DRAFT Strategic Plan – February/March 2011

DRAFT Strategic Plan Document for Community Comment
February/March, 2011

This plan has not yet been named: community members are encouraged to propose titles. Louise Zingaro welcomes your suggestions!

Values and Vision
Sweet Briar celebrates and cherishes its heritage as a small, residential, liberal arts college for women, preparing students to fulfill their academic, professional, and personal aspirations by providing excellent academic and co-curricular programs on an expansive and inspiring campus. This has been our strength since the founding of the College more than a century ago. It remains our pride, our strength, and our excellence today.
In the second decade of the 21st century, we dedicate ourselves to increasing the currency and sustainability of this tradition. Sweet Briar seeks to be the example that proves that “small” can be dynamic and vital, that “rural” can be sophisticated and connected, and that the “ivy-tower” liberal arts gain meaning when they engage reflectively with practical experience. Sweet Briar seeks to be the example that proves that “institutional” and “entrepreneurial” thinking add value to each other: that innovation keeps tradition vital while tradition keeps innovation grounded.
We also dedicate ourselves to putting Sweet Briar on a more sustainable financial footing. Increased enrollment, expense curtailment, preservation of the endowment, productive fundraising, and new revenue streams must all play a role in bringing the College into a state of financial equilibrium. Because enrollment growth extends the impact of our mission while advancing our financial sustainability, it is a primary focus of the current strategy.
In short, our strategy is to make sure that Sweet Briar becomes, in the coming decade, the most dynamic, focused, and effective possible version of itself – larger than at present but still among the nation’s smallest and most personal campus communities; streamlined but still offering an appealing range of academic and co-curricular programs; “both market-smart and mission-centered.”
How will the College look different in five years if this plan is successfully implemented?
• Our residence halls will be full and the student-faculty ratio will have reached or be approaching policy benchmark.
• Current revenues (from tuition, philanthropy, and other revenue generating activities) will increase as a proportion of the operating budget and endowment reliance will decrease. Endowment spending rate will have reached or be approaching policy benchmark. Compensation will have reached or be approaching policy benchmark.
• Renovated classrooms and other learning spaces across the campus will support “digitally sophisticated” teaching and learning and provide more attractive and appealing environments for student-faculty interaction.
• The library renovation will be complete.
• We will have an integrated campus plan for addressing maintenance and renovation needs, including our needs with regard to accessibility and energy efficiency.
• Faculty innovation and initiative will be supported, recognized and rewarded through the “entrepreneurial educator” program and through funds raised specifically to encourage “instructional innovation and excellence.”
• A streamlined academic program will clearly present students with opportunities for experiential learning, “learning in the landscape,” and “digitally sophisticated” learning as the hallmarks of Sweet Briar’s distinctiveness.
• New populations of learners will be served by the residential undergraduate program and by non-degree and graduate programs. The residential undergraduate student body will increase in racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Other programs will bring diversity of age and gender to campus.
• Sweet Briar will enjoy a stronger market position, competing more effectively against regional institutions for students and enhancing its national reputation for vitality, currency, and relevance.

Conceptual Cornerstones
Serving An Expanded Student Body. We believe that more women (and in specific programs, men) can and should benefit from a Sweet Briar education. While remaining intentionally small and intimate in scale, Sweet Briar will benefit greatly from increased enrollment and greater diversity among the student body. Our goal is to attract more of the students we have historically served so well while increasing the representation of students from a wider range of racial, ethnic, religious, and personal backgrounds. Our approach will be an assertive strategy of targeted, research-driven, and increasingly digital marketing coupled with highly personal and relationship-driven recruiting.
The plan proposes expanding the student body to fill current residential capacity. A student body of 675 – 700 students in residence will increase the sustainability of the financial model. Equally, if not more importantly, it will increase the intellectual diversity and vitality of the campus and the energy of co-curricular life. Adding approximately 65 – 70 non-residential matriculated students (including Turning Point students, students with nearby families, and upperclass students living off-campus) for a total enrollment of 750 – 800 degree-seeking undergraduates is the first-stage goal.
The plan also calls for enrollment growth among non-undergraduate-degree seekers. Sweet Briar wishes to provide excellent, educationally meaningful programs to such students through the creation of new programs for secondary students, additional graduate programs (with a priority on using technology to develop low-residency models), and increased enrollment in Sweet Briar’s signature Junior Year in France (JYF) and Junior Year in Spain (JYS) programs. Such programs will enhance both revenue and reputation and will extend the benefit of studying with Sweet Briar’s outstanding faculty to new populations of students, extending the impact of our educational mission.
A Landscape for Learning: Sweet Briar possesses a very nearly unique asset in the beauty and extent of its landholdings. Making the most effective use possible of the campus for recruiting, for academic, athletic and co-curricular programming, and for revenue generation is a pervasive element of the plan, which calls for increased focus on our “landscape for learning” in marketing, entrepreneurial efforts to identify revenue generating opportunities related to our landholdings, and review by the faculty of the ways in which both curriculum and pedagogy can engage the immediately local environment and issues of environmental sustainability. The major new program concept contemplated by this plan – in the area of sustainable/organic agriculture/food production — is intimately related to the land and to Sweet Briar’s history as a working plantation. Other initiatives include the creation of “outdoor classrooms,” a curriculum review with learning in our particular landscape as a focus, increased support in Co-Curricular Life for outdoorsmanship and environmentally oriented activities, and targeted recruitment of students with outdoorsmanship, environmental, and related interests.
A Community of “Entrepreneurial Educators:” Sweet Briar can set the example for how not-for-profit, mission-centered higher education can benefit from incorporating elements of an entrepreneurial mindset. The plan proposes an “Entrepreneurial Educator” program which facilitates and rewards faculty initiative by supporting faculty members who advance sustainable educational initiatives that attract enrollment or revenue to the College, furthering mission while increasing sustainability.
Sweet Briar will also seek entrepreneurial opportunities to generate revenue from its existing assets, especially its landholdings, through business or other revenue-generating activities that are consistent with our educational and environmental values. The plan also emphasizes partnerships which will allow Sweet Briar to eliminate activities that do not fall within our organizational core competence or to share resources with collaborators when it is financially advantageous for us to do so. And the plan envisions a Sweet Briar which takes pride in the professionalism, productivity, and efficiency of its administrative and operational processes. The plan calls for directing more financial and human resources to mission-critical activities, minimizing the ways in which non-mission-central work and operational inefficiencies distract both human and financial resources.
Digital Sophistication. There can be no doubt that the ability to work effectively with digital information and media is as important to women’s achievement in the 21st century as the ability to work effectively with “traditional” information and media has been and still is. Sweet Briar graduates increasingly need to enter into graduate education, the workplace, and civic life prepared to engage with today’s digital world and to adapt throughout a lifetime of dizzying technological change.
There is also no doubt that technology offers great potential benefit to an institution like Sweet Briar, located in a relatively remote area. Access to disciplinary experts, guest performers, unique documents and images, remote instrumentation, and powerful analytic capacity is facilitated by digital technology. Wise use of appropriate technologies can ensure that a small and remote college offers world-class resources to its students, even if those resources are located halfway around the globe.
Our plan therefore envisions a more digitally sophisticated Sweet Briar by proposing the extensive renovation of learning spaces, the expansion of instructional technology and support staff capacity, curriculum review with “digital sophistication” as a priority, a strengthened administrative technology infrastructure, and a program of support and recognition for faculty pursuing technologically-enabled instructional innovation.

Action Plans
Building upon these conceptual cornerstones will result in a Sweet Briar that is “operating sustainably, competing effectively, engaging new populations, and producing liberally educated and digitally sophisticated graduates,” in the words of the Starting Line White Paper. But, as has been frequently noted throughout this planning process, ambitious goals and inspiring visions only make a difference if they are translated into specific action plans to which all constituents of the College agree to hold themselves accountable.
Below, by functional area, a series of action plans outline the work to be undertaken in the immediate future to start us moving expeditiously toward a more sustainable, inclusive, entrepreneurial, and digitally sophisticated Sweet Briar.
Marketing and Recruiting Action Plan
Sweet Briar faces one immediate and imperative need: to grow enrollment as aggressively as possible without construction of additional facilities. Acceptable current residential capacity has been determined to be 688, assuming modest renovation and repurposing of existing space. With a slightly increased proportion of non-residential students, we can reach a total matriculated enrollment of 750 – 800. We can increase overall enrollment by enrolling more students in Junior Year in France (JYF) and Junior Year in Spain (JYS) programs, graduate programs, and non-degree programs.
The competitive advantages that will allow Sweet Briar to attract more students are clear. We offer an unmatched “landscape for learning” and we have solid experience with “experiential/practicum” learning. We offer distinctive programs, including a nationally respected equestrian program and one of only two women’s-college engineering programs. We have strength in academic areas known to appeal to today’s prospective students. Ensuring that programs, budgets, and messages are aligned with these advantages and investing in the marketing and recruiting that will make them compelling to prospective students are the keys to increased enrollment through both recruitment and retention.
Sweet Briar’s admissions and recruiting strategy needs to be appropriate to a small, highly distinctive, “niche” educational experience. That is, the strategy needs to assume a highly efficient but relatively narrow admissions funnel. Like any niche or highly specialized product or experience, Sweet Briar’s best strategy is to rely on identifying and reaching those most likely to value what it offers as early as possible in the recruiting process and then cultivating them intensively.
To support this strategy we must:
1. Commission market research to support more effective targeting of recruiting resources.
2. Develop “target market” communications and recruiting plan, with an initial focus on riders , outdoorswomen/environmentalists/girl scouts, students in target geographic areas, and others as indicated by research and experience.
3. Increase recruitment focus on the immediately surrounding geographic area with specific attention to diversity (responding to research about the geographical preferences of prospective students from Latina and African-American populations), non-residential students, Turning Point students, and transfers from community colleges.
4. Increase emphasis on videos, images, and multimedia in marketing and the practice of engaging “out of the box” consultants and creative marketing personnel.
5. Adjust the current print and text-heavy mix to increase emphasis on digital and image/video for use on line and in social networking environments while retaining the essential high quality print publications
6. Commission a new financial aid matrix based on net-tuition revenue modeling and current data, maintain or incrementally increase average net tuition revenue per student, and assess this approach once current capacity is filled.
Academic Action Plan
The faculty has authority to define the curriculum and pedagogy of the academic program, but it does not do so in a vacuum. The faculty recognizes the centrality of its role in offering an academic program that will attract and retain an increasingly talented and diverse student body, encourage a culture of excellence among the students of the college, and prepare graduates for success in their post-college endeavors. And, of course, it is in the interest of the faculty to offer an academic program that helps the institution meet its reputational and financial goals. In turn, the academic initiatives of the faculty require both funding and the appropriate allocation of support services, professional development opportunities, and most especially compensation.
1. The faculty will review those portions of the curriculum falling outside the major programs of study. This includes not only the requirements of the general education program but also related programs such as the honors program, the teaching of writing, and the developing Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) program. The goal of this review will be to determine whether a streamlined curriculum could allow more effective allocation of faculty time while communicating educational priorities more clearly to students. This review will bear in mind the strategic focus concepts of experiential learning, the landscape for learning, and digital sophistication, asking how these concepts should find expression in the curriculum.
2. The faculty will propose a model for an “academic priorities committee” (APC) or similar body, charged with guiding the direction of the academic program as a whole in collaboration with the Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA), and President. This body would be charged with making recommendations regarding the allocation, creation, or termination of instructional positions and academic programs in light of long-term academic priorities and directions.
3. The faculty will investigate the potential benefits of reorganizing into larger, intellectually related collegial units to encourage further interdisciplinary collaboration and integrated curriculum planning. (Such reorganization could also reduce the administrative burden of the faculty, collectively, by reducing the number of very small departments each of which requires a chair.) Working with the Dean, the faculty will consider a variety of organizational models and institutional examples and will make a recommendation regarding the organization of faculty work.
4. Using the measures endorsed by the Sustainable Size and Ratios (SSAR) study group, the Dean will propose goals for the number of major programs to be offered and the number of courses to be taught. The Dean will work with faculty leadership (presumably through a newly-created APC) to plan changes in the curriculum to achieve benchmark targets by consolidating or eliminating courses and major, minor, or certificate programs.
5. Using the measures endorsed by the SSAR study group, the Dean and President will establish a goal for the overall student-faculty ratio. The Dean will plan with faculty leadership (again, presumably through an APC) to achieve the benchmark target, taking both projected enrollment growth and projected attrition due to retirements and resignations into account.
6. No tenure-track searches, or conversions to the tenure track, will be authorized until plans for meeting benchmark targets for faculty/program/course/student ratios have been approved and acceptable progress has been demonstrated.
7. The “entrepreneurial educator” program will offer seed funding and staffing support to faculty members, departments, or groups of faculty collaborators who develop programs that will sustainably serve fee paying students who are not enrolled for a Sweet Briar degree (that is, high school students, seniors/retirees/alumnae, males, adults pursuing certificate or personal enrichment education, and so on.)
8. A fund to support “instructional innovation and excellence” will be established to support, reward, and recognize faculty members who make innovative changes in courses or programs to improve student learning.
9. Academic departments, programs, or collaborators will be encouraged to propose new graduate programs, with preference being given to proposals for low-residency programs that use campus facilities in the summer, during breaks, or on weekends and that use technology to engage students between sessions on campus.
10. The Dean and faculty will undertake a feasibility assessment and planning process to explore the potential of a new academic program in the general topical area of sustainability and local agriculture/food production. This idea that surfaced repeatedly throughout strategic planning discussions as uniting our distinctive landholdings, environmentalism, and hands-on learning while resonating with a significant organic/local food movement in Virginia, strong current interest in food, health, and sustainability, and Sweet Briar’s own history as a self-supporting plantation. Various models of such a program have been proposed and many questions remain to be studied by an appropriate team in order to determine whether this is a feasible opportunity and if so in what form.

