Chatham University

Frequently Asked Questions – Strategic Planning

What is the objective of the strategic planning process?
The goal of the strategic planning process is to develop a new comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative plan that will allow Chatham University to fulfill its educational mission with excellence and help lead Chatham University to even greater levels of success in the future.

How long will the strategic planning process take?
Our goal is to complete the strategic planning process by fall 2017, although the Board of Trustees is prepared to extend the process should the Steering Committee conclude that more time is needed to complete its charge.

How can you be involved in the strategic planning process?
There are a number of ways for members of the Chatham community to be involved in the strategic planning process. You can give your feedback and ideas to people you know on the Steering Committee, whose responsibilities include serving as a conduit from the broader campus community to the Steering Committee. You can use the Steering Committee's email address ( to provide your feedback on the process or the plan itself. You can come to the usual post-Board of Trustees campus briefings for updates on the planning process. There will also be opportunities during the public forums before our Middle States visit to provide your feedback on the planning process.

Can you submit comments regarding the strategic plan or the planning process?
You may submit comments at any point about the process or the strategic plan by emailing the Steering Committee at As the Steering Committee's work progresses, it will post updates and drafts/iterations of the strategic plan for the Campus Community's review and feedback.

How were the members of the Steering Committee and the Task Forces selected?
In fall 2016, President Finegold invited members of President's Cabinet to nominate individuals from the following categories to serve on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Faculty, Students, Staff/Administration, and Alumni. To be considered, nominees should be:

In keeping with the Board's past practice of establishing Board committees or groups to study, assess and make recommendations regarding important areas of the University, the Board in fall 2017 established Board Task Forces in five areas of critical importance to Chatham's future: Affordability & Access, Eden Hall/Falk School, Growth & Capacity, International Education, and Online Learning/Continuing Education. The Chair of the Board of Trustees appointed a Board chair and Board members for each Task Force, selecting Board members whose experience and interests will enrich the work of their respective Task Forces. Each Task Force is supported by University staff members with experience and responsibilities in the areas covered by the Task Force.

Can I participate in the work of the Board Task Forces?
The Task Forces were established as a Board-driven process and only Board members are permitted to be members of Task Forces. If you are interested in the work of a particular Task Force, we encourage you to contact one of the staff members who supports that Task Force to share your thoughts and ideas or get an update on its work. Periodic progress reports on the work of the Steering Committee and the Task Forces will also be provided throughout the planning process.

Is anyone else involved in the strategic planning process?
The Board of Trustees has engaged Dr. Theodore (Ted) E. Long, President Emeritus of Elizabethtown College, to assist in the strategic planning process. A consultant with the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), Dr. Long has extensive experience in leading strategic planning initiatives for higher education institutions (See Dr. Long will serve as an advisor throughout the strategic planning process, and will help facilitate several Board of Trustee sessions – the February Board meeting, and a Board Retreat in June – that will be important components of the planning process.

What strategic planning initiatives has Chatham undertaken before?
In the past 10-15 years, Chatham has met a few times to thoughtfully approach the challenges and opportunities facing colleges and universities. Shaping Our Future was approved by the Board in 2005, Vision 20/20 was approved by the Board in 2008, as well as a revision to Vision 20/20. These previous plans have provided the direction as well as laid the foundation for the aims of this strategic planning effort.