Strategic Planning

A Message from President Ron Cole ‘87

The Board of Trustees, in February 2023, endorsed a pathway for the College that will allow us to chart a vibrant future for Allegheny as we affirm our commitment to the liberal arts and continue evolving to meet the needs of today’s students.

We are designing a future for Allegheny College to thrive by having the wisdom to embrace new ideas, the courage to implement change, and the discipline to stay the course as we assess, evaluate, and continually improve our outcomes. Our future will build on our strengths and values as we show relevance for an Allegheny education with strong student outcomes into the 21st century.

With enthusiasm for the future of Allegheny and Go Gators!


March 27, 2023 (Call for participants)

Dear Allegheny Faculty, Staff, and Administrators,

At the Board of Trustees retreat in February, the Board endorsed a pathway for the College that will allow us to chart a vibrant future for Allegheny as we affirm our commitment to the liberal arts and continue evolving to meet the needs of today’s students. As I shared in the State of the College address on Friday, I invite members of the Allegheny community to participate in a strategic planning process that will start later this spring to shape and define our pathway. The strategic process will be facilitated by The Hill Group, a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh with extensive experience and success guiding and implementing strategic planning in higher education and industry.

We envision working groups for three focus areas: people (student experience, enrollment, and employee development), programs (curricular and co-curricular), and places (campus infrastructure and Meadville area partnerships). There is overlap and the areas of focus may evolve as The Hill Group gathers information about Allegheny’s market position, but this is our starting point.

Each working group will include about 15 participants, including members of the Board, students, faculty, staff, and administration. Alumni Council will also be consulted throughout the process. The working groups will meet during the first and fourth weeks of June and the first full week of July (dates will be determined after the working groups are formed; remote options will be offered to allow for full participation). There will be a steering committee composed of representative(s) from each working group and the senior leadership team. The steering committee will meet more frequently than the working groups with an initial meeting on April 18.

Please use this form by April 7 if you would like to volunteer to participate in one of the working groups. In addition, nominations are welcome using the form. I will work with the senior leadership team to select members of each working group from among the volunteers and nominations, striving for balanced representation. My goal is to announce the members of the working groups before the end of April.

We will likely have more volunteers than there are places in the working groups; there will be opportunity, through open forums and other means, for input from the entire campus community. As this important work proceeds, the Board and I are committed to a transparent process that will allow all voices to be heard as we develop shared strategies for our pathway.

Our partners from The Hill Group will be on campus to host open meetings to provide an overview of our planning process with opportunities for questions and input. There will be two sessions on March 30 at 12:30–1:15 p.m. and 2:45–3:30 p.m., both in the Tippie Alumni Center Tillotson Room. A recording of one of these meetings will be available by request for those who may not be able to attend. Additional meetings in April, along with surveys throughout the process, will provide other opportunities for participation.

I am excited for the planning that we will do together, as a campus community, for the future of Allegheny. Thank you for all that you do for our educational mission.

Ron Cole, President

P.S. If you were not able to attend the State of the College on Friday, please email Ellen Johnson at to receive a copy of the recording.

June 15, 2023 (Update on Strategic Planning)

Dear Campus Community,

I’m writing with an update about our strategic planning process that is underway. Following the call for participants in April there were over 80 employee volunteers — a wonderful show of interest and support for our process. After review and input from the senior leadership team, three working groups and a steering committee were formed. As a reminder, the working groups are broadly defined for ‘programs,’ ‘people,’ and ‘places,’ with members from faculty, staff, students, cabinet, and trustees. There will be opportunities for some of the volunteers who were not placed into a working group to contribute in focus groups or with assistance on specific topics that come up during the planning process. The steering committee is composed of cabinet members and representatives from campus constituents (faculty, staff, student, and trustee). Members of the cabinet will be liaisons between working groups and the steering committee. Each working group will be facilitated by a professional from The Hill Group.