Financial Action Plan
For the next several years, Sweet Briar must juggle competing financial priorities. It is essential to simultaneously maintain support for a high-quality and attractive program, pay down existing debt, and restrain endowment spending. Stepping too hard on the metaphorical financial brakes will damage our ability to recruit and retain students and to fulfill our educational mission. Stepping too hard on the metaphorical gas pedal will accelerate the depletion of the endowment, jeopardizing our future.
For planning purposes different forms of expenditure can appropriately be regarded differently. Investing in developing enrollment and revenue is one matter; fulfilling debt obligations is another; maintaining historical but unexamined levels of operational expenditure is yet a third. Our financial strategy is to reduce ongoing operational expenditures through careful discipline and strategic partnerships, to make moderate investments that will pay off in increased enrollment in the immediate term, to focus resources on our core competencies and strategic priorities, and to recognize that the prudent course may be to allow the strain of existing debt service to fall on the endowment as well as on the college’s programs for the next few fiscal years.
1. The Board of Directors, working with the President and Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA), will define a set of “financial guardrails” or “planning parameters” which will articulate the broad financial policy within which the College is to operate for the coming 3 – 5 years as the various aspects of this plan are implemented.
2. Sweet Briar’s primary revenue strategy will be to increase tuition revenue by increasing enrollment while seeking to maintain or slightly increase average net revenue per student. Increased enrollment of non-residential students, students in Junior Year programs, and the graduate programs in education will contribute to increased revenue; our target will be to slightly increase the proportion of revenue from these enrollments without rebalancing the college away from the residential undergraduate core.
3. Efforts will be launched to forge partnerships with other campuses/organizations to share non-mission-critical resources and services to enhance quality or reduce operating expenses when it is financially advantageous. Such partnerships can take the form of “outsourcing” or of interinstitutional collaboration and resource sharing.
4. Initiatives to generate non-tuition revenue will increase, including projects to identify agricultural or other opportunities for land use and to build 12-month use of the campus. Opportunities to sell, lease, or realize revenue from eligible landholding or other assets will be actively considered.
5. While the administration, the Board, and the faculty all recognize the essential importance of reducing endowment spending to a sustainable level (current policy target is 5%), under the existing burden of debt service, attaining this goal immediately would require a level of operating budget reduction that would adversely affect program, recruitment, and retention. For the near future we will notionally differentiate between the “spending rate for program,” “spending for strategic investment,” and the “spending rate for debt service,” in order to illustrate and monitor the relative impact of the various kinds of spending.
6. In order to understand and coordinate priorities in the area of maintenance and renovation of physical plant, we will develop a holistic campus needs assessment, incorporating the energy and accessibility audits already completed into a larger and campus wide maintenance plan. Known needs in Pannell, Babcock, and Guion will be included in the plan.

Technology Action Plan
Strategic priorities in the area of technology are intended to create the conditions under which Sweet Briar can ensure it is offering students a “digitally sophisticated” education.
1. Technology for classrooms and classrooms for technology. Renovating learning spaces across the campus is a top priority. The faculty technology committee, working with the Dean and the Director of Integrated Information Services, will create a prioritized list to guide the sequence of renovations as funding becomes available.
2. Students will encounter “digital sophistication” concepts and hands-on engagement with new technologies in the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) program from the outset of their Sweet Briar experience. Faculty review of the curriculum will consider where else “digital sophistication” concepts should be formally incorporated, taking assessment of the technology component of the QEP pilot into account.
3. A “Fund for Instructional Innovation and Excellence” will be established to support faculty initiatives to incorporate digital tools or resources into specific programs or courses. Creating this fund will be one of our top fundraising priorities.
4. Staffing will be reallocated within Integrated Information Services to strengthen the Instructional Technology and helpdesk/support functions. Enhancing staff capacity in instructional technology will be a mid-term goal.
5. Key administrative capabilities will be strengthened. There are several important functions that require the implementation of new or upgraded software, including prospect management in admissions, on-line course and program evaluation, on-line degree audit, on-line purchasing, and others. The administrative systems steering committee will develop a prioritized list of campus-wide needs to inform the multi-year budgeting process.

The Fundraising Plan
The College has received a thorough analysis from the consulting firm of Grenzebach, Glier and Associates which indicates that there is potential to strengthen the philanthropic support Sweet Briar attracts though both the annual fund and major gifts programs in the near term. To seize this potential we must:
1. Engage immediately in “readiness” preparations in both the Annual Fund and major gift programs as well as in the Board Development Committee to support new fundraising initiatives and an increased level of activity.
2. Launch a new approach by defining limited, short-term, targeted “strategic initiatives” appeals specifically tied to the concepts and priorities outlined in this plan as a way of approaching both annual fund and major gift prospects.
While the articulation of the specific timeline and design of a fundraising campaign has not yet begun and is still slightly premature, the overall thrust of the next major campaign is clear; it must result as quickly as possible in increased support for academic programs (and therefore faculty salaries) and an endowment equal to at least three times the annual operating budget. Campaign goals will also address capital needs, specifically the renovation of existing spaces, but no major new construction initiative is envisioned for the next campaign. The library renovation project currently planned will take place with funds in hand.
Governance Action Plan
Two initiatives are intended to make shared governance more strategically focused at both the Board and faculty levels.
1. The Board of Directors, having worked with a consultant from the Association of Governing Boards, has begun a review of its committee and meeting structures. Directors will continue to deliberate on possible adjustments to their committee structure, meeting schedule, calendar, and orientation and assessment programs in order to increase their ability to focus on strategic planning and governance.
2. The faculty will consider creating a committee charged with leadership of planning for the academic program as a whole. This new committee, discussed under the working name Academic Priorities Committee (APC) would make recommendations as to the allocation of positions and creation of new academic programs. It would also give leadership to the faculty in the processes of curriculum and program review. The faculty may wish to entertain corresponding changes to other faculty committees, in order to prevent the duplication of work and to avoid an increase to faculty committee service burdens.

We believe that if the actions proposed here are carried through with discipline, energy, and consistency, Sweet Briar will advance rapidly toward a larger and more inclusive student body, a stronger reputation and wider recognition among prospective families and in higher education, and a more sustainable financial model. We will see increased enrollment, new programs for non-degree students and new graduate programs, a more technologically sophisticated instructional and administrative environment, innovative faculty initiatives being rewarded and supported, and greater revenue-producing year-round use of facilities and resources.
It is worth remembering that this planning process has, from the outset, been conceived of as iterative. That is, it proposes pilots and initiatives to be assessed and modified in a process of continuous planning and improvement. Clearly, pilot projects related to many points in this plan have already begun and are at varying stages of maturity; in many cases this plan proposes that we continue and expand activities that have already launched as pilots. Once the various goals envisioned in this document have been achieved, new questions will arise: in other words, this plan does not envision a destination so much as the next few steps in Sweet Briar’s long journey. At best, it will not only accomplish specific goals but also usher in a new culture of planning, assessment, adaptation, and innovation as essential to the ongoing development of the College.

