qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfgh jklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvb nmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwer WELLS COLLEGE FULFILLING THE PROMISE tyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopas dfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzx cvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq wertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuio pasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghj klzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbn mqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwerty uiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxc vbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrty uiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxc WELLS EDUCATES for Lifelong Learning and Success
A Draft Strategic Plan for 2010-2013 Presented to the Board of Trustees Wells College Aurora, New York May 6, 2010
Table of Contents Executive summary <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<.< page 3 Introduction <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<.<.. page 6 New programmatic initiatives <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<..<<.. page 6 o A center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts o Foundation year program o Degree-completion programs o Culinary arts immersion program through AII Strength and growth through admissions and retention initiatives <<<.. page 12 o Enrollment management o Linking experiential learning with careers o Improvement in ongoing academic programs Underlying programs that support success <<<<<<<<<<<..<<. page 17 o Information technology o Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence o Sustainability o Fundraising and alumni programs o Marketing and communications Institutional structures necessary for success <<<<<<<<..<<<<.. page 22 o Structural reorganization o Financial imperatives o Governance Conclusion: How we will know the College is successful <<<<<<<<<<.. page 28 Appendices: o Appendix A: Business Center operating plan <<<<<<<<<<<<< page 28 o
Appendix B: Comparison of degree-completion programs <<<<<..<.. page 38
Appendix C: Glossary of terms <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<...<<. page 40
Appendix D: Sources & uses documents <<<<<<<<<<<<.<<... page 42
Appendix E: Strategic Planning Committee membership<<<<<<<<. page 43
Executive Summary For nearly a century and half, Wells College has successfully educated students to think critically and reason wisely, to contribute to the greater good, and to cultivate meaningful lives. Yet, by October 2009, the convergence of external factors and the College’s own history had put the College in a precarious financial position. Having thoroughly examined the situation, the Board determined that the College could not sustain itself in the current financial model and that a new model is urgently required. Thus, the Board charged the campus with developing a plan to reach financial health by offering programs that meet the educational, career and developmental needs of current and future students. President Lisa Marsh Ryerson immediately convened and charged the Strategic Planning Committee, who in turn quickly engaged the faculty, staff and students in the planning process. With a balance between the urgency of the task at hand and the need for thorough analysis, the committee and the community developed an initial set of proposals, refined those proposals and developed further recommendations and operating plans, and have begun the work of implementing at least two of the proposed initiatives: the center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts; and linking experiential learning more closely with majors. The Wells College that will emerge from this plan and this work will be a highly-engaged, seamless learning community devoted to educating the whole person. In keeping with the College’s mission and promise to provide students with a relevant, rigorous, and purposeful education, this plan discusses new academic program initiatives, strengthening ongoing programs, investing in underlying areas that contribute to the College’s overall health, and, finally, structural changes necessary for success. The four wholly new programs the College proposes to launch are: a center for the study of business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts; a foundation year program for international students; an off-site degree-completion program for adult learners; and a culinary arts immersion program managed through Aurora Inn Inc. Taken together, these new programs are intended to expand the reach of a Wells education to learners who would not otherwise choose Wells, strengthen the Wells experience for all students, and provide additional, ongoing sources of revenue. That is, they will contribute to both enhancing the College’s programmatic offerings and improving the financial position. Drawing on the College’s our long-standing strengths of interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning, a new center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts, fully integrated with the liberal arts, will provide students the opportunity to study the fundamentals of business in areas such as hospitality, arts management, green businesses, non-profit businesses, and entrepreneurship, and offer a range of experiential learning partnerships with regional and College-owned businesses, as well as alumnae/i. The center will develop the curriculum for a business major and pursue state approval and appropriate accreditation, will connect with other strategic initiatives, in particular, strengthening the link of the study of liberal arts to careers through experiential learning. In 3