The working groups will help to identify and shape strategic initiatives informed by focus group findings and market position research that The Hill Group has conducted and aligned with Allegheny’s institutional priorities and values. The outcomes of the working groups will be compiled and prioritized by the steering committee. We have also engaged the Art & Science Group, who will provide important market testing of proposed initiatives to assist us in understanding which ideas have the most potential and resonance in the marketplace (e.g., with prospective students).

A timeline for our process is provided on the linked document. Note that the campus community will have opportunity from about mid-August through mid-September to provide comments on a draft strategic plan. All of this will inform my decisions for the final strategic plan to present to the Board in October.

You can expect another update in July. I look forward to working together as we chart Allegheny’s future pathway. Thank you for all that you do to support our shared purpose of providing students with excellence in education and strong outcomes.

All the best,

July 26, 2023 (Campus Update on Strategic Planning)

Dear Allegheny Community,

I hope that you are enjoying the summer months. As promised in my June update, I’m writing with an update for you this month on our process to chart a pathway for Allegheny.

To start, you can now find information about our strategic planning on this new website. The website includes the timeline of our process, a listing of the working groups and steering committee, and previous communications about the strategic plan. The site will be updated as the project moves forward and will serve as a go to resource of information for the community.

As a quick update, the three working groups (People, Places, Programs) have completed their work and did an outstanding job generating ideas to build on existing strengths and new initiatives to consider. The Hill Group is now preparing draft recommendations based on outcomes of the working groups and information gathered from the campus-wide and alumni surveys and focus groups that were conducted earlier this year. The steering committee will now work with The Hill Group through early August to review and prioritize the draft recommendations. This will be followed by review by the Board of Trustees in mid-August. The campus community will have the opportunity to provide feedback from about mid-August through mid-September. In addition, Art & Science Group is market testing ideas with prospective students. The process is running as scheduled, and we are on track for a completed plan for the October meeting of the Board of Trustees. My deepest thanks to all who have contributed to this process so far!

For the remainder of this week and into next, I’ll be spending time with my family to relax and recharge. In early August, I look forward to continuing the work with this incredible campus community to shape a vibrant future for Allegheny College!

Wishing you well and Go Gators!

August 16, 2024 (State of the College Meeting)
August 25, 2023 (Campus Update on Strategic Planning)

Dear Allegheny Community,

As promised in my July update, I am writing to share with you our continued progress on the plan for a strategic pathway for Allegheny.

We have moved into the public comment phase of the process during which I invite you to offer feedback on our draft plan. The draft being shared with you today includes concepts that will guide the development of our mission and vision statements along with draft values, goals, and strategies. I am deeply proud of the work and input by so many in the Allegheny community to develop this plan.

I encourage you to spend time with the draft of The Allegheny College Pathway and to discuss the plan with each other. As members of our community, you should see yourself reflected in this plan that is grounded in our history and moves boldly into the future.

We offer you multiple ways to provide your perspective and feedback on the draft plan through September 14. Your input will be incredibly valuable as we refine and shape the plan, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval in October.

Community Feedback Opportunities

  • Survey facilitated by The Hill Group
  • Open Forums for members of the campus community (students, staff, faculty)

Please refer to the strategic planning website for more information and for updates as we move forward. My continued gratitude to all who have contributed to this process.

I look forward to working with this incredible campus community to shape a vibrant future for Allegheny College!

Wishing you well, and Go Gators!

November 1, 2023 (Campus Update)

The Allegheny College Pathway

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the strategic planning process to date. In October, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved plan for our strategic pathway including the goals, strategies, and institutional values. We will now move into the next phase of planning and executing upon our ambitious plans for a vibrant future. Groups will be convened to develop and refine the tactics that will be put in place for each strategy to meet our goals. There is work already underway in some areas and there will be opportunities for any member of the community who wants to engage deeper. The pathway for Allegheny is bright because of our shared commitment to honoring our history and moving boldly into the future.

Fall 2023 (Allegheny Magazine Article)

“The Allegheny College Pathway”

February 1, 2024 (State of the College Meeting)


The following five value statements represent the Allegheny community and the themes that consistently drive College initiatives and goals.