Appendix A – Process, Work and Contributions of the Study Groups

The process undertaken in 2010 relied on both extensive research and extensive consultation. Our “information quarry” includes: a 117 item annotated bibliography compiled, 21 national data sources consulted, 13 comparison sets defined, and 18 local research projects undertaken. Our process was inclusive: 34 faculty, staff, and students served on Study Groups; 800+ signed in at discussions, open meetings, focus groups or completed surveys; 20 served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, including 3 members of the Board of Directors and the President of the College; 75 meetings and events were held and a public blog and frequent updates were published.
The Steering Committee is very much aware of the common and predictable disillusionment that often emerges at the end of a widely-inclusive strategic planning process. Such disillusion generally finds expression along these lines: “I contributed my ideas/information/perspective/suggestions to the process and never heard any more about them” or “I heard about a lot of exciting possibilities that aren’t in the final plan. What happened to those?” Anticipating such concerns, it is important to remember that the following outcomes are the direct result of the work of the study groups:
1. The “initiatives quarry” is a compilation of the proposals emerging from all study groups, which have been summarized in template form and captured for future reference and potential development. Some initiatives appear in this plan, others are in reserve for subsequent phases, and some may never be implemented at all. All, however, have informed the discussion, and all have had their influence.
2. Sustainable Size and Ratios (SSAR) , after extensive study of national and institution specific data sets, answered essential questions about what measures should constitute the comparative framework for Sweet Briar benchmarks and what studies and data indicators are meaningful. While SSAR did not establish the benchmark goals themselves (the administration will recommend specific goals, which the Board will review and revise or endorse as part of its “guardrails” statement) its work was essential in defining the terms and contexts to which the administration and Board will look through the duration of this plan.
3. The contribution of the Digital Sophistication, Expanding Whom We Serve, and Competitive Advantage study groups to articulating the (sometimes surprisingly) converging themes that direct the entirety of this plan cannot be overstated. Without the work of these groups, several essential priorities would not have emerged, including:
a. Facilities. All three groups, from their various perspectives, ended up noting the urgency of renovating and updating existing facilities. Digital Sophistication emphasized the need to accommodate instructional technologies, Expanding Whom We Serve emphasized making sure that all aspects of campus are attractive to both current and prospective students, and Competitive Advantage noted that when we promote the beauty of the campus we risk undermining one of our strongest points of appeal if the internal spaces are not as inspiring as the external ones. This is just one example of how, working separately, the study groups developed similar priorities.
b. Another example of convergence is the emphasis on pedagogy that operates in the intersection of experiential/practicum/service learning. Competitive Advantage noted our existing strength in this educational model, Whom Shall We Serve noted the appeal of this style of pedagogy to today’s students, and Digital Sophistication recognized that technology allows for new ways of being “hands on” while remaining on campus.
c. A third example is the “twelve month campus” concept, that would expand whom we serve by creating programs for non-undergraduate students and exploit a competitive advantage by using the beauty and space of the campus as a draw, realizing revenue, supporting recruiting, and enhancing reputation at the same time.
4. Naturally, each group also pursued non-overlapping, although interrelated, ideas. Expanding Whom We Serve urged the College to look at prospective students in specific categories and to consider targeted and specific messaging and recruitment strategies for highly-desirable and high-likelihood-of-enrollment students. (While Digital Sophistication noted the role of digital technology in creating the ability to do this is.) Digital Sophistication emphasized the need for personnel infrastructure to support faculty activities, as well as networking and equipment infrastructure. (While noting that the lack of adequate technology on campus can constitute a competitive disadvantage.) Competitive Advantage insistently emphasized the need for coherence and consistency in messaging and presentation.
5. Finally, the work of the Study Groups stimulated vital and well-informed discussions across the campus. Rarely have we seen a planning process lead to such productive, collegial, and information-rich discussion among colleagues and across constituencies. In this way the study groups provided their colleagues with an intensive short course in Sweet Briar’s current issues.

Summary findings and recommendations from the study groups
1. Sweet Briar has opportunities to capitalize on specific existing competitive advantages, including the beauty and extent of its landholdings, the riding program, a history of integrating the liberal arts with pre-professional educational programs, the faculty’s consistently high rankings for accessibility and student engagement, its consistently highly ranked career services office, and well-established major, minor, and certificate programs in areas sought by today’s women students:
i. Environmental Studies/Life Sciences
ii. Engineering/Physical Sciences
iii. Creative Writing/Fine and Performing Arts
iv. Business/Entrepreneurship
v. Government/Public Policy/International Affairs
2. To succeed, however, Sweet Briar needs to build strength in other areas, including:
a. Existing facilities, which are functionally and aesthetically below the level of the external spaces of the campus and of the newer facilities
b. Salaries and professional development support for all employees, most especially faculty (and within the faculty, the full professors, whose salaries have been affected by compressions) but including staff at all levels
c. Endowment, which should be at least equal to 3X annual budget for financial equilibrium and to allow for a sustainable spend rate
d. Digital infrastructure for both academic, student experience, and administrative functions, including equipment, networking, and facilities but also including support personnel and expertise
e. Scale. Sweet Briar cannot reach both excellence and sustainability at its current scale. The current mission (a full liberal arts curriculum, with a broad program of co-curricular activities and a full range of campus services) requires the college to become larger. Remaining at the current size (through deliberate choice or inability to attract more students) will require significant redefinition of mission and a sharply focused and less comprehensive set of programs.

Appendix B: Financial Guardrails statement (being developed)
Appendix C: Timeline and accountability grid, indicating interdependencies (being developed)

Annotated Bibliography

Sweet Briar College

Strategic Planning Bibliography

Alstete, J. (1995). Benchmarking in Higher Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 5. Washington, DC: The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (2008).Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators. New York: Routledge for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Anci, D., Desjarlais, J., Lippmeier-Fletcher, H., Lennon, S, & Weekes, D. (2009, September 26). Making the Value of Women’s Colleges Matter to Your Female Advisees [PowerPoint slides]. Presented at the National Association for College Admission Counseling Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.  Retrieved from http://womenscolleges.org/files/pdfs/NACAC2009.pdf.

Presentation targeted for admission counselors on making the case for the value and competitive advantages of a women’s college education.  Presents data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Comparative Alumnae Survey commissioned by the Women’s College Coalition and undertaken by Hardwick-Day.  For more in-depth use of the NSSE data on gender and student engagement see Kinzie, J., Thomas, A. D., Palmer, M. M., Umbach, P. D., Kuh, G. D. (2007) below.  For a copy of the Hardwick-Day study data customized for Sweet Briar College see Hardwick-Day (2008, April) below.

Antonio, A. L., Astin, H. S., & Cress, C. H. (2000). Community Service in Higher Education: A Look at the Nation’s Faculty.Review of Higher Education, 23 (4), 373-397.

Study measures the level of involvement in community service activities among college and university faculty and examines the institutional and personal factors that motivate faculty, oftentimes despite an organizational and administrative culture that undervalues service in relation to research or teaching, to become engaged in community service-related activities and committed to service learning.  The study finds that while most faculty report performing some form of community service or volunteer activity, women, non-white, and lower-ranking/non-tenure track faculty tend to be the most committed to service and to integrating service activities into the curriculum.  Furthermore, the study identified the personal values of altruism, service, and community orientation as the primary determinants of commitment to community service and volunteer activities.  Finally, the study emphasizes the importance of institutional culture as a determinant for faculty involvement in community service.  Four-year colleges (and especially religiously-affiliated institutions) are more likely to produce environments conducive to service and supportive of pedagogies centered on civic development and experiential learning.

Arizona Department of Education. (2005). Technology Plan for Arizona Adult Education (2005-10-00). Phoenix, AZ: Author. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=ED500207.

Art & Science Group, Inc. (2005, September 14). Sweet Briar College Alumnae Research: Presentation of Findings.[PowerPoint slides].

Survey of Sweet Briar alumnae cohorts up to the class of 2004 conducted by the Art & Science Group in June 2005. Surveyed alumnae about their feelings towards Sweet Briar and their perceptions about how the college has changed since they graduated, interest in alumnae activities, charitable giving patterns, awareness of the “Our Campaign for Her World” capital campaign, reasons for donating (or not donating) to the college, awareness of the “Shape of the Future” study, and the quality and effectiveness of the college’s communications with alumnae.

Art & Science Group, Inc. (2000, May). Sweet Briar College Integrated Recruitment Marketing Plan.

Report commissioned by Sweet Briar College and undertaken by the Art & Science Group resulting from a study and assessment of institutional positioning and student recruitment marketing.  Surveyed students who were planning to enroll at Sweet Briar in the fall of 2000, applicants who were admitted but declined, and prospects who had requested information from the college but had not ultimately applied.  Survey found a low awareness of the college and little understanding of its distinctions and strengths, that a small fraction of prospects express a willingness to attend a women’s college, that women’s colleges (and particularly Hollins College) appear to be the college’s strongest competitors, and that a high proportion of matriculants chose to attend Sweet Briar because it was either the only college to which they had applied or the only one to which they were admitted.  Report provides a suggested institutional positioning strategy in response to the survey results as well as a supporting recruitment marketing strategy.

Art & Science Group, Inc. (1999, July). Sweet Briar College Market and Communications Assessment: Report of Findings, Observations, and Implications.

Assessment of Sweet Briar College’s marketing and public relations operations, with a focus on student recruitment and development, undertaken by the Art & Science Group in the spring of 1999.  Resulted in a separate report, a quantitative study of institutional positioning strategies for maximizing student recruitment (see Art & Science Group, Inc. (2000, May) above).

Association of College and Research Libraries Standards Committee. (2000). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries – American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/standards.pdf.

Standards developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) for information literacy in higher education.  Includes performance indicators for assessing student progress toward each of the five information literacy standards provided.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). (n.d.). Academic Programs in Sustainability. Retrieved from http://www.aashe.org/resources/programs.php.

Provides lists of colleges and universities that offer bachelors and graduate degrees in sustainability as well as interdisciplinary certificate programs.  Among those on the lists are the following Virginia institutions: George Mason University, the University of Mary Washington, and Eastern Mennonite University. Other notable programs include Drew University’s BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and Goucher College’s MA in Cultural Sustainability.

Astin, A. W., Sax, L. J., & Avalos, J. (1999). Long Term Effects of Volunteerism During the Undergraduate Years. Review of Higher Education, 22 (2), 187-202.

Aviram, A., and Eshet-Alkalai. Y. (2006). Towards a Theory of Digital Literacy: Three Scenarios for the Next Steps. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2006/Aharon_Aviram.htm.

Bartels, D. M. (1994). The Traditional Liberal Arts College Model: Persistence Amid Distress (Doctoral dissertation). Available from UMI Dissertation and Theses database. (UMI 9414535).

Dissertation project that investigates how and to what extent institutions defined as liberal arts colleges (now Baccalaureate-Arts & Sciences) under the Carnegie classification system have altered their missions, student profiles, and services relative to the traditional liberal arts college model and to what degree these changes were precipitated by or associated with periods of financial distress.

Bartow, C. (2009). How One State Established School Library/Technology Standards. School Library Monthly, 26 (3), 19-21.

Describes the State of Montana’s process for adopting and revising common content and performance standards for K-12 public school students in the areas of information literacy, library media, and technology.  Argues that as multi-state and nationwide movements to articulate and establish “Common Core” standards for K-12 learning and college preparation (such as the work by the National Governor’s Association) gain momentum, information, communication, and technology (ICT) skills should be represented in common standards.  Proposes the Montana process for consideration as a model for the future development and implementation of national ICT standards.

Bates, T., and Poole, G. (2003). Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education: Foundations for Success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Berman, J. (2009, August 3). College Students are Flocking to Sustainability Degrees, Careers. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-08-02-sustainability-degrees_N.htm.

USA Today article focusing on how increased student demand for courses and training in sustainability, green technology, and the environment have driven colleges and universities to develop programming in response.  Cites as evidence of student interest the Princeton Review’s “College Hopes and Worries” survey, in which two-thirds of respondents cited a college’s “environmental commitment” as a factor in where they applied.  Presents an overview of some of the programs being offered and developed, such as an MBA in operating sustainable businesses and a general education requirement at Bucknell University requiring students to take at least one course that explores human connections to the environment.

Bologa, R., Lupu, A.R., and Sabau, G. (2009). Elements that Advocate the Nurturing of Digital Fluency.  In Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Future Networks (pp. 83-86). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society.

Borden, M.H. & Banta, Trudy W. (1994). Using Performance Indicators to Guide Strategic Decision Making. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 82. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Borghoff, U. M., and Pareschi, R. (1997). Information Technology for Knowledge Management. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 3 (8), 835-842.

Borthwick, A., Charles, M., Pierson, M., Thompson, A., Park, J., Searson, M., & Bull, G. (2008). Realizing Technology Potential through TPACK. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36 (2), 23-26.

Boyle-Baise, M., & Kilbane, J. (2000). What Really Happens? A Look Inside Service-Learning for Multicultural Teacher Education. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 7, 54-64.