addition to offering the potential for positive marketing and media coverage, the center presents the opportunity to more rigorously cultivate alumnae/i connections as well as the possibility of significant philanthropic support. The center has begun to take shape this spring, as the search for a director is underway. The expenses associated with launching this program include developing marketing materials ($25,000 to $50,000) and hiring a director, while annual operating costs include a director, additional faculty, and general programmatic support ($200,000). A mature program is expected to generate net annual revenues of at least $750,000 assuming a 20% interest level, an entering class of 200, and a 52% tuition discount rate. The center will offer students interested in studying business a convincing reason to look more closely at Wells. An emerging and lucrative segment of the higher education market, foundation year programs, which are generally linked with specific universities, provide international students with a year of intensive language skill development, academic preparation, and cultural immersion. Upon successful completion the program, students are then guaranteed admission at these partner universities. As the College develops such a program, Wells students would benefit from a more diverse, international student body; and the College could expect to generate a net profit as early as the first year of implementation. Start-up costs include developing the marketing materials ($25,000 $50,000) and recruiting a director. Ongoing annual operating expenses include a director's salary, a full-time ESL instructor, additional part-time instructors and annual recruiting initiatives ($400,000). Assuming a 12-month program that begins with 15 students and grows to 50 students within four years, by the fourth year annual net revenues would be $750,000. Further progress on this initiative, including developing the prerequisite partnership(s) will occur once a director or coordinator is selected. In typical degree-completion programs, students complete a bachelorâ€™s degree from a 4year college on the campus of a community college. The community college charges to provide space and some benefits, while the degree-granting college sets the price, determines the program requirements, develops the curriculum, and provides the staffing. Market research, marketing, advising, and support for the program are the responsibility of the four-year college. While three area community colleges are enthusiastic about developing this type of partnership with Wells, moving forward with Tompkins Cortland Community College appears to offer the most promise for Wells in terms of compatible program development, availability of potential students, and near-term financial reward. With modest start-up costs and expenses of $65,500 per program, the College could expect to generate a net profit of $164,500 if 14 students enrolled. While there are still more questions to be answered, this opportunity should be pursued once the other initiatives are up and running. The College also intends to move forward with a culinary arts immersion program developed and operated by the Aurora Inn, Inc. This program would strategically capitalize 4
on AII’s strengths as a College asset and contribute to the continued reduction in operating losses. The initial investment necessary to launch this program includes marketing materials ($50,000) and dedicated staff time. Annual operating costs would include salaries and supplies of $120,000. Assuming a program with 10 full-paying students per session, net annual profits of $150,000 are likely. In order to complement new program development and to further enhance the College’s programmatic offerings and financial viability, key ongoing initiatives must be strengthened. The College is committed to a focus on: improving enrollment management strategies; further linking experiential learning with careers; improving the academic program with the addition and refinement of new majors fields; re-envisioning the general education (or core) requirements; and capitalizing on the work of standing committees such as the Curriculum Committee, the Enrollment Management Team (EMT), the Admissions and Financial Committee (AFA), and the Educational Policy Committee (EPC). There are a number of underlying structures or areas that provide the foundation for the success of the plan overall and for individual initiatives, and which themselves must be strengthened or maintained. Areas such as Information Technology (IT), Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence (IIE), the commitment to sustainability manifest in the President’s Climate Commitment, fundraising and alumni programs, and marketing and communications are all critical to the College’s ability to achieve its goals. As the College moves toward financial equilibrium, it will be necessary to approach budgeting and financial management in a more integrated way. The financial model builds on the strategic planning process that identifies opportunities to reallocate existing resources and leverage current assets to maximize savings and/or generate new revenues. The model also identifies resources to make investments and improvements to academic and student programs and services essential in today's competitive higher education marketplace. In addition, a realignment of the College’s staffing restructuring is necessary so as to use its scarce resources more efficiently, in the best interests of teaching and learning and to significantly reduce the existing structural budget deficit. In concert with financial and staffing models, the College must also examine underlying governance assumptions and processes. This is a watershed moment in the life of Wells College; and a better future is within reach. The College simply must resolve the long-standing structural deficit and offer programs which are responsive to the contemporary world and which feature experiential learning opportunities that manifest the many ways students' educations connect to careers and beyond. As Wells College writes the next chapter in a long history, there is a sense of recommitment, of renewal and of optimism born of the conviction that a college born of the 19th century can transform itself for success into the 21st century.