We believe in the pursuit of excellence in all that we do and commit to exceeding the expectations of all members of our academic community.


We believe that creativity is the source of positive change and commit to empowering those who embrace a mindset for intellectual and personal growth.


We believe that diverse perspectives enrich learning and we commit to promoting the free and respectful exchange of ideas in a setting that fosters responsibility and accountability.


We believe in the power of community and commit to nurturing lifelong relationships among students, alumni, faculty, and staff.


We believe in a sustainable world for future generations and commit to this by stewarding environmental, economic, and social drivers.

Goals and Strategies

The Strategic Pathway includes five primary goals, and within each goal are multiple strategies. An implementation team has been identified to investigate each of these strategies, and teams will be completing work throughout 2024 to identify key action plans and the related KPIs and metrics that will best serve the College. Strategy implementation team members are included in the lists below.  The strategy implementation teams will work with departments, offices, and individuals to gather ideas and input for each strategy.  The experience and expertise of members across the Allegheny College community are needed in this process — the implementation teams are designed to empower outcomes and track progress toward goals.

Goal 1: ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE & STRONG OUTCOMES. Every Allegheny student will gain high‐quality knowledge, skills, and abilities, rooted in the liberal arts, that prepare them for meaningful lives and purposeful careers in an interconnected world. (Lead: A. Haddad)
  • Strategy 1.1: Strengthen and Build Academic Programs. Strengthen existing and create new academic programs to emphasize academic excellence, interdisciplinary and applied learning, and the relevance of liberal arts for career readiness and meaningful lives. (Lead: A. Haddad; Jennifer Dearden, Ian Carbone, Penny Drexel, Brian Collingwood)
  • Strategy 1.2: Career and Outcomes Advising. Build career and outcomes advising into all academic programs including engagement of alumni to advance student outcomes. (Lead: M. Stinson; J. Dearden, I. Binnington, B. Collingwood, S. Pineo, P. Foxman)
  • Strategy 1.3: Experiential Learning. Deepen domestic and international experiential learning options across the curriculum, including research and internships, so students can apply knowledge and gain practical experience. (Lead: J. Dearden; B. Doyle, B. Rich, D. Turner, M. Venesky, B. Collingwood)
  • Strategy 1.4: Systematic and Sustained Assessment. Implement systematic and sustained assessment processes for every program. (Lead: P. Bradley; A. Stearns, C. Finaret, L. Wetsell, K. Yeung)

Goal 2: VIBRANT & INCLUSIVE CAMPUS. An engaged and fun experience and inclusive culture will be hallmarks of Allegheny for students, faculty, and staff. (Lead: H. Roberson)
  • Strategy 2.1: Build Community and School Pride. Enhance athletics, recreation, arts, spiritual life and wellness to define and create a fun, positive, growth-minded campus culture and build community and school pride. (Lead: I. Binnington; T. Yeckley, J. May, D. Turner, M. Mehler, B. Ross, D. McHale, J. Rignani)
  • Strategy 2.2: Sustainable and Accessible Infrastructure. Create high-tech, sustainable, welcoming, and accessible physical and operational infrastructure. (Lead: J. Michael; K. Yeung, K. Boulton, J. Mangine, G. Beck, B. Rich)
  • Strategy 2.3: Diverse Team of Best Employees. Attract and retain a diverse team of the best and brightest faculty, staff, and administrators. (Lead: H. Roberson; N. Ross, A. Haddad, J. Michael, K. Frazier, C. Bell, A. Hart)