Bringle, R.G., & Kremer, J. F. (1993). Evaluation of an Intergenerational Service-Learning Project for Undergraduates.Educational Gerontology, 19 (5), 407-416.

Bronson, P., & Merryman, A. (2010, July 10). The Creativity Crisis: For the First Time, Research Shows that American Creativity is Declining. What Went Wrong and How Can We Fix It?Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html.

Magazine feature article that points to recent results in the Torrance Tests of Critical Thinking (developed in the 1950s to test for creative thinking and problem-solving skills) that show that the Creative Quotient (CQ) for American children is declining, leading the article’s authors to claim that the United States is in the midst of a “creativity crisis.” The authors posit two factors for the decline in creativity scores since 1990: the increased amount of time children spend in front of the TV or playing videogames instead of engaging in creative activities and that there are fewer opportunities for creative development in schools due to the increased emphasis on standardized curricula and testing.  At the same time, the article notes, many other countries are actively trying to incorporate creativity development into their curricular reforms, raising the specter of a future American creativity deficit.  The remainder of the article profiles recent neuroscientific research trying to understand creativity as well as pilot programs designed to nurture childhood creativity.

Burke, J.C. & Minassians, H.P. (2002). Reporting Higher Education Results: Missing Links in the Performance Chain. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 116. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cai, Q. (2008, February). Hispanic Immigrants and Citizens in Virginia. Numbers Count. Charlottesville, VA: Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.coopercenter.org/demographics/publications/hispanic-immigrants-and-citizens-virginia.

One of a series of papers produced under the auspices of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service charting population trends in Virginia. Paper is a demographic study of Virginia’s Hispanic population (U.S. born and naturalized citizens as well as immigrants), which, as of 2008, accounted for 6% of Commonwealth’s total population. Based on data from decennial censuses (1980, 1990, and 2000) as well as the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey and the 2006 Current Population Survey, paper addresses how many Hispanics live in Virginia as of 2008 (and what proportion of that population is made up of immigrants), the demographic characteristics of both Hispanic citizens and immigrants, and the ways in which Hispanic citizens and immigrants are “engaged in life in Virginia.”

Carle, A. C., Jaffee, D., and Miller, D. (2009) Engaging College Science Students and Changing Academic Achievement with Technology: A Quasi-Experimental Preliminary Investigation.Computers and Education, 52 (2), 376-380.

Chabotar, K.J. (1989) Financial Ratio Analysis Comes to Nonprofits. Journal of Higher Education, 60 (2), 188-208.

Chabotar, K.J. (2006). Strategic Finance: Planning and Budgeting for Boards, Chief Executives, and Finance Officers.Washington, DC: Association of Governing Boards.

Chester, T. (2006). A Roadmap for IT Leadership and the Next Ten Years. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 29 (2), 56-60.

CollegeDegrees.com. (2010, June 16). 5 Little-Known But Fast Growing College Majors. [Web log post], http://www.collegedegrees.com/blog/2010/06/16/5-little-known-but-fast-growing-college-majors.

Blog post identifying five areas of study that are currently experiencing rapid growth in demand.  Those five majors are listed as: environmental design and architecture, green urban planning, animal science, geology, and international relations.  The post does not directly provide statistical data to back up its claims about growth and demand in these five areas but links to the National Center for Education Statistics’ 2009 Digest of Education Statistics (2010).

Council of Independent Colleges, and The Austen Group. (2010a).Financial Indicators Tool (FIT), Prepared for Sweet Briar College.  Washington, DC: Author.

Report on an institution’s financial health generated annually and customized for each of CIC’s members.  Sweet Briar’s 2010 FIT report assesses the college’s financial performance over a six-year period (FY 2002-2003 through FY 2007-2008) and benchmarks that performance against regional and national peers.  Financial health is measured by indicators covering resource sufficiency, debt management, asset performance, and operating results. The four indicators are then weighted and combined into an overall, composite score, the Composite Financial Index (CFI). Data are collected from two publically available sources, the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) and Form 990s filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Council of Independent Colleges, and The Austen Group. (2010b). Key Indicators Tool (KIT), Prepared for Sweet Briar College. Washington, DC: Author.

Report on institutional performance generated annually and customized for each of CIC’s members, primarily small and mid-sized private colleges and universities.  Sweet Briar’s 2010 KIT report assesses institutional effectiveness over a five-year period (Fall 2005 through Fall 2009) in four key areas: student enrollment and progression, faculty, tuition revenue and financial aid, and financial resources and expenditures.  Sweet Briar-specific data, collected from IPEDS, is benchmarked against those of regional and national peers sorted according to region, financial resources, enrollment size, and Carnegie classification.

Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). (2006, October 10).Making the Case: Key Messages and Data Booklet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.cic.edu/makingthecase/data/mc_data_booklet.pdf.

CIC’s Making the Case website compiles data and analysis comparing the performance of private, not-for-profit colleges and universities with public institutions in areas such as affordability, access and opportunity, persistence, student achievement, and alumni satisfaction.  Documents the particular effectiveness of private colleges in delivering a quality educational experience and providing personal attention to students.

Curran, J. M. (1999). College Students’ Attitudes Towards Mental Retardation: A Pilot Study. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED433740.pdf.

Dautremont, J. (2009, March 2). How do campus sustainability initiatives affect college admissions? [Web log post]. http://www.aashe.org/blog/how-do-campus-sustainability-initiatives-affect-college-admissions.

Reports on recent qualitative surveys of college students that show that a large and growing number of students and prospects are making decisions about which colleges and universities they apply to and which ones they ultimately attend based on an institution’s commitment to and support of sustainability initiatives. Cites data from the 2008 and 2009 editions of the Princeton Review’s College Hopes and Worries Survey, a survey conducted by researchers at the College of William & Mary of 1,700 college students at nine other institutions, and research conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute of 240,580 first-year, full-time students at 340 four-year institutions.

DeBlois, P. B. (2005). Leadership in Instructional Technology and Design: An Interview. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 28 (4), 12-17.

de Boer, W. F., and Fisser, P. H. G. (2002). Best Practices Experiences: Successful Use of Electronic Learning Environments. In Ed-Media 2002 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. Proceedings. (14th, Denver, Colorado, June 24-29, 2002).

Delta Cost Project. (2009). Trends in College Spending: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does it Go? Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.deltacostproject.org/resources/pdf/trends_in_spending-report.pdf.

Report from the Delta Cost Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability that uses publicly available data from the Department of Education’s IPEDS system to document financial trends in operating budgets at public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities.  Divided into sections on enrollment patterns, revenue trends, spending on education, and spending increases, portion to tuition attributable to spending, the portion of costs subsidized by institutions or states, and the relationship between spending and educational outcomes.  Report findings include: the fastest rates in enrollment are at institutions such as community colleges that spend the least per student and have seen the least spending growth; state and local funding for public education continues to decline; student tuition increases at public institutions have largely gone to offset revenue losses from the overall decline in state funding; and funds spent directly on instruction have consistently declined.

de Vries, M. Analyzing Best Practices in Technology Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2007.

Education Portal. (2009, December 29). Green Majors Growing in U.S. Schools. Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/articles/Green_Majors_Growing_in_US_Schools.html.

Blog post reports findings from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) that show that programs in sustainability, green technology, and environmental studies have proliferated in recent years, driven by both student interest and workplace demand.  Singles out and briefly profiles green programs at Arizona State University, Illinois State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ehrmann, S. C. (2009). Ten Things I (No Longer) Believe About Transforming Teaching & Learning (with Technology). The TLT Group. Retrieved from http://www.tltgroup.org/planning/ten_things.htm.

Epper, R., and Bates, T. (2001). Teaching Faculty How to Use Technology: Best Practices From Leading Institutions. Westport, CT: Oryx Press.

Ertmer, P. A. (1999). Addressing First- and Second-Order Barriers to Change: Strategies for Technology Integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47 (4), 47-61.

Eyler, J. S., & Giles, D.E., Jr. (1999). Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fernandez-Villavicencio, N. G. (2010). Helping Students Become Literate in a Digital Networking-Based Society: A Literature Review and Discussion. The International Information & Library Review, 42, 124-136.

Friedman, L. (2010, August 9). Home Schools Multiply in North Carolina. The News & Observer. Retrieved from http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/08/09/620561/home-schools-multiply-in-nc.html.

Newspaper feature article on the growth in the number of families opting for homeschooling in North Carolina.  Cites data from the North Carolina Department of Administration, which registers home schools, noting that 43, 316 students are homeschooled in the state.  The author notes that while most parents who home-school their children opt to do so in order to provide a religious or moral education, a growing number do so because of perceptions about the quality of education they think their children would receive in public schools.  The North Carolina data cited in the article largely lines up with the most recent national data on homeschooling trends as reported by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, especially in terms of an increase in homeschooling adoption and the reasons families give for choosing homeschooling (see Princiotta, D. and Bielick, S. (2006) below).

Garrison, D.R., and Vaughan, N.D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

GDA Integrated Services. (2004, May). Sweet Briar College: Report to the Shape of the Future Committee Based on Surveys of Inquiring Students, College-Bound Women and College-Bound Men. Old Saybrook, CT: Author.

Survey and report commissioned by Sweet Briar College in 2004 and undertaken by GDA Integrated Services.  Surveyed 200 students who inquired about Sweet Briar but did not end up applying as well as a random selection of 300 college-bound women and 300 college-bound men.  Provided institutional positioning recommendations based on survey responses with an emphasis on distinguishing Sweet Briar’s programs and offerings from other liberal arts colleges and women’s colleges.

GDA Integrated Services. (2009, July). Sweet Briar College: Student Recruitment Assessment. Old Saybrook, CT: Author.

Outside review and assessment of Sweet Briar College’s student recruitment and financial aid programs and operations conducted at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year by GDA Integrated Services.  Commissioned to address, first, the 12% decline in the applicant pool and the 17% drop in the size of the first-year class projected to enter in the fall of 2009 and whether the application and enrollment declines were simply part of a larger economic problem or if there are problems specifically related to Sweet Briar recruitment operations as well as, secondarily, the college’s stated goal to grow the overall enrollment to 800 or more students in the next five years.  Study posited that the application and enrollment decline for the Class of 2014 was most probably affected by an increased price sensitivity among upper middle class families rather than a systemic recruitment operations failure.  As for the goal of increasing overall enrollment to 800 or more students over the next five years, assessment suggested that a well-designed and orchestrated, multi-faceted marketing plan could very well allow the college to meet its enrollment targets.

Greer, J. (2009, September 1). In Trying Times, 5 Growing Majors. [Web log Post]. U.S. News & World Report – The Paper Trail Blog. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/blogs/paper-trail/2009/09/01/in-trying-times-5-growing-majors.html.

Short article identifying the five fastest growing majors and emerging areas of study based on interviews with college and university administrators, business analysts, and economic forecasters by the Chronicle of Higher Education.  The five majors are: service science, health informatics, computational science, sustainability, and public health.

Grosz, D. M. (2005). Faculty and Administrative Perceptions of Professional Programs at Three Private Liberal Arts Colleges (Doctoral dissertation). Available from UMI Dissertation and Theses Database, (UMI 3154776).

