Collective Wisdom Helps Build a Better Brockport
A message from President Macpherson regarding the purpose and vision of the College’s new Strategic Plan
Sometimes people ask me why the College even wants to do a strategic plan. “Is it just a bureaucratic exercise?” they wonder. The answer is decidedly not. A strategic plan helps set our vision and our path, and ensures that we maintain a focus on our future. It says both who we are, and who we want to be. We are a college focused on community, engagement, excellence, and transformation — core principles that connect us to our past as well as our future.
The College’s Strategic Planning Committee has been diligently working on the new plan, tentatively entitled Building a Better Brockport, since February 2016. After nearly a year of weekly meetings, town halls, and other opportunities for feedback, a draft version of the plan is being shared with campus for comment and review.
As of this writing, our four overarching and overlapping goals for the College are:
- To be a Great College at which to Learn
- To be a College Engaged with its Communities
- To be a Sustainable Institution for the 21st Century
- To be a Great College at which to Work
This strategic plan builds upon the achievements of the College and its goals and sets a new direction that expands our reach further into our community. We span the urban and the rural and take pride in our ability to address and enhance both aspects of our community. We are Rochester’s SUNY and Brockport’s SUNY, and we are more than this, too. As a College, we believe in a greater Brockport for a greater Rochester, and a greater Brockport for a greater world. We are of our community not just in our community, and over the next five years, we will become a key resource for Monroe County and beyond.
We are actively reviewing all feedback, and we will make the necessary changes prior to asking our governance groups and affiliated bodies (Alumni Board, Foundation Board, BSG, College Senate, and College Council) to endorse the plan. Why have we consulted so widely? It’s because as a committee and a cabinet, we believe that one perspective is very rarely the best perspective — there’s a need to be in dialogue with others that helps you see the vision and the view. And we have already seen the collective wisdom of our campus helping to enhance and enrich the plan.
I have been particularly encouraged by the thoughtful participation of our student leaders. We need to have the success of our students at the heart of the plan — a message they embraced entirely. Over a working lunch, our students talked to Strategic Plan Committee members and me about their love of Brockport, and their disappointment that some of their fellow students seem to “learn and leave.” Thus, they particularly embraced anything that would reinforce our sense of community. I really applaud our students’ focus and leadership, and their hunger for connection. They want the plan to be ambitious, because Brockport is their school, and will be their Alma Mater.
SUNY Brockport has a small school feel, but offers big school opportunities for our students. As we tell our story, of the successes of our faculty, staff, students and alumni, we will connect and engage with non-profit organizations, business leaders, and educational institutions to assist our community with its problems, and act as a resource for solutions. We know that expertise lies within our boundaries, and we seek to expand outwards so as to share that expertise more widely.
Developing the overarching strategic plan is just the first step. We will align resources to our strategic planning priorities, and ask divisions, offices, and departments to articulate how their goals fit within the broader framework of Building a Better Brockport. If we all come together and work toward achieving common goals, then I am confident that we will achieve our measures of success, and the College will flourish well into the future.