Goal 3: BROADEN ACADEMIC OFFERINGS. Allegheny will deliver educational content in new and innovative ways to reach a broader audience locally and globally. (Lead: A. Haddad)
  • Strategy 3.1: Graduate and Non-Degree Programs. Expand beyond the four‐year undergraduate degree with graduate and non‐degree programs to meet employer needs. (Lead: A. Haddad; B. Rich, B. Ross, A. Stearns, S. Cunningham)
  • Strategy 3.2: Online Technologies and Practices. Enable widespread access to selected programs and educational opportunities with best-in-class online technologies and practices. (Lead: T. Snyder; K. Yeung, R. Weir, K. Benson)
  • Strategy 3.3: Strategic Partnerships and Locations. Implement partnerships with other institutions in strategic locations to sustainably expand opportunities for Allegheny students. (Lead: J. Dearden; M. Stinson, B. Doyle, A. Smith, P. Drexel, S. DiNardo)

Goal 4: COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Allegheny will be a part of and serve the greater Meadville community. (Lead: M. Stinson)
  • Strategy 4.1: Community Partnership Hub. Establish a Community Partnership Hub to grow capacity for long‐term improvements and collaborative initiatives with community partners across workforce and economic development. (Lead: M. Stinson; L. Paulson, A. Walker, B. Rich, B. Collingwood, K. Boulton)
  • Strategy 4.2: Meadville Relationships. Renew and expand relationships with Meadville and its multiple diverse communities. (Lead: A. Walker; D. Turner, C. Hurley, S. King, E. O’Day-Frye)

Goal 5: OPERATIONAL & FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY. Allegheny will be operationally excellent and financially stable to thrive in the future. (Lead: L. Wetsell)
  • Strategy 5.1: Grow Enrollment. Grow enrollment by investing in student recruitment, retention, and persistence through a focus on inclusive excellence and holistic student success leading to strong outcomes. (Lead: S. Friedhoff; I. Binnington, D. Turner, N. Eckart, K. Benson, K. Costanzo; L. Olsen)
  • Strategy 5.2: Increase Revenue. Build and expand sources of revenue. (Lead: L. Wetsell; M. Stinson, J. Michael, B. Ross, P. Bradley)
  • Strategy 5.3: Elevate Profile of Allegheny. Strengthen marketing, communication, and branding to elevate the profile and distinctive position of Allegheny. (Lead: S. Friedhoff; P. Drexel, J. Rignani, G. Beck, T. Chapp, J. Luteran, K. Benson)
  • Strategy 5.4: Student-Centered Processes. Improve efficiency and effectiveness in work processes to be student‐centered and to bolster the employee experience. (Lead: I. Binnington; L. Wetsell, K. Yeung, N. Ross, R. Perry, N. McIntire, A. Pipper, E. O’Day-Frye)

Pathway Development Timeline


  • Market research and benchmarking report
  • Review of past Allegheny plans and research reports


Discovery meetings

  • President’s Cabinet
  • Faculty Council
  • Staff and Administrative Advisory Councils
  • Faculty, staff, and student focus groups
  • Next Level Leadership Cohort
  • Alumni and Parent Councils
  • Steering Committee
  • Individual interviews (20)
  • Executive Committee and Board of Trustees

Feedback Surveys

  • General campus community – 80+ responses
  • Alumni – 1,600+ responses
  • Parents – 130+ responses


  • Working Group Retreats (June)
  • Cabinet meetings to refine strategies and tactics (June and July)
  • Steering Committee meetings (April, July, and August)


Outcomes reports shared with campus for public comment. Executive Committee of the Board reviews outcomes reports.


Report and plan finalized by the Hill Group using input from public comment and review phases. Final review of market research by Art & Science Group.


Final plan presented to Board for approval and shared with campus community.

A steering committee and three working groups met in summer 2023 to review market research, internal data, and constituent surveys. The working groups were organized under the categories of ‘people’ (student experience, enrollment, and employee development), ‘programs’ (curricular and co-curricular), and ‘places’ (campus infrastructure and Meadville area partnerships), with members from faculty, staff, students, cabinet, and trustees. Our process is designed to include broad input from the Allegheny community.