Doctoral dissertation examining, through a series of interviews with faculty and administrators at three private, faith-based liberal arts colleges, perceptions of and attitudes toward professional degree programs.  Study found significant disparity in the ways in which professional program faculty and liberal arts faculty viewed and spoke about their respective educational missions, their institutions, and the overall purpose of a college education (e.g.., transformative vs. practical and skills-based).  Professional program faculty and liberal arts faculty seemed to operate on parallel tracks within their institutions and reported a significant amount of mistrust and misgivings about each other.  Dissertation includes a sizable chapter reviewing the critical literature on both the liberal arts mission and the development of professional degree programs at liberal arts institutions.

Grush, M., and Villano, M. (2009a). Campus Technology Innovators Awards 2009: Online College Planning – Virginia Community College System. Campus Technology.  Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2009/07/22/Campus-Technology-Innovators-Award-2009-Online-College-Planning.aspx.

Profile of Virginia Community College System (VCCS), one of 11 winners ofCampus Technology website’s 2009 Campus Technology Innovators Awards, which recognize colleges and universities that have made innovative investments in technology.  Description of the Virginia Education Wizard, an on-line tool developed by VCCS to help students select career paths and majors based on interests and identify transfer pathways from 2-year institutions to 4-year colleges and universities.

Grush, M., and Villano, M. (2009b). Campus Technology Innovators Awards 2009: Portals – George Mason University.”Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2009/07/22/campus-technology-innovators-awards-2009-portals.aspx.

Profile of George Mason University (GMU), one of 11 winners of Campus Technology website’s 2009 Campus Technology Innovators Awards, which recognize colleges and universities that have made innovative investments in technology. Provides a description of the GMU Library’s efforts to develop discipline-targeted research portals so as to better serve the specific research needs of its faculty and students.

Hardwick-Day. (2008, April). What Matters in College After College: A Comparative Alumnae Research Study Prepared for Sweet Briar College.

Study undertaken by Hardwick-Day and commissioned by Sweet Briar College to survey alumnae from the graduating classes of 1970 through 1997 and assess the long-term impacts of their college experience.  Builds upon and incorporates data from a more generalized study undertaken by Hardwick-Day for the Women’s College Coalition that compares the responses from a random sampling of 333 alumnae of 44 four-year women’s colleges, 415 alumnae from 153 other four-year liberal arts colleges, and 264 alumnae from 110 national “flagship” public universities.  Provides comparative data between Sweet Briar, women’s colleges, liberal arts colleges, and public universities on alumnae characteristics (e.g., transfer rate, residential or off-campus housing, composition of financial aid package, time to graduation, etc.); campus characteristics (e.g., campus environment, academic reputation); interaction with/between peers and faculty; learning environment; and alumnae outcomes.  Study showed that Sweet Briar alumnae are more likely than even many other women’s college alumnae or coeducation liberal arts colleges to have benefited from substantive interactions with peers and faculty, an involving learning experience, participation in intensive learning experiences, and participation in extracurricular activities.  Overall, Sweet Briar alumnae reported an extremely high satisfaction with their college experience and gave the college extremely high marks for preparing them for graduate education, their careers, and life after college.

Harris, J., Mishra, P. and Koeler, M. (2009). Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-Based Technology Integration Reframed. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41 (4), 393-416.

Hartley, H.V. (2009). Benchmarking Tool Provides National Comparisons. NACUBO Business Officer, 42 (10), 17. Retrieved from http://www.nacubo.org/Business_Officer_Magazine/Magazine_Archives/April_2009/Diagnosing_Fiscal_Fitness.html.

Sidebar article to Hignite 2009 (see below) describing the development, design, and uses of the Financial Indicator Tool (FIT) Report, provided annually by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to its members (see CIC 2010a above).  According to the author, an Executive Vice President at CIC, the FIT is both a useful diagnostic tool for assessing an institution’s financial performance (both longitudinally and against peers) but also a resource for college and university executive officers in strategic planning and decision-making.

Hignite, K. (2009). Diagnosing Fiscal Fitness. NACUBO Business Officer, 42 (10), 14-20. Retrieved from http://www.nacubo.org/Business_Officer_Magazine/Magazine_Archives/April_2009/Diagnosing_Fiscal_Fitness.html.

Article that profiles the Council of Independent College’s (CIC) Financial Indicator Tool (FIT), a comparative financial benchmarking report customized to an individual college or university and sent annually to each CIC member institution.  Article includes a sidebar listing financial benchmarking resources.  For Sweet Briar’s 2010 FIT, see CIC 2010a above.

Hoffman, B. (1996). What Drives Successful Technology Planning? Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 5 (1), 43-55.

Horgan, B. (1998, January). Transforming Higher Education Using Information Technology: First Steps. The Technology Source. Retrieved from http://technologysource.org/article/376.

Hsi, S. (2007). Conceptualizing Learning from the Everyday Activities of Digital Kids. International Journal of Science Education, 29 (12), 1509-1529.

Hudack, L.R., Orsini, L.L., & Snow, B.M. (2003). How to Assess and Enhance Financial Health. NACUBO Business Officer, 36 (10), 31-39.

Using Saint Bonaventure University as a case study, article explores how colleges and universities can effectively assess financial health, guide future strategic decision-making, and bring discipline to planning efforts by using core financial ratios and the Composite Financial Indicator (CFI), developed by KPMG LLP and Prager, McCarthy &  Sealy, LLC.  For an in-depth explanation of the CFI and the underlying core financial ratios and how they can be analyzed and interpreted, see Prager, F.J., Cowen, C.J., Beare, J., Mezzina, L., Salluzzo, R.E., Lipnick, J. & Tahey, P. (2005), below.  These ratios also provide the basis for the Council of Independent College’s Financial Indicator Tool (FIT) report (see CIC (2010a) above for Sweet Briar College’s customized 2010 FIT).

Hughes, T. (2010, July 8). More Colleges Using Green as a Selling Tool. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-07-08-green-college_N.htm

Article that reports how more and more colleges and universities are incorporating a focus on sustainability in their recruitment efforts. Cites data from the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card, which shows that 69% of colleges and universities in 2010 (an increase of 42% since 2009) make green initiatives and a commitment to sustainability an integral part of their messaging and marketing efforts to attract student prospects (see also Sustainable Endowments Institute (2010) below). Includes institutional profiles of Green Mountain College (VT), American University (DC), and Colorado State University.

Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., boyd, d., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P. G., Pascoe, C. J., & Robinson, L. (2008). Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Jansson, E. (2010, June 22). ‘Rebundling’ Liberal Education.Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved fromhttp://www.insidehighered.com.

Opinion article authored by Eric Jansson, labs director at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), which argues that while advances in technology may seem to present challenges to the traditional models of liberal education (especially with respect to the shift from physical space to virtual space as implied in online coursework), those advances are in fact opportunities for colleges to preserve – and even expand – liberal education missions and deliver a greater diversity of offerings.

Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Report produced annually by the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project that identifies and describes emerging technologies and practices that are likely to enter “mainstream use” on campuses within the next 1-5 years as well as the challenges and trends that will likely affect teaching and learning and drive technology adoption over the same period.  The six emerging technologies featured in the 2010 report are mobile computing devices such as smartphones and netbooks, open content, e-books, augmented reality, gesture-based computing, and visual data analysis.

Kinzie, J., Thomas, A. D., Palmer, M. M., Umbach, P. D., Kuh, G. D. (2007). Women Students at Coeducational and Women’s Colleges: How Do Their Experiences Compare? Journal of College Student Development, 48 (2), 145-165.

Study compares the experiences of women enrolled at women’s colleges with those who attended coeducational institutions.  According to the report, women at single-sex institutions reported higher levels of achievement and academic challenge, higher rates of engagement and integrative learning experiences, and a greater perception of support than their counterparts at coeducational institutions.  No gaps were noted between transfer and non-transfer students at women’s colleges but students of color appeared to have lower rates of engagement than white students.  Analysis based on data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) from a random sample of students from 26 women’s colleges as well as 264 four-year colleges and universities.

Kobulnicky, P. J. (1999). Critical Factors in Information Technology Planning for the Academy. CAUSE/EFFECT Journal, 22 (2). Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/html/cem/cem99/cem9924.html.

Kopcha, T. J. (2010). A Systems-Based Approach to Technology Integration using Mentoring and Communities of Practice.Educational Technology Research and Development, 58 (2), 175-190.

Lee, R. A. (2008). Examining Financial and Non-Financial Indicators for Predicting Private Higher Education Viability (Doctoral Dissertation). Available from UMI Dissertation and Theses Database, (UMI 3299652).

Dissertation examines financial and non-financial strategic indicators (such as student demographics, demand, capitalization, capital spending, endowments, affordability, revenue contribution, and tuition discounting ratios) and analyzes which indicators best permit one to determine the relative strength or weakness of institutional health, based on the Composite Financial Index (CFI), developed by KPMG LLP, Prager, Sealy & Co, LLC, and Bearing Point, Inc. (see Prager, F.J., Cowen, C.J., Beare, J., Mezzina, L., Salluzzo, R.E., Lipnick, J. & Tahey, P. (2005) below for a fuller treatment of the CFI).  Study employs publicly available data (IPEDS, IRS Form 990) from 766 private colleges and universities.

Lennon, S. (2008, March). The Effectiveness of a Women’s College Education: Making the Case, Using the Findings of the Hardwick-Day Comparative Alumnae Research Study. Hartford, CT: Women’s College Coalition.

Presentation by Susan Lennon, Executive Director of the Women’s College Coalition, to Coalition members on the Comparative Alumnae Survey undertaken by Hardwick-Day, Inc. (see Hardwick-Day (2008, April) above). Summarizes the survey’s key findings and suggests ways in which Coalition members might use the findings to better articulate the competitive advantages of a women’s college education and make a distinctive and compelling case for their individual institutions.

Lloyd, L. (2005). Best Technology Practices in Higher Education. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

Edited volume that profiles 18 higher education institutions and their efforts to address today’s campus IT challenges.  Case studies divided among four sections: best practices in teaching and course delivery, best practices geared to college operations and/or the delivery of services, best practices for technology integration, and projects for the future.

Ma, H. (2000). Competitive Advantage and Firm Performance.Competitiveness Review, 10 (2), 15-32.

MacKeogh, K., and Fox, S. (2009). Strategies for Embedding e-Learning in Traditional Universities: Drivers and Barriers.Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 7 (2), 147-154.

McCormack, A. & Walstra, R. (2010). Reversal of Misfortune.NACUBO Business Officer, 43 (7), 13-17. Retrieved from http://www.nacubo.org/Business_Officer_Magazine/Magazine_Archives/February_2010/Reversal_of_Misfortune.html.

Profile of the effects of the 2008-2009 market crash and instability on Dominican University and the university’s successful efforts to respond to the crisis through an aggressive financial risk management strategy.  Risk management strategy focused on contingency planning, debt restructuring, staffing levels, student retention, and addressing areas where the university is especially vulnerable (such as tuition dependency, the discount rate, funding reserves, technology expenditures, and maintaining the student-faculty ratio). Article cites the university’s use of CIC’s FIT and KIT reports in financial planning and setting strategic goals (see CIC (2010a) and CIC (2010b) above).

McPherson, M., and Schapiro, M. O. (1999). The Future Economic Challenges for the Liberal Arts Colleges. Daedulus, 128 (1), 47-75.