Fulfilling the Promise INTRODUCTION Wells College has a long history as a private liberal arts college that has successfully educated students for careers, further education, and community involvement. Nonetheless, in the current turbulent financial period, students and their families want evidence that their investment in higher education will be worthwhile. Our vision for Wells is a highly engaged seamless learning community devoted to educating the whole person. Capitalizing on close ties between faculty, staff, and students, and the College’s focus on experiential learning, Wells College will enable students to make connections between their academic work, co-curricular activities, and career planning. In order to accomplish such goals and ensure access for future generations of students, however, Wells must become a financially sustainable college, covering costs primarily through revenues. Wells will increase its student body gradually through attractive academic programs rooted in the liberal arts and through improved retention initiatives. The College will be restructured so as to use its scarce resources efficiently, in the best interests of teaching and learning. A THREE-YEAR PLAN: GOALS OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN A fundamental issue that this strategic plan addresses is how Wells College can become financially sustainable. The recent economic downturn made the College’s unsustainable finances more evident: typically, expenditures exceeded revenues so that the College’s endowment was not used to invest in programs but rather to cover annual deficits. Clearly financial health is the sine qua non of all enterprises, including institutions of higher education. Thus this plan has a relatively short time frame, focusing on key strategic initiatives that need to be prioritized during the next three years to ensure the College’s future. NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAM INITIATIVES Lifelong learning is part of Wells College’s mission statement. Not only is this goal applicable to Wells students, but it also applies to the College itself. Adaptation, change and flexibility are desirable qualities for both students and the College. Community members who provided input during the strategic planning process about desirable directions for Wells were clear that they favored introducing new academic programs, some radically different from the College’s traditional curriculum. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee endorsed those ideas that appeared to have the most potential for increasing enrollment, both by attracting new students and retaining current ones, since growth is a key way Wells will become financially sustainable. Below we describe four new academic program initiatives: A center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts; a foundation year for international students; degree completion programs; and a culinary immersion program through Aurora Inn Inc. These proposed changes are informed by our mission and our promise to provide our students with a relevant, rigorous, and purposeful education. 6
Center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts (BELA)1 A new center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts, approved by the Wells College Board of Trustees in February 2010, will increase enrollment, revitalize academic and cocurricular programs, advance the work of connecting students’ programs of study with careers, and use the College’s location to advantage. The College has a beautiful, rural, lakeside location with many nearby businesses connected to wineries, tourism, and hospitality industries. About one-fifth of college students in the United States study business, but until now, Wells has had few curricular offerings that would appeal to them. No matter what industry or field students are interested in, their careers will benefit from an understanding of principles of business, including marketing and finance. The BELA center at Wells will be fully integrated with the liberal arts, not like centers at some other colleges which are often more separate or “stand alone.” Leading schools of business in the United States, for instance Stanford University’s business school, have recently called attention to the value of grounding the study of business in the liberal arts (http://chronicle.com/article/Business-Curricula-Need-a/63694/). The Wells center will begin and remain fully involved with other college programs, enriching them at the same time gaining valuable perspectives from the liberal arts. The director of the BELA center will be responsible for working with Wells faculty to develop a new and innovative major field of business at Wells, approved by New York State and eventually accredited by either the IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education) or AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The business center and the major field that will be part of its operations will offer students the opportunity to learn about hospitality, arts management, green businesses, non-profit businesses, and entrepreneurship. The business major will feature hands-on or experiential learning at College businesses, in particular, those run by Aurora Inn Inc.; will encourage students to think critically and reason wisely; and will foster creativity as well as sound, ethical decision-making. Students’ analytical and critical capabilities will be developed by the application of financial, marketing, planning, and managerial skills to a wide variety of new and established businesses. The center will also offer basic business courses to all Wells students, whatever their area of study. In addition to developing a major field of business and teaching two or three courses per year, the director of the BELA center will work with the career development services office and alumnae/i affairs to cultivate internships for students, some of which will be competitive, in local and regional businesses of all types. The director will also work with the Advancement Office to identify and achieve support from foundations and donors to support the center and its work. Additionally, the director will be reaching out to faculty as they develop and maintain a curriculum that supports the new business major. The BELA center will serve as a model of what the restructuring of Wells is designed to achieve--a greater integration of student and academic affairs –as it encourages the formation of nationally recognized student clubs, such as SIFE
This is a descriptive not an official name for the center.