Steering Committee

  • Angela Haddad, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
  • Heather Moore Roberson, Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Ellen Johnson, VP of Enrollment Management
  • Linda Wetsell, CFO and VP of Finance and Administration
  • Matt Stinson, VP of Institutional Advancement
  • Ian Binnington, Dean for the Student Experience
  • Bill Ross, Director of Athletics
  • Alexis Hart, Chair of Faculty Council; Professor of English and Director of Writing
  • Sara Pineo, Senior Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement
  • Peter Bradley, Assoc. Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Strategic Planning, and Assessment
  • Nicole Recio Bremer ’25, Allegheny Student Government President
  • Julie Skattum, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees

Strategic Partners

The strategic process is being facilitated by The Hill Group, a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh with extensive experience and success guiding and implementing strategic planning in higher education and industry. The process is also supported by research being completed by Art & Science Group.

  • The Hill Group (market position study and facilitation of strategic planning)
  • Art & Science Group (market research & testing of strategic initiatives)

Working Groups

People (Student & Employee Experience)
  • Ellen Johnson, VP of Enrollment Management (Co-Chair)
  • Ian Binnington, Dean for Student Experience (Co-Chair)
  • Bill Ross, Athletic Director (Co-Chair)
  • Matt Betush, Faculty – Chemistry
  • Barbara Shaw, Faculty – Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Director of INTDS
  • Rachel Weir, Faculty – Mathematics and Director of Faculty Development
  • Benjamin Bargar, Academic Department Coordinator
  • Gretchen Beck, Associate Dean of Students for Community Standards and Wellness
  • Carli Belosh, Associate Director for Donor Relations
  • Kate Costanzo, Assistant Director of Athletics & Recreation
  • Natasha Eckart, Director of Financial Aid
  • Leslie Briseno ’25
  • Graham Kralic ’25
  • Ramsay Smith ’23
  • Afua Osei, Trustee
  • Lance Zingale, Trustee
  • Curt Cramer, Trustee
Places (Campus & Greater Meadville Area)
  • Linda Wetsell, CFO and VP of Finance and Administration (Co-Chair)
  • Matt Stinson, VP of Institutional Advancement (Co-Chair)
  • Becky Dawson, Faculty – Global Health Studies & Biology
  • Michael Mehler, Faculty and Chair – Communication, Film, and Theatre
  • Byron Rich, Faculty and Chair – Art and Director of ALIC
  • Erin O’Day Frye, Dean for Student Success
  • Kurt Hatcher, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Jeffrey Jones, Facilities Maintenance Supervisor, Physical Plant
  • Allison Mattis, Office Manager, Maytum Center for Student Success
  • Marko Sadikovic, Director of Operations for Student Life
  • Andy Walker, Executive Director, Economic, Civic, and Community Engagement
  • Sarah Hoplock ’25
  • Lydia Wagner ’26
  • Aria Zong ’25
  • Mark Campbell, Trustee
  • Nancy Yovetich, Trustee
  • Doug Ziegler, Trustee
Programs (Curricular & Co-Curricular)
  • Angela Haddad, Provost and Dean of the Faculty (Co-Chair)
  • Heather Moore Roberson, Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Co-Chair)
  • Doug Luman, Faculty – Computer Science
  • Kelly Pearce, Faculty – Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • Ishita Sinha Roy, Faculty – Communication, Film, and Theatre
  • Brian Collingwood, Executive Director of Career Education
  • Sarah DiNardo, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
  • Wendy Kedzierski, Project Director, Creek Connections
  • Jonathon May, fourth- and Fourth-Year Class Dean, Maytum Center for Student Success
  • Lisa Nicole Smith, Director of IDEAS Center
  • Sam Ault ’26
  • Bea Foley ’24
  • Ellen Yount, Trustee
  • Tom Sadvary, Trustee
  • Mark Maruszewski, Trustee
Consultants to the Working Groups
  • Peter Bradley, Assoc. Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Strategic Planning, and Assessment
  • Jennifer Dearden, Associate Provost
  • Trae Yeckley, Dean for Student Life
  • Kelly Boulton, Director of Sustainability
  • Penny Drexel, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Molly Smith, ITS Programmer/Analyst & Database Administrator