Article discusses the economic challenges facing liberal arts colleges at the turn of the twenty-first century.  Like Neely (see below), the authors place an emphasis on the vulnerabilities that arise from market forces and intense sector competition. Most liberal arts colleges depend heavily on tuition revenues and the pressure to attract a small pool of qualified, stellar students has forced many institutions to engage in tuition discounting practices that result in loss of much-needed tuition dollars, especially from upper income families who are in a position to pay full price but who are being recruited through merit-based aid packages.  The authors also cite challenges such as the expense of attracting star faculty and the limited capacity for colleges to offer the kind of programmatic breadth that student-consumers increasingly demand and that larger institutions can easily offer.  In spite of the challenges to the survival of liberal education and the overall steep decline in the number of institutions who can reasonably call themselves liberal arts colleges, the authors argue that the liberal arts model may be more important than ever. In an increasingly globalized and technologically complex world, the authors suggest, liberal arts colleges produce graduates who are culturally-sensitive and –conversant and who are nimble, flexible learners capable of adapting and responding to new challenges (and opportunities).

Middaugh, M.F., Graham, R., Shahid, A. (2003). A Study of Higher Education Instructional Expenditures: The Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity, (NCES 2003-161). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Study of higher education costs that focuses on direct instructional expenditures and the factors associated with those expenditures.  Analysis based on data collected from 1998-2001 by the Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity, a data-sharing consortium of over 300 four-year public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities.  The key finding of the study is that most of the variance in instructional costs between institutions is tied to the disciplinary mix within an institution (viz., what disciplines are offered and in what concentrations as instructional costs for some disciplines such as English are far lower than others, such as engineering or the hard sciences).  Variance in instructional costs across institutions is also associated with institutional mission (as defined by Carnegie classification), seemingly a result of the different faculty responsibilities one finds between, say, an R1 university and a baccalaureate institution.  However, the disciplinary mix factor is far more determinative on instructional cost than the institutional mission/faculty responsibility factor.  With disciplinary mix within an institution acting as the primary instructional cost driver, the study underscores that the factors associated with instructional cost are very different from the factors associated with tuition prices.

Minter, J., & Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, and Company (1980). Ratio Analysis in Higher Education: A Guide to Assessing the Institution’s Financial Condition. New York: Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, and Company.

Moser, F. Z. (2007). Strategic Management of Educational Technology— The Importance of Leadership and Management.Tertiary Education and Management, 13 (2), 141-152.

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). (2006, May 1). Twelve Facts that May Surprise You About America’s Private Colleges and Universities. Washington, DC: NAICU. Retrieved from http://www.naicu.edu/docLib/20070327_12Facts2006.pdf.

Draws upon publically available data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.  Designed as a presentation and advocacy tool to succinctly address public and governmental perceptions about independent colleges and universities.  Booklet suggests that, in spite of perceptions to the contrary, independent colleges and universities are affordable, provide access and opportunity to students from diverse backgrounds, and are geared towards student success.

Neely, P. (1999). The Threats to Liberal Arts Colleges. Daedulus, 128 (1), 27-45.

Neely, a trustee of Williams College, argues that the primary threats to the liberal arts college model do not arise from ideological battles over curriculum content or from distance learning enabled by technological advances but are rather the product of market forces exacting pressure on the liberal arts sector from within and without.  Contends that competition among institutions to recruit the best students forces colleges to expend resources on merit aid and/or tuition discounting practices, star faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. These practices, in addition to being financially costly (and unsustainable over the long term for many institutions outside of the most highly selective, elite colleges), the crowded, competitive and the hunt for corporate and foundation funding forces institutions to alter their missions, effectively turning liberal arts colleges into institutions with little to differentiate them from research universities or professional schools.

Outdoor Foundation, The. (n.d.). Outdoor Nation Special Report: Barriers to the Outdoors. Retrieved from http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/Research.OutdoorNation.Barriers.pdf.

Parker, J. (2009). Starting Line White Paper. Sweet Briar College Strategic Planning Blog. Retrieved from http://strategicplan.blog.sbc.edu/starting-line-white-paper.

White paper by President Jo Ellen Parker that outlines a vision for Sweet Briar College’s 2009-2010 strategic planning process.  Provides a structure and timeline for the planning effort and proposes key questions to animate discussion.

Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Provasnik, S., Kena, G., Dinkes, R., Kewal Ramani, A., and Kemp, J. (2008). Indicator 10: Mobility of College Students. In The Condition of Education 2008 (NCES 2008-031). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2008/section1/indicator10.asp.

One of 43 indicators featured in the 2008 edition of the Department of Education’s annual Condition of Education report, which summarizes developments and trends in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education.  Indicator tracks the percentage of first-year undergraduate students who had graduated from high school in the previous twelve months (as of 2006) who attended 4-year in-state public or private, not-for-profit institutions.  As of 2006, 75% of first-years attended in-state institutions.  Data is further broken down by state.

Prager, F.J., Cowen, C.J., Beare, J., Mezzina, L., Salluzzo, R.E., Lipnick, J. & Tahey, P. (2005). Strategic Financial Analysis for Higher Education. (6th ed.): KPMG, Prager, Sealy & Co, LLC, and BearingPoint, Inc.

Princeton Review (2010a). Green Honor Roll. Retrieved from http://www.princetonreview.com/green-honor-roll.aspx.

List of 15 colleges that received the highest ratings among the 286 profiled in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges (see Princeton Review (2010b) below). Among the schools listed in the “Green Honor Roll” are the following small, private, residential liberal arts colleges: Middlebury College, Bates College, and Dickinson College.

Princeton Review (n.d.). The Green Rating: How We Score Schools. Retrieved from http://princetonreview.com/green-rating-methodology.aspx.

Web posting included as part of the Princeton Review’s website devoted to its Guide to 286 Green Colleges (see Princeton Review (2010b) below). Describes the Guide’s methodology for scoring the colleges and universities surveyed and profiled for the Guide.  The “Green Rating,” based on a scale of 60-99, measures a school’s performance as “an environmentally aware and prepared” institution based on responses to a set of survey questions developed in consultation with ecoAmerica, an environmental non-profit and sent out to nearly all 4-year colleges and universities.  Because theGuide is a list of schools with a commitment to sustainability and green initiatives rather than a ranking of said schools, individual green ratings are not reported in the Guide.

Princeton Review. (2010b). The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Review, Inc. Retrieved from http://princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

Guide that lists and profiles 286 eco-friendly colleges and universities that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and green initiatives.  University administrators at over 2,000 colleges and universities were invited to report institutional data on sustainability and “environmentally-conscious policies, practices and priorities” (13) and responses were weighted and scored on a scale of 60-99, producing the list of 286 institutions included (see Princeton Review (n.d.) above). Each school’s profile includes a short narrative description of the school’s green initiatives as well as a sidebar column that provides statistical data such as the percentage of food budget spent on local/organic food, whether new buildings on campus are required to be LEED certified, whether the school has an environmental studies degree available, and the percentage of school energy that comes from renewable resources. Included among the institutions profiled were the following small, private, residential liberal arts colleges: Bard College, Colby College, Goucher College, Guilford College, Macalester College, Sewanee – the College of the South, Smith College, and Wellesley College.

Princiotta, D. and Bielick, S. (2006). Homeschooling in the United States: 2003, (NCES 2006-042). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Report put out by the National Center for Education Statistics on trends in homeschooling in the United States. Uses data collected from the Parent and Family Involvement Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program to estimate the number and percentage of students being homeschooled as well as describe the characteristics of homeschooled students and their families (e.g., race and ethnicity, income level, reasons given by parents for choosing home schooling over public or private schools, the resources and curricular tools parents employ/have access to).  Estimates the number of students being homeschooled as of 2003 as 1,096,000, a 29% increase since the 1999 NHES survey. Homeschooled children accounted for 2.2% of K-12 students in 2003, up from 1.7% in 1999.  The most important reason cited by parents for homeschooling their children was a perception that other school environments were unsafe or dominated by high levels of peer pressure, followed, in order, by a desire to provide religious and moral instruction and a dissatisfaction with the academic quality provided by public and private schools.

Project Tomorrow. (2009). Creating Our Future: Students Speak Up About Their Vision for 21st Century Learning. Irvine, CA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/pdfs/SU09NationalFindingsStudents&Parents.pdf.

National research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow, a non-profit group focused on supporting the innovative uses of science, math, and technology resources in primary and secondary schools.  Surveyed approximately 300,000 K-12 students regarding technology use, 21stcentury skills and schools of the future, emerging technologies, and STEM instruction.  Analysis of survey findings reported that students are increasingly leveraging and adapting technologies they use in their personal lives (such as mobile devices, e-texts, web 2.0 and social networking tools/applications) to meet their learning needs (even, and perhaps especially, in cases where their schools block or simply do not provide those tools or technologies).  Students define themselves, in the parlance of the report, as “free-agent learners.”  The report describes three elements of the student’s vision for education and technology, borne out in the survey data: “social-based learning,” “un-tethered learning,” and “digitally rich learning.”

Rangan, V. K. (2004). Lofty Missions, Down-to-Earth Plans.Harvard Business Review, 82 (3), 112-119.

Rice, M. L. & Miller, M.T. (2001). Faculty Involvement in Planning for the Use and Integration of Instructional and Administrative Technologies. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33 (3), 328-336.

Richards, D. J. (2003). Predictors of Financial Health in Religious Higher Education Institutions (Doctoral Dissertation). Available from UMI Dissertation and Theses Database, (UMI 3099625).

Dissertation studies which operational indicators (institutional characteristics, performance indicators, and/or ratios) from publicly available IPEDS data can best be used as predictors of financial health at small, independent religious institutions (i.e., institutions with enrollments of less than 1000 FTE).  Data from the small institutions were compared to that of large religious institutions (enrollments greater than or equal to 1000 FTE) to determine the extent to which predictors of financial health at small institutions were unique to those institutions.

Richardson, M. (Ed.). (2005). Tracking Changes in the Humanities: Essays on Finance and Education. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Edited volume, the third in a series of works published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as part of the Academy’s Initiative for the Humanities and Culture, which seeks to improve the collection of data about the humanities so as to provide a solid and reliable empirical basis for decision-making by educators and policy makers (see the first volume in the series, Solow, R. M., Oakley, F., Franklin, P., D’Arms, J., Jones, C. C. (2002) below).  The four essays that comprise the volume explore the data on university financing of humanities departments, post-baccalaureate opportunities for humanities majors, and the development of statistical indicators for the liberal arts. Together, the essays in this volume (along with the Initiative’s prior volume, Making the Humanities Count) make the case for the development of a set of humanities indicators to inform policy and institutional decision-making.

Rogers, D. L. (2000). A Paradigm Shift: Technology Integration for Higher Education in the New Millennium. Educational Technology Review, Spring/Summer, 19-33.

Rogers, P. L. (2000). Barriers to Adopting Emerging Technologies in Education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 22 (4), 455-472.

Sanders, R., Schmidt, E., Hoyer, M. L., et al. (2003, September). Outside University: The Top 40. Outside Magazine. Retrieved from http://outsideonline.com/outside/features/200309/200309_college_towns_1.html.

Feature article that proposes a ranking of the top 40 U.S. colleges and universities offering in addition to high quality academics an “environmental ethos,” natural surroundings, and opportunities for students to engage in outdoor activities.  Among the institutions profiled are the University of California at Santa Cruz (no. 1), Middlebury College (no. 3), Warren Wilson College (no. 4), the University of Virginia (no. 8), Bowdoin College (no. 16), and Brevard College (no. 27).