(Students in Free Enterprise) and develops a speakersâ€™ series and workshops on such topics as women or minorities in business, social entrepreneurship, and green businesses. The BELA center is to become a place where students can expand the critical reasoning, reading and writing skills they learn in the liberal arts, into relevant and marketable business skills and experiences. The Business center will align with the values presented in the Collegeâ€™s mission statement and will connect with other strategic initiatives, in particular, strengthening the link of the study of liberal arts to careers through experiential learning. An operating plan for the BELA center, including progress on hiring a director, can be found in Appendix A. Foundation Year for International Students A foundation year program will provide international students with a year of intensive preparation before enrolling in an American college or university. A bourgeoning industry in the American higher education, foundation year programs offer foreign students of promise the opportunity to take courses in language acquisition and study skills, as well as general education courses, while acculturating to collegiate life in the United States. Wells is an ideal site for such programs given the Collegeâ€™s small size and the consequent greater integration of international students into multiple facets of college life than tends to be true in larger institutions where international students can more easily segregate themselves. Wells students benefit from a more diverse, international student body as they learn about other cultures through personal contacts. International students likewise benefit as they get to know U.S. culture better by the type of immersion that the Wells environment provides. Foundation year programs are usually tied or partnered with specific universities so that students who obtain a certain academic standard during the foundation year are guaranteed admission as undergraduate students at these universities. During spring 2010 Cornell University was contacted to determine if they would be interested in partnering with Wells on such a program. Cornell is not interested since it already has many international students. Ithaca College, University of Rochester, and Syracuse University are the next institutions of higher education that will be contacted as potential partners. Further development of this initiative will occur once a director or coordinator is hired. The director should have experience with English as a Second Language (ESL), international student recruitment, and program administration. It is possible that it would be better for Wells to outsource much of the work associated with the Foundation Year, in particular, recruiting international students at overseas fairs and marketing and managing the program. One potential firm which has worked with other small liberal arts colleges is Study Group. Navitas is a firm which has established many such programs in other countries, particularly Australia, but which is beginning to work in the United States, with Western Kentucky University being its first site (http://www.wku.edu/news/releases10/january/navitas.html). We need to learn more about the business arrangement such firms would offer and whether it would make better financial sense for Wells to work with them rather than for Wells to try to run a foundation year program by itself.
Degree Completion Programs Degree-completion programs are off-campus programs where students can enroll to complete their bachelor’s degree in a few designated major fields. Usually students enroll in degree completion programs after they have obtained an associate’s degree. Many four-year colleges have established such programs at community colleges. In the central New York State region, for example, Keuka and LeMoyne, have set up degree completion programs at Cayuga Community College. Students enrolled do not have to come to the four year college to obtain their bachelor’s degree, which have the same status as degrees obtained at the home campus. Degree completion programs are particularly attractive to working adults who may want to attend college close to home on a part-time basis. We have had discussions with three nearby community colleges in Finger Lakes locations: Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) in Dryden; Cayuga Community College (CCC) in Auburn; and Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua. The primary considerations for Wells are: 1) Which academic programs are currently being offered at those locations; 2) the eagerness of these community colleges to have Wells set up a new program on their premises; and 3) revenue potential. The findings support the recommendation that Wells would likely benefit from pursuing a degree-completion program.2 The financial structure at all three is similar. The community colleges charge $5,000–$6,000 per session to provide space and some benefits (for example, computing facilities). The degreegranting college sets the price, determines the program requirements, and develops the curriculum. Courses are typically taught by a combination of current faculty members and adjuncts (both employed by the degree-granting college). Market research, marketing, advising, and support for the program are likewise provided by the four-year college. All three community colleges have programs in place and are enthusiastic about developing this type of partnership with Wells. Programs are aimed at non-traditional age students (25 years or older), take place in the evenings and on weekends, often involve on-line courses, are structured so that students can apply for financial aid, and incorporate faculty from the home institution as professors. In addition, programs generally enroll between five and fifteen students in a cohort. However, the schools also have some variability in terms of cost, full-time/part-time enrollment options, and degree completion timelines, as well as differing levels of program development and opportunity for Wells. Specifically: Cayuga Community College currently has degree-completion programs on site with Keuka College, LeMoyne College, SUNY Morrisville, and Empire State College. They would like to partner with Wells on a program not currently offered on their campus and specifically mentioned education, psychology, anthropology, and theatre. Cayuga is most interested in programs that will directly support employment opportunities in Cayuga County, and requires that a Wells program not replicate the degree offered by another partner.
Wells would first have to apply to New York State for permission to set up a branch campus.
