Immaculata Magazine - Winter 2015 - page 25

While debate and conversation were essential to the
process, the most significant component was the utilization
of data. The OPT determined what data would need to be
collected and analyzed for University leadership to make
decisions. For example, if a new academic program was being
considered, the decision to pursue the program had to be
supported with data regarding the viability of the program:
How many other institutions offer the degree? What are the
costs to starting and sustaining the program? What is the
potential for enrollment? This commitment to data-based
decision making is central to the Strategic Agenda.
The final decision of the SAPC was to determine the
name for the new agenda. The name, “A New Era: Inspired by
Vision, Cultivated in Tradition” captured the true spirit of the
work of the SAPC and the support of the Board of Trustees,
who approved the agenda at their meeting in April 2014. The
committee was strongly focused on the future of the University
while emphasizing that the history and mission of Immaculata
and the charism of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, must remain central to the life of the University.
With approval from the Board of Trustees, the
implementation of the Strategic Agenda began. Various
departments and divisions across campus were charged with
addressing certain initiatives (of the 29 identified within the
agenda). Other initiatives were assigned to standing committees
or newly formed task forces.
Outlined on the following pages are the six strategies and
their corresponding 29 initiatives. These are the highest level
of the guiding documents that resulted from the planning
process. The supporting documents go into great detail
defining who will do the work (individuals, committees,
task forces), deadlines, and which tasks feed subsequent tasks.
Most importantly, because of the design of the Strategic
Agenda, it will be an active and living document. Many plans
of this sort end up in a binder, stuck in a drawer or on a
shelf, only pulled out once a year to plan the following year’s
work. The design of the Strategic Agenda demonstrates the
integration of the plan throughout the entire University and
more clearly articulates how decisions in one department
can have an impact throughout campus.
Because of the hard work of the SAPC and the OPT, the
Immaculata community has great confidence in “A New Era.”
The process has already improved and increased communication
across campus, which has brought about new campus
partnerships and integration. As the plans resulting from the
Strategic Agenda are more fully implemented, Immaculata’s
second century will begin with the University being stronger,
more vibrant, and more committed to its mission.
Photo courtesy of American Spirit /
In 1779, Philadelphia furniture maker John Folwell crafted
a chair decorated with a sun on the top rail for use by the
Pennsylvania Assembly’s Speaker. In 1787, George Washington
presided over the often-contentious Continental Convention
from his seat on this chair. Benjamin Franklin attended most
of the sessions and observed the active debate that occurred over
the drafting of the Constitution. As the delegates were signing
the finished document, Franklin famously remarked that during
the convention he had often looked at the painted sun on
Washington’s chair and wondered “...whether it was rising or
setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is
a rising and not a setting sun.”
In concluding her remarks about Immaculata’s new Strategic
Agenda, Sister Pat referenced the history of the Rising Sun
Chair and noted how the active discussion and participation in
crafting this plan and its implementation will see the sun rising
over Immaculata’s future.
The Rising Sun Chair
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