Scott, H., Chenette, J., & Swartz, J. (2002). The Integration of Technology into Learning and Teaching in the Liberal Arts.Liberal Education, 88 (2), 30-35.

Solow, R. M., Oakley, F., Franklin, P., D’Arms, J., Jones, C. C. (2002). Making the Humanities Count: The Importance of Data. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Occasional paper put out by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as part of the Academy’s Initiative for the Humanities and Culture, which seeks to improve the collection of data about the humanities so as to provide a solid and reliable empirical basis for decision-making by educators and policy makers.  Volume comprised of four short chapters by Francis Oakley, former president of Williams College; Robert Solow, professor emeritus of economics at MIT; Phyllis Franklin, executive director of the Modern Language Association (MLA); and John D’Arms, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, each arguing from a different organizational or disciplinary perspective why the development of humanities data indicators is needed.  The volume also includes a report written by a statistical research expert, Calvin Jones, that evaluates existing data sources on the humanities and assesses the data’s usefulness for answering the kinds of questions routinely addressed within other disciplinary indicators, such as the well-established Science and Engineering Indicators.

Spodark, E. (2003). Five Obstacles to Technology Integration at a Small Liberal Arts University. T.H.E. Journal, 30 (8). Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2003/03/01/five-obstacles-to-technology-integration-at-a-small-liberal-arts-university.aspx.

Sustainable Endowments Institute. (2010). College Sustainability Report Card. Retrieved from http://www.greenreportcard.org.

Independent, web-based evaluation of sustainability initiatives and practices at North American colleges and universities released annually by the Sustainable Endowments Initiatives, a non-profit organization that studies and advocates sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices.  The 2011 edition of the Report Card, released in October 2010, surveyed 322 colleges and universities according to 52 green indicators across nine categories: administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, transportation, student involvement, endowment transparency, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement.  The website provides detailed profiles and grades for each surveyed institution.  College Sustainability Leaders, institutions that achieved an overall grade of A- or better across all survey categories (52 institutions in the 2011 report card), include: Carleton College (A-), Colorado College (A-), Dickinson College (A), Earlham College (A-), Goucher College (A-), Mount Holyoke College (A-), Pomona College (A), Smith College (A-), and Wellesley College (A-).

Taylor, B. E., Chait, R. P., & Holland, T. P. (1996). The New Work of the Nonprofit Board. Harvard Business Review, 74 (5), 36-46.

Taylor, B.E., Meyerson, J.W., & Massey, W.F. (1993). Strategic Indicators in Higher Education: Improving Performance.Princeton: Peterson’s Guides.

Tice, P., Princiotta, D., & Bielick, S. (2006). Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993-2003, Statistical Analysis Report (NCES 2007-045). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Report from the National Center for Education Statistics that presents trends in the use of school choice and in the populations of students attending public schools (assigned and chosen), attending private schools (parochial or non-church related), or being homeschooled.  Report also presents data on parental perceptions of the public school choices available to them, and associations between the types of public and private schools children were enrolled in and parental satisfaction with – and involvement in – those schools.  Trend data comes from four administrations (1993, 1996, 1999, and 2003) of the National Household Education Survey (NHES).

Townsley, M.K. (2009). The Small College Guide to Financial Health: Weathering Turbulent Times. Washington, DC: National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Trinkle, D. (2005). The 360 Degree Model for Transforming Teaching and Learning with Technology. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 28 (4), 18-25.

Tsai, H.H., Batker, C. & Ting, E. (2009). Information Technology and Adult Learners: The Digital Fluency of Adult Students and Undergraduate Students. In T. Bastiaens et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009 (pp. 3194-3198). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.

Paper given at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education’s annual conference.  Investigates the information, communication and technology fluency of adult learners and compares adult learners’ skills and usage to the fluency of traditionally-aged undergraduate learners.

Tulshyan, R. (2010, March 2). Top 10 College Majors for Women.Forbes.com. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/02/top-10-college-majors-women-forbes-woman-leadership-education.html.

Reports on a recent analysis conducted by the American Association of University of Women (AAUW) of the Department of Education’s “Condition of Education 2009” report.  According to the AAUW, business is now the most popular major for women, accounting for 18% of degrees awarded.  The other top 10 majors favored by women are, in order: health professions and related clinical sciences, education, social sciences and history, psychology, visual and performing arts, communication and communication technologies, biological and biomedical sciences, English language and literature/letters, and liberal arts and sciences. Despite the fact that both women and men favor the business major in roughly equal numbers, the article reports that “there is a continuing gender imbalance” in the remainder of degrees awarded with women preferring majors in education, psychology and English literature while science, engineering, and technology degrees remain overwhelmingly male.

Unterman, I., and Davis, R. H. (1982). The Strategy Gap for Not-for-Profits. Harvard Business Review, 60 (3), 32-40.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009, December 19). Overview of the 2008-2018 Projections: Employment Change By Detailed Occupation. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oco/oco2003.htm#occupation_d.

Projections of occupational growth from 2008-2018 as part of the 2010-2011 edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Occupational growth is considered both in terms of an occupation’s rate of growth and occupations that will experience the largest numerical growth in terms of the number of jobs created.

U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. (n.d.). Hot Jobs for the 21st Century, 2004-2014. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-HotJobs2.htm.

Fact sheet produced by the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor detailing projections of women’s labor force participation between 2004-2014. Includes data on occupations with the fastest projected job growth by 2014, occupations with the largest job growth by 2014, and 2005 median weekly earnings of selected growth occupations.

Van Der Werf, M., & Sabatier, G. (2009). The College of 2020: Students. Washington, DC: Chronicle Research Services.

First in a three-part series from the Chronicle Research Services, a division of the Chronicle of Higher Education, projecting what higher education will look like in the year 2020 based on available trend data, interviews, and current research. Focuses on student trends (with parts two and three focusing on faculty and facilities). Projects that by 2020, student bodies will increasingly be composed of minority groups and that the average age of students attending colleges and universities will rise.  Students attending colleges and universities will expect and demand integration of technology into the classroom as well as the flexibility and convenience offered by online classes.  The report concludes that because of their reputations for convenience and flexibility as well as their early adoption of online learning technologies, for-profit colleges and community colleges will be well-positioned to thrive in the next decade and beyond.  Moreover, highly selective elite institutions and flagship public institutions largely will be able to survive on their well-established brands as well as a demand for the traditional residential college experience.  The vast majority of colleges and universities in the so-called middle will be the most vulnerable and ill-equipped in responding to the trend shifts expected over the next decade.

Vannatta, R. A. (2000). Evaluation to Planning: Technology Integration in a School of Education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 8 (3), 231-246.

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). (2008). Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates by State and Race/Ethnicity, 1992-2022 (WICHE 2A365). Boulder, CO: Author.

Projections published by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education of the total number of high school graduates, broken down by geographic region, state, and race/ethnicity.  Data are reported going back to AY 1991-92 through AY 2004-2005 and are projected from AY 2005-2006 through AY 2021-22. Key findings from the report’s seventh edition include substantial growth in the production of high school graduates concentrated in the southern and western regions of the country with the largest expansions projected (increases greater than 5%) in 15 states including Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.  Moreover, the report forecasts an increasing rate of growth in ethnic/racial diversification among high school graduates with the largest rate increases in Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander graduates (54% and 32%, respectively) and the largest rate decline in White non-Hispanic graduates (a decline of 11%).

Zemsky, R., Massy, W. F. (2004). Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to e-learning and Why. Pennsylvania: Learning Alliance for Higher Education.

Update Expanding Whom We Serve

The Expand Whom We Serve study group has met weekly since the last blog update in mid-September.  We are continuing to focus our efforts on identifying specific opportunities in three theme areas: Diversity, Sustainability and Experiential Education.  The data and other research we reviewed during the summer and that we have continued to discuss this fall have served to reinforce that our directions and proposals in these areas.  We appreciated the opportunity to share an update with the community during the campus presentations earlier this month and received some additional feedback through that process.  We are currently finalizing our presentation to the Board and we look forward to this opportunity to share the results of our efforts, which has been very helpfully informed by members of the community through the conversations and postings. 

We continue to welcome input and feedback.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Steele, Dean of Co-Curricular Life

Open Meetings with Study Groups

Strategic Planning Study Groups held several open meetings during the month of September with faculty, staff and students to provide an overview of their work to date and to solicit feedback.  In preparation for the open meetings, the campus community received a brief written update from each group.  They are summarized below.

Guarantee Digital Sophistication:  Professor Gutierrez reports that they conducted a survey on classroom technology and an inventory to determine what software and hardware we currently have on campus.  Entering students have been surveyed as to their expectations of campus technology.  They held a focus group during Reunion Weekend to ask alumnae what technologies they have needed in the workplace: this was also asked in the summer survey emailed to alumnae and parents.

The Guaranteeing Digital Sophistication Study Group is piloting a course this fall called Teach Yourself Technology with five students, five staff members, and five faculty members.  Further, thirty first year students along with two instructors are part of an iPad pilot related to our QEP (Quality Enhancement Project) for SACS re-accreditation.    Another group of fifteen faculty members are part of an iPad users group, looking at how this new tool can be utilized in teaching in their disciplines.  They will report on their findings at the end of this academic year.   In addition, the Instructional Technology Committee is working on a pilot classroom intended to make the College’s instructional spaces not simply digitally sophisticated, but also capable of offering the best educational experience possible to our students.

Define Competitive Advantage:  Professor Lilly reports that their study group is analyzing extensive feedback received from all constituencies of the College, including alumnae and families, as well as external feedback from business leaders.  They foresee initiatives being recommended by their group to further develop what the College is currently doing well, including the establishment of a stronger sense of place that emphasizes and better markets our most distinctive asset—our land.   Our campus can provide a “landscape for learning.”  (Incorporating our land into web and print marketing in a more overt way; expanding the role and visibility of SWEBOP and the Naturalist-in-Residence; offering courses and other programming beyond orientation week to help new students more quickly become familiar with the campus and its natural environment.)

Additional recommendations from this study group may include:

  • Place greater emphasis, both in action and in words, on sustainability.  Or, adopt sustainability, broadly defined, as a theme throughout the College from the academic and co-curricular programs to campus operations. 
  • Update the campus infrastructure to improve the functionality and appeal of our formal and informal learning spaces including classrooms, non-classroom space within academic buildings, the Library, etc.
  • A holistic, clear, and shared vision for the future of Sweet Briar’s academic programs must be developed by the President, Dean, and faculty based upon data.  This vision should be reflected and implemented in hiring practices throughout the College and over the long term.  Some suggestions for programs that are particularly marketable:  outdoor programming, service learning, the fine arts, earth science education, and sustainability (broadly construed). 
  • Improve the external marketing of existing academic programs with particular emphasis on career-building skills and “stand-out” programs such as creative writing, environmental studies, business, and others. 
  • Improve internal communications among faculty and staff in order to enhance the ability of faculty and staff to provide optimal advice and information to current students, prospective students, alumnae, and the local community.
  • Develop and implement a plan to utilize the campus twelve months of the year.

Expanding Whom We Serve:  Professor Holly Gould reports that their group had a very productive summer.  They also met with Defining our Competitive Advantage, as their issues overlap.