Tompkins-Cortland Community College has just started a degree-completion program on their campus with SUNY Delhi. This is the only option they offer to students right now, and it leaves Wells with a lot of academic program options to consider. TC3 indicated an interest in education, psychology, sustainability studies, and theatre. They are very interested in Wells being their partner in majors related to the liberal arts. Finger Lakes Community College would be another option. They have four campuses (Canandaigua, Newark, Geneva, Victor) and would be eager to talk with Wells about potential programs at any of them. They currently have partnerships with Keuka, Medaille and Paul Smithâ€™s and they are developing a program with Alfred University. In order to have the best chance for success, a Wells program would have to be different from those offered by their current partners. Because TC3 is not saturated with degree-completion programs and they have a much larger enrollment than CCC, Wells could expect to have a large number of potential participants. Thus, Wells should begin developing a degree-completion partnership with TC3 first. Upon development of a program at the TC3 site, a program at CCC should be considered. In addition to TC3 and CCC, Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) with four Finger Lakes locations, is a possible partner for future programs. A comparison of programs appears in Appendix B. The following chart outlines anticipated costs and revenues and is based on four assumptions: 1. A tuition rate of $550/semester hourâ€” a competitive rate for these types of programs. 2. Thirty credits per year/fifteen per semester â€“ allows for financial aid eligibility and degree completion in two years. 3. Each semester includes twelve hours of classroom credit and three hours of internship credit. 4. Expenses to add technology for on-line teaching are not included. Degree-Completion Financial Model Expense Category Community College site lease Salaries for teaching/advising Marketing expenses Administrative support Miscellaneous Total Expenses
Expenses $20,000.00 $35,000.00 $5,000.00 $5,500.00 $1,000.00 $66,500.00
Total Revenue $(20,000.00) $(35,000.00) $( 5,000.00) $( 5,500.00) $(1,000.00) $(66,500.00)
Revenue Category Tuition per student/per year Net revenue @ 10 students 14 students 18 students 22 students
Total Net Revenue $ 98,500.00 $164,500.00 $230,500.00 $296,500.00
Culinary Immersion Program through Aurora Inn Inc. Aurora Inn, Inc. is a business and legal affiliate of Wells College, but is managed by its own board and executive group. Aurora Inn, Inc. operates businesses in Aurora, NY that include the Aurora Inn, E.B. Morgan House, The Fargo Bar & Grill, Dorie’s Café, and The Village Market. Aurora Inn, Inc. also manages a number of rental properties owned by the College and located in Aurora. The Aurora Inn, Inc. businesses bring many benefits to the Aurora and Wells communities. These include a variety of restaurant experiences at several price points, community gathering spaces, prestigious, well-maintained properties, employment for community members and Wells College students, and anchor destinations that drive business to other Aurora properties. Wells College uses the Inn for graduation ceremonies and trustee meetings as well as other collegiate gatherings. The Inn accommodates Wells students’ families in the days surrounding graduation, orientation, moving in and other events and ceremonies. The Inn is a college-town amenity found in many parallel examples that include the University of Virginia, Alfred University and Williams College. An important signifier of prestige, the Inn enhances Wells’ brand as a selective liberal-arts college. The restaurants provide alternative dining opportunities for Wells College students, especially considering the implementation of meal plan options that allow them to dine at these eateries. The Village Market is the only convenience food store in a five-mile radius. After a multi-million dollar restoration project funded entirely by Wells alumna Pleasant Rowland ’62, these historic Inns and restaurants have earned the prestigious AAA four diamond award, a spot on the Historic Inns Select Registry, and are performing better financially than they have in decades. While the operating losses have been significantly reduced and continue to move steadily downward every year, expenses still exceed revenues; Wells College continues to absorb the Corporation’s losses. These figures are reported and projected in this document’s financial section. This strategic plan incorporates continuing efforts to mitigate these losses by strategic redeployment of Aurora Inn, Inc’s resources. To date, the businesses have established seasonal schedules in order to capitalize on summer destination tourism and catering to Finger Lakes vacationers while minimizing off-season losses. Aurora Inn, Inc. now provides food service for the Wells College campus including the dining hall and a takeaway counter therein. A new initiative to provide culinary training in the off season is currently being investigated. While the program will be built in the next years, this program has the potential to generate $350,000 in revenue – and more importantly, $150,000 in profit. Even while this strategic undertaking falls under the purview of Aurora Inn, Inc., it parallels other revenue- and enrollment-generating initiatives at the College. These Aurora Inn, Inc. endeavors are designed to defray the costs of the infrastructure and staffing necessary for maintaining a luxury hotel and restaurant, and its satellite restaurant and property operations. In addition to undertaking its own new program, AII remains a key partner in the success of oncampus initiatives and AII is considered as important, shared resource. BELA assumes that AII will provide experiential learning opportunities, as well as connections to areas businesses in the hospitality industry. Similarly, career development and experiential learning initiatives assume the availability and partnership of resources linked to AII.
