentic to Arcadia, based on market research.

Initiatives:

  • Conduct stakeholder research and develop a brand platform
  • Establish a comprehensive story development plan
  • Launch a brand strategy that expands institutional brand awareness and engages the community in the brand position, pillars, personality, and personas.

KPIs:

  • Cost to attract and enroll a new student
  • Qualified leads, applicants, and prospects
  • Stories and mentions about faculty, staff, and students posted on Arcadia global platforms

Timeline:

Initiative Spring 2020; Build Brand Awareness 3-year plan

 

Objective #2:

Centralize a University Marketing Strategy

Unify and centralize the University’s market dynamics, demographics, and competitive benchmarking.

Initiatives:

  • Create a Comprehensive Global University Marketing Plan that crosses all relevant units of the institution
  • Overhaul of the Arcadia.edu website

KPIs:

  • Evidence-based usability testing results
  • Website traffic, new users, geographic locations, arcadia.edu and all subsites
  • Graduate program inquiries, qualified leads, enrollment yield
  • Placements, inquiries, and engagements of Arcadia stories in a global media market

Timeline:

Develop a strategy - 1 year

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Theme Four Strategic Goal #4: Investing in People and Infrastructure

Objective #1:

Establish a High-Performance Culture

Attract, motivate, develop, and retain highly talented and diverse faculty and staff to deliver exceptional results.

Initiatives:

  • Develop job descriptions and quality indicators
  • Design a compensation philosophy aligned with the University’s Lived Values
  • Build a multi-year financial plan to responsibly guide implementation
  • Create a performance management program to inculcate Lived Values, promote engagement, and develop all faculty and staff to deliver exceptional results

KPIs:

  • Compensation benchmarks
  • Performance management participation rate
  • Faculty and staff retention rate
  • Professional development participation and offerings

Timeline:

12- 36 months

 

Objective #2:

Develop a Campus Master Plan

Assess and leverage ways in which the priorities of the adaptive strategy may be best supported through physical structures and campus layout.

Initiatives:

  • Create a living, actionable, experience-focused plan for the physical future of Arcadia’s campuses
  • Engage the community in a highly interactive, inclusive, and thoughtful design process
  • Develop a funding framework, a long-range plan for resourcing, and a capital project prioritization matrix

KPIs:

  • Participation and cross-sectional nature of community involvement in the design process
  • Utilization rates for the classroom, housing, recreational, and office space
  • Utility usage rates
  • Capital project prioritization ratings (matrix)

Timeline:

9-12 months

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Conclusion

After the strategic direction was approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2020, the University has continued its work with community members to align a business plan, further develop risk profiles for initiatives, solidify KPIs, and develop a collaborative and routine system with the Board to monitor and respond to uncertainties, which may result in further redirection of our strategy.

We are confident that Arcadia’s future growth and prosperity will be well-guided by this adaptive approach. Undoubtedly, our efforts will lead to Arcadia’s next transformation. Even as we pay homage to the ingenuity and fearlessness that are our hallmarks, through our engagement with you, we have learned that today’s world demands more. Our Adaptive Strategy will keep us mission-focused while helping us remain nimble in a quickly evolving environment.

With such momentum and urgency, it is hard not to dream about the future. The community engagement activities in the past year-and-a-half are producing a spectacular dream—one that we are confident we can achieve. 

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