  • They reviewed the notes from the conversation circles (faculty and staff) for ideas mentioned multiple times by multiple individuals.
  • Examined datasets provided by Institutional Research.
  • Reviewed websites of certain colleges for comparison along defined parameters (diversity, green, general factors, demographics).
  • Read alumnae survey results focusing on the questions that pertained to their study group.
  • Generated a list of 10-12 populations that appeared across the data as important to consider.
  • Identified groups they would like to serve (and serve better):
    • Interest in sustainability/environment
    • Ethnically/racially/religiously diverse
    • Local, non-residential
    • Home-schooled
    • Riders
    • Interest in engineering
    • Transfers
    • Interest in creative writing/the arts
    • Interest in service learning
    • Interest in outdoor education/recreation
    • Women interested in women’s college
    • Also seniors, alumnae, and  high school students interested in summer programs/arts/outdoors

In their process, they asked general questions about each group and then listed ideas for how to access, attract, bring them here, and serve them.  Questions asked about each group included: What do they want from/want to see at Sweet Briar?; What can we do about that, generally?; What specific things can we do?; When can we do it?; and What is the cost?  The study group has identified both large and small initiatives, all centered on three basic themes: 

  • Land (interest in sustainability/environment; interest in service learning; interest in outdoor education/recreation; home-schooled; and high school students interested in summer outdoor programs).
  • Experiential/Hands-on/Apprenticeship Learning (riders; interest in engineering; interest in creative writing/the arts; and high school students interest in summer arts/engineering/service learning programs).
  • Diversity (ethnic/racial/religious diversity; transfer; local non-residential; home-schooled; and high school students interest in programs e.g. transition or home students to college). 

Define Right Size and Rations: The Defining Sustainable Size and Ratios Study Group reviewed a spreadsheet of 84 private, not-for-profit, 4-year, liberal arts colleges having an undergraduate degree-seeking enrollment headcount between 500 and 1000 or having a campus acreage over 500 acres.  They discussed which of these schools might be appropriate to benchmark against. 

They also worked to break the College down by operations and assigned tasks to members to help gather information including what national organizations report as benchmarks for various operations such as dining services.  As they gather information for each operation, they will assess where we are as an institution and then compare against the national markers.  They will also continue to maintain data throughout offices on campus; this process will be ongoing for much-needed departmental assessment and will help to identify where we differ from national norms and where we might be able to drill down to make adjustments.

Update from Define Sustainable Size and Ratios

The Define Sustainable Size and Ratios (DSSAR) Study Group met in one capacity or another five times over the past two weeks. Two meetings occurred on Sep. 7, a full Strategic Planning Steering Committee meeting and a DSSAR Study Group meeting. On Sep. 9 there was a Specially Called Faculty Meeting to discuss DSSAR issues. In addition, DSSAR had guest slots at the Sep. 14 Chairs Council meeting and the Sep. 17 Faculty Senate meeting.

The work of the group currently focuses on finding ratios that measure, at various levels, such factors as SBC’s financial health and sustainability, academic strength, and efficiency of operations. Many of the high-level financial ratios that we’ll be using are standard, for example:

  • Composite Financial Index (CFI), which includes 4 key ratios, each of which is informative, as well as a way to combine them in order to produce a single CFI score, which can then be interpreted on a scale already developed from national benchmarking
  • Critical Financial Monitoring System (CFMS), 9 ratios used to monitor key financial indicators over time

Some of these individual ratios overlap with the biennial Peer Group Financial Analysis done by Cherry, Bekaert, & Holland, which is another useful resource. We are in the process of gathering other ratios that will be useful to measure strengths and efficiencies in specific areas, such as Academics, Student Life, Athletics, Riding, Physical Plant, Auxiliaries, Development/Alumnae Office, Admissions, and Marketing.

Details involving these ratios, such as what ratios comprise the CFI and CFMS, were discussed during DSSAR’s Specially Called Faculty Meeting on Sep. 9. Another topic of discussion was the approach of DSSAR towards the sensitive nature of our work. It has already been stressed that DSSAR is not a hatchet committee and will not be making any staffing recommendations. Still, there is no getting around the fact that the data we provide will presumably be used by the administration to make staffing decisions. Even given the fact that DSSAR is taking an objective approach to the analyses, questions remain; for example, is it appropriate for DSSAR to consider ratios at the individual academic department level? This particular question was discussed at some length during the Sep. 9 meeting, and the upshot was that a clear majority of faculty members feel that DSSAR should proceed to consider ratios involving academics at the departmental level, and really at any level, provided that we have another meeting with faculty allowing them to give input on the various ratios we come up with. Many challenges were discussed, e.g., inherent differences between departments and between types of classes taught, difficulties in measuring faculty workloads, as well as quantifying quality of education.

At the Sep. 14 Chairs Council meeting and the Sep. 17 Faculty Senate meeting, faculty members asked follow-up questions based on the Sep. 9 meeting deliberations. One question was Jonathan Green’s role on the DSSAR Study Group, in light of the fact that he had been charged by the president, prior to his joining DSSAR, to develop a plan that would move SBC toward a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It was reiterated that while the analysis for this has been folded into the DSSAR process, any staffing decisions will have to be made by the administration independently of DSSAR.

The upcoming weeks will remain as busy as the previous two. Another chance for candid discussion will be DSSAR’s open meeting with faculty and staff, coming up on Sep. 23. The same presentation will be made as with the Sep. 9 meeting, with a few updates to reflect what has transpired since then. In the near future Christy Cole will be working with DSSAR to compute numbers for some key ratios we have already identified, with an eye towards benchmarking these against a comparison group of colleges. There are open meetings with faculty and staff for all four study groups on Sep. 23 and 27. The next meeting of the DSSAR Study Group itself is Friday, October 1. 

Update from Expand Whom We Serve

The study group has held two meetings (on September 3 and 10) since the last post.   We have continued discussions and review of data and other feedback related to the three emerging themes:  The Land, Diversity and Experiential/Hands-On Learning.  Our continued efforts focus on more specific definition of these areas and the overlaps present between them. 

We will be meeting with students at the SGA Meeting on Monday, September, 13 to present a brief summary of our work so far and to elicit their feedback, comments–and ideas.   Along with the other study groups we will be meeting during the next couple of weeks in open meetings on campus with faculty and staff.  

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Steele

Update from Expand Whom We Serve

Expand Whom We Serve Meetings– August 11 & August 18, 2010

On August 11, the study group members brought their individual brainstorming results regarding the 10-12 ideas that emerged from the data and research shared at the July meeting.  Ideas were condensed into one document, which included ideas to attract and recruit students.   

In addition, one study group member shared a PowerPoint demonstrating the line of logic of her thinking about the initiatives.  This led to a discussion of emerging themes, and the group developed three working themes.

On August 18, the Expand Whom We Serve group met with the Competitive Advantage group for the first half of the meeting to discuss what each study group had been working on over the summer in their separate endeavors.  There was a remarkable amount of overlap in the ideas generated, which was encouraging to both groups.   Next, the two study groups met with their individual members and talked about what might be presented to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee at the August 26 meeting.    

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Steele

Expand Whom We Serve Meeting Summary, 8.4.10

Expand Whom We Serve Study Group

Meeting Summary, 8.4.10

Holly and Cheryl shared information from the collaborative meeting with members of the Competitive Advantage study group yesterday.  Several data sets were shared that Christy shared information about below.  It was also noted that the group is putting together a list of about a dozen ideas on their topic with information concerning details and anticipating cost levels.  

Christy Cole shared a variety of data related to the most popular majors at women’s colleges, career areas with an anticipated increase and other related data from comparison colleges, particularly those with large acreage. 

Carrie followed up on the information we received from community members at the Amherst Centennial and at the dinner that she and John Gregory sponsored at their house.  While the information gathered and conversations had value in seeking information from community members, the information we received will be helpful for community relations (Carrie can share a summary of information), but there has been no new insights about potential related to strategic planning. 

Debbie Kasper and Carrie Brown shared the results from their study of green colleges, both what actions they are taking and how this information is presented on their websites. 

Tim Loboschefski did an independent study of websites and Gretchen shared information regarding long-terms demographics of 18-21 years old for Virginia and other areas. 

Holly shared information regarding rural colleges with large amounts of land and larger minority populations. 

Holly and Cheryl reiterated the importance of us moving toward prioritizing the ideas we have discussed, look at the merit of each, and begin to put together comparative information.  We defined an initial list of 10-12 ideas with everyone’s input.  We will discuss these further define this at our next meeting on Wed. 8.18 from 1-2:30pm. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Cheryl Steele

DSSAR Membership Update

Given the recent departures of Paul Davies and Barbara Perry from Sweet Briar, the membership on the Define Sustainable Size and Ratios (DSSAR) Study Group will change a bit. (We send Paul and Barbara our best wishes in their new positions at Randolph-Macon College and the University of Virginia, respectively!) The new members will be Jonathan Green (co-chair), Steve Bragaw, and Gail Payne, who are joining Steve Wassell (co-chair), Steve Bailey, Debbie Powell, and Tom Scott. We look forward to working with Mitch Wesolowski, Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, but we know that he will have his plate full with other duties and so we did not want to burden him with another committee membership.

Our next meeting will be August 18th at 2:30 in Fletcher 110, and Christy Cole will join us. She recently put together a spreadsheet of 84 private, not-for-profit, 4-year, liberal arts colleges having an undergraduate degree-seeking enrollment headcount between 500 and 1000 or having a campus acreage over 500 acres (for background information on Christy’s data collection work during the summer, see her post entitled Whoa! That’s a lot of data!). We will be discussing which of these schools would be the most appropriate to benchmark against, and in general we will be regaining our momentum heading into the upcoming academic year.

Digital Sophistication 12 July 2010

The committee met this Monday to discuss where we stand in our data gathering and where the committee should put its focus after this initial round of goals has been met.  John Jaffe has compiled a complete list of the hardware and media equipment for the entire college and posted it to our working site.   He has also broken that information down by classroom so instructors can see precisely what equipment is in each room.

The Instructional Technology Committee recently conducted a survey of the faculty to determine what the faculty would like to see if classrooms.  Tom Marcais compiled this information and sent it around to the committee and gave a report on the trends at the meeting.  This information will be used to help formulate our recommendations for how to achieve digital literacy.

Goal five of our current list was reworded to the following:  5.  To determine technological competencies faculty expect students to have in each disciplinary area and whether instructional/classroom time is used to develop/remediate these competencies; to define the technological outcomes students should achieve in each curricular area.  This change was passed unanimously.

The survey of the local high school students conducted by the Competitive Advantage group had some questions embedded in it from Digital Sophistication.  The results were not particularly revealing:  the students daily use their cell phones, email accounts, and social networking tools.  They expect fast high-speed wireless everywhere on a college campus.  We will get more information about students’ expectations for technology on a college campus in the fall when we poll the incoming students.

Lastly, we discussed the possibility of a pilot course in technological literacy to be taught by Tom Marcais this fall.  Tom has circulated a course proposal and discussed the potential structure of the class as five participants from the students, faculty, and staff each.  The committee will read this proposal for the next meeting and determine whether a pilot this coming semester is feasible.

At the next meeting we will receive a report on the best practices in technology from other colleges, discuss the pilot proposal, and set long-term goals for the committee.   The committee always welcomes your comments and suggestions and solicits your input on whether training in technology should be voluntary or required for students and whether giving academic credit for it or working on a certificate model would be preferable.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Gutierrez