STRENGTH AND GROWTH THROUGH ADMISSIONS AND RETENTION INITIATIVES Enrollment management Enrollment is a key focus for Wells College. In recent years, the decisions to lower tuition (1999) and then to transition to coeducation (2004), were made to ensure that admissions and pricing strategies were such that Wells could enroll new students in keeping with established goals. The Board of Trustees’ decision to set tuition for new students in the fall of 2009 at a higher rate and hold prices to a 5 percent increase for current students reflect similar strategic decision-making. By having the price of a Wells education to more accurately reflect its value, Wells will be able to recruit and retain academically successful students as well as move more rapidly toward meeting financial and budgetary goals. At Wells College, every member of the campus community works collaboratively to recruit, retain and graduate students who “think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives.” However, particular committees and administrators are charged with the leadership for specific initiatives and programs. Enrollment priorities and goals are outlined in the Enrollment Management Plan and progress toward recruitment and retention goals is reviewed annually. Programs, policies and services aimed at improving recruitment and retention are assessed in order to set goals for the following academic year. The purpose of the Enrollment Management Plan (EMP) is to create and document a responsive, flexible, educationally sound, research-based system for enrollment management consistent with the mission of Wells College and in keeping with the Strategic Plan. The Enrollment Management Plan is a fluid document, developed by the Enrollment Management Team (EMT) and the Admissions and Financial Committee (AFA). It is reviewed annually by EMT, AFA, the Strategic Planning Committee and the President’s Cabinet. It relies heavily on data and assessment to inform key decisions and strategies for Wells to achieve its enrollment goals and increase student retention, graduation rates, academic success and satisfaction. The Enrollment Management Plan ensures that: our top priority remains providing an excellent learning and living environment for students; retention, recruitment and financial aid initiatives are in keeping with Strategic Plan priorities; constituencies and departments collaborate in determining enrollment management priorities and strategies; budget and planning are consistent with enrollment strategies and priorities; and the campus community is engaged in comprehensive retention efforts. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccredited Wells College in June 2009. The report of the visiting team acknowledged that Wells had increased its enrollment by 40 percent since the last accreditation visit and that Wells had successfully managed the transition to a coeducational college, achieving 30 percent male enrollment in four years. The team also recommended that in order to achieve financial viability, growth should be a priority. They 12
strongly recommended that the College explore raising enrollment goals, possibly to 800 or 1,000 students. Ongoing activities to achieve a larger student body include: Admissions and Financial Aid Combined staffing in Admissions and Financial Aid in 2010 Financial Aid/Scholarship Program audit by Scannel and Kurz Addition of athletic teams and targeted recruitment goals for all sports Increased travel by admissions counselors Senior Search campaign Accepted Applicant Qualification program with Royall and Co. Addition of new academic programs (business, foundation year, film studies) Improved web site Evaluation of and improvements to Student Employment Program Addition of Minerva Fellows program Retention Creation of coordinated First and Second Year Program (SUCCESS) Change in dining services from Sodexo to Aurora Inn, Inc. Addition of wireless and cable in the residence halls Addition of learning communities in the residence halls Improvements to Wlls 111 and Wlls 101 first-year courses Evaluation of and improvements to Academic Advising model Focus on Career Services and Experiential Learning Enhancements and additions to Learning Commons Improved â€œearly warningâ€? systems for students in academic difficulty Ongoing revisions to General Education curriculum Linking liberal arts to careers through experiential learning Experiential learning is learning that occurs through reflection on planned activities outside the traditional classroom. These activities contribute to personal growth, intellectual development, and becoming aware of community and culture. In completing experiences, students make connections between post-graduate paths (including careers) and their liberal arts education. If the experiences are major-specific, the students would also be able to make connections between their majors and post-graduate paths. Experiences that occur off campus make Wells more visible in the community, and provide opportunities for students to make contacts with individuals that could help them get a job. Ideally, a required experiential learning component of a Wells education should assure students and their parents that a liberal arts education does prepare them for a career after graduation. In spring of 2010, faculty approved some changes in requirements for experiential education. Students who begin as first and second year students must have two experiential learning activities in order to graduate; transfer students entering with junior or senior standing are required to do only one. At least one experiential activity must take place off campus. Faculty approved broadening of the kinds of opportunities that will fulfill the experiential learning 13
requirement—not only internships, off-campus study, and student teaching, but also facultysupervised research, teaching assistance, and other activities that fulfill the learning objectives. When looking at our peer institutions, we find that very few are like Wells in having experiential learning as a general education requirement, with the notable exception of Keuka. In a recent survey of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), a majority of business leaders said that experiential learning and application of classroom knowledge to the experience was “effective in ensuring the recent college graduates possess the skills and knowledge needed for success.” In the AACU survey, only 36 percent of institutions incorporated experiential learning well or fairly well into their general education requirements. There are clear benefits to future employers when hiring students who have experience in the field. The 2006 Experiential Education survey completed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicates that internships that occur while a student is in college increase future employment opportunities. According to the survey, 76% of employer respondents indicated the primary purpose for them to sponsor an internship was to recruit entry level talent and 83% of employer respondents reported higher retention rates for those with internship experiences.3 Wells’ experiential learning requirement is one means to support students in their career development. Other critical elements include academic advising, career counseling, preprofessional advising, and educational workshops and programs. All should facilitate students’ ability to engage in lifelong learning as they develop in their work life. Wells College’s ability to prepare students for careers is part of our commitment to educating students for “meaningful lives” and “lifelong learning.” For students to be career ready they need to develop “three major skill areas: core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills in concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; employability skills (such as critical thinking and responsibility) that are essential in any career area; and technical, job-specific skills related to a specific career pathway” (Association for Career and Technical Education, What is “Career Ready,” p.1).4 While many people argue that the study of liberal arts, with its focus on critical thinking, logical argument, oral and written communication, and creativity, is a better preparation for careers than more narrow technical study, it is up to the College to demonstrate this. Moreover, we need to focus more attention on the information and skills students need at each stage of their academic careers to assist them in their search for fulfilling careers that match their interests and skills.
