What would it take to push Allegheny to the next level of excellence, reputation, and visibility? Over the past year, trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, and
students have answered that question through their work on Combinations 2020, the strategic plan that will build on Allegheny’s strengths and guide the College’s work for the next ten years.
The last strategic plan, which took the College to 2010, ushered in ten years of expanded opportunities for students, innovative curricular and co-curricular offerings, and a building and renovation program that included the North Village residence halls, the Patricia Bush Tippie Alumni Center at Cochran Hall, and the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts. That ten-year boom in facilities and programs was accom- panied by a parallel rise in Allegheny’s visibility on the national stage. Now, as the time comes to begin implement- ing plans for the next ten years, Allegheny is poised to claim its place among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Plumb in the middle of this decade will be a milestone that only a few dozen colleges have reached: a bicentennial. Allegheny will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2015, a testa- ment to all who have come—and planned—before us.
Keeping Allegheny Affordable for Families
Most alumni—and students today— would begin their Allegheny story the same way: “I would never have been able to attend Allegheny except for the generous scholarship aid I was offered.” Every other good thing that happens at Allegheny is predicated on that: access. By building our endowment over the next ten years, we plan to ensure that an Allegheny education is affordable for all students whose talent and hard work have earned them a place at the College.
Requiring Study Away
Study away—when students experience new places and cultures that may shape them in unexpected ways—can be across town or across the world. Many Allegheny students already embrace study away through semesters abroad, faculty-led EL seminars, College- sponsored internships, Alternative Spring Break programs, and community-based learning. By making study away a requirement, creating more opportunities for study away, and ensuring that study away is within the financial reach of every student, we’ll give all of our students an experience that is as rich and as valuable as the Senior Comp.
Enhancing Our Teaching Environment
Most of our graduates’ Allegheny stories also include memories of professors who made an impact that went far beyond a particular course. Those interactions happen because Allegheny’s small classes offer students and faculty a chance to work and learn together. When we reach a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 in 2020—we’re currently at 13:1—we’ll enhance that experience for all of our students and meet the standard for nationally recognized liberal arts colleges. By significantly increasing the number of endowed professorships, we’ll continue to attract dedicated and talented faculty, the kind of women and men who not only teach but inspire.
Internationalizing Our Campus and Our Curriculum
One of the most remarkable successes of Allegheny’s past decade was the work our community did toward creating a campus that reflects— and celebrate —diversity. We want to continue building on that success while also expanding efforts to create a campus that is more reflective of our world. By giving more international students the opportunity to become part of the Allegheny community, we will enrich our campus. By creating initiatives to enhance international study on campus, we will better prepare our students to succeed in the global marketplace and become informed world citizens.
Investing in Meadville
Our students contribute 25,000 hours a year to community organizations such as the CASA program, a recognition that Meadville’s and Allegheny’s futures are connected as strongly as our histories have been. Combinations 2020 recognizes that community service is not the only investment the College should make in Meadville if both are to thrive. Strategic partnerships with community organizations and local government in the coming decade will revitalize residential neighborhoods and the business sector, while at the same time expanding experiential learning opportunities for our students and creating a more attractive city for us all: students, employees, alumni, and our neighbors in Meadville and the region.
Keeping Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future
Sustainability means many things at Allegheny: fulfilling our commitment to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to achieve climate neutrality, improving the College’s bottom line by creating a more energy-efficient campus, and giving our students opportunities to work directly on sustainability issues, such as the field research they’re doing on switchgrass as a biofuel. By boosting all of these efforts, we’ll create a more sustainable campus in 2020 and better prepare our students to help create a more sustainable world.
For more information on Combinations 2020 visit https://sites.allegheny.edu/presidentmullen/combinations-2020/