http://hr.blr.com/HR-news/Staffing-Training/Employee-Turnover/Employers-Report-InternshipExperience-Boosts-Rete/ http://internships.about.com/od/internshiptip1/a/hiringinterns.htm 3
http://www.acteonline.org/uploadedFiles/Publications_and_Online_Media/files/Career_Readiness_Paper. pdf 4
A brief description of the kind of career development progression all Wells students will experience is as follows: In their first year, students will engage in career exploration and orientation, including learning how to use software for an assessment of their career and major field interests, learning how to articulate their goals and learning outcomes for internships, and either completing or planning to complete an internship. In their second year students will be encouraged to be involved on-campus and off-campus and to make specific plans for completing the experiential learning requirement. They will also receive help in declaring a major, and begin to develop an electronic portfolio. In students’ third year they will begin to make more specific connections between their major fields and career possibilities and start post-graduate planning, including developing specific job search skills. Seniors will receive assistance in job search or graduate school applications, participate in special workshops to prepare them for interviews and the transition to jobs, and engage in reflection about their academic program and experiential activities. To facilitate students’ career development, a centralized office is critical. The former career services office will be relocated to the Learning Commons in the summer of 2010. The office will assist students, current and former, in developing skills and gaining experiences they will need for future success in academic and work settings. Among its many tasks, a career development services office will coordinate the placement of students in experiences that provide them with the opportunities to develop professional work habits and skills-- internships, employment including work study, and service or volunteer activities. Some of these will be permanent internship opportunities, and some of them will be competitive (e.g., Minerva Fellowship Program for summer research and scholarship). The office will facilitate networking relationships among students, alumni, faculty, and employers (e.g., networking nights), and develop structured mentoring programs. The career services office will also be responsible for continuing to develop the Globe site. Forms, resources including careers for various majors, and announcements of opportunities will all be present on the Globe, as well as alumni profiles and current students’ experiences. A successful program to link liberal arts to careers should involve partnerships among faculty, alumni, students, students’ parents, employers, and graduate schools. We plan to develop a peer advisor program so that other students can help with resumé review, mock interviews, internship opportunities, and job searches. The Office of Alumnae/i Relations will help the career services office take advantage of the alumni network and by keeping alumni surveys current, alumni profiles can be used for marketing. Faculty need professional development to keep up to date with career changes in their fields so they can be effective advisors. They can help with the career link by allowing for career discussions in certain classes, for example, in 200-level courses, such discussion might help students to make informed choices of their major declaration. Academic program innovations and ongoing improvements Wells College will continue to strengthen its academic offerings through additions of carefully chosen new major fields, a review of existing majors, including their capstone experiences for seniors, and a revised (and renamed) general education program (also known as a core curriculum). 15
An example of an interesting new major field that builds upon existing strengths at Wells, incorporates experiential learning, and takes an interdisciplinary approach, is Film and Media Studies (FMS). After receiving a proposal that had been discussed in the Humanities Division and also informally approved by faculty in other divisions who would be expected to contribute courses (for example, the advertising course taught in Visual Arts), the Curriculum Committee brought the proposed major to the faculty for their discussion and vote. Wells faculty approved the FMS major in fall 2009, and it is currently awaiting approval from New York State. The first introductory course in this new major is being offered in fall 2010. Developing a new general education program, designed to be fulfilled by students throughout their four years, will continue to be a primary focus of a faculty committee (with some staff and a student representative), Educational Policy Committee (EPC). General education is important as it represents the desired learning outcomes for all Wells-educated students. EPC is looking to strengthen students’ key skills such as writing, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and information literacy. It is also considering how to enable students to integrate knowledge from different fields. The new general education program will broaden and systematize students’ experiential learning and will make the connections between the study of liberal arts and career success evident in a variety of ways. In order for Wells to have a vibrant academic program, one that is firmly rooted in the liberal arts, adapted to the world today, and able to function effectively within Wells’ financial means, another faculty committee, Curriculum Committee, will continue its review of major fields. A basic issue Curriculum Committee is grappling with is how to provide students in-depth study of their major fields but with fewer required courses. Currently, in 2010, major fields at Wells require more courses than is true for most other peer institutions’ comparable majors. By reconceptualizing the relationship between major fields and general education at Wells, both faculty and students will have more time to devote to rewarding and career-relevant interdisciplinary work.
STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT INITIATIVES Information technology The full IT Plan is available on the Globe5 and so will not be replicated here. Excerpted below are highlights from the IT Plan that directly affect the overall goal of this strategic plan: increasing enrollment through admissions and retention so as to ensure financial sustainability of Wells College. The IT Plan contains four themes with the following descriptions: 1. Learning Environment Technologies Enhancements: Efforts under this theme are centered on the modernization of the learning/classroom environment and improvement of the student life experience at Wells in terms of technical resources and services. Included are the introduction of new learning technology resources and capabilities, improvements in existing services such as wireless and Internet bandwidth capacity, expanded support services for faculty and students, and the implementation of an integrated ID card system with debit card and building access control features. 2. Business Operations Technologies Enhancements: Many opportunities exist to gain efficiencies and enhanced functionalities in the College’s Business Operations areas using technology. Top priorities addressed here are: making improvements in the email messaging systems, directory services infrastructure upgrades, and the creation and implementation of a comprehensive web strategy. 3. IT Risk Mitigation and Security Enhancements: Providing a growing set of reliable and increasingly diverse IT services requires resources in the form of sufficient staffing, training, equipment, and services which are designed to minimize security risks and assure continuity of operations as well as timely recovery from disruptions. Continuity of operations is of vital importance, and it is imperative that the College makes the necessary investments in the form of labor, training, and infrastructure to ensure the continuity of critical IT services. Activities under this theme include plans for badly needed security training for IT and College staff, a data replication system, change management, enhanced virus scanning capabilities, adoption of disaster recovery standards for service order restoration and required access locations, and adoption of policies and policy changes to enhance data security. 4. IT Infrastructure Sustainability: The College has amassed significant computer, server, telephone, classroom technology, and network infrastructure equipment over the past decade which has created urgent lifecycle deficiencies that must be addressed with a plan to prevent end-of-life failures. Important equipment replacements and upgrades detailed under this theme are the central network core and closet network switches, main Telephone PBX switch software, voicemail system, virtualized server environment hardware, Jenzabar and Globe servers. Risk mitigation and infrastructure sustainability are key aspects of the IT plan; yet they are usually not noticed until something goes wrong. In terms of attracting and retaining students, the 5
On the Globe, browse groups—Wells Administrative Groups—Technology Advisory Group—TAG documents—IT Master Plan 2009-2012.
more visible aspects of IT seem more critical. Two projects that are important for student retention, excerpted from the IT Plan, have been or will soon be implemented: 1. The most significant factor for technology in the support of instruction and student life at Wells is providing sufficient capacity for Internet bandwidth. Thus far, two doublings of bandwidth capacity has resulted in a 300% overall increase (from 10Mb/s to 40Mb/s), which places our capacity in the average ranges of offerings from other peer institutions for the present time ( 50-60Kb/s/FTE). Wells IT performed a growth analysis using historical bandwidth levels and peer data, and has projected that the College will need to continue to double bandwidth capacity every two years. The growing use of the Internet for entertainment purposes further exacerbates the need for bandwidth increases to support the quality of the student life experience in the residence halls. Entertainment resources typically require very high levels of bandwidth, and many Colleges with have implemented “pay to play” bandwidth vending systems which allow students to “buy up” to higher levels of bandwidth on an individual basis if their lifestyle requires it. Wells must plan to acquire this capability in order to keep bandwidth demand at a manageable level to control costs in the future. 2. The issue of availability of wireless access to the Internet is also very important to student life. Wireless access is currently offered only in the lounge areas of the residence halls and in some public areas, which puts Wells at a competitive disadvantage because many peer institutions have already implemented ubiquitous wireless in their residence halls. Wells IT has obtained 3 proposals to implement ubiquitous wireless access for the 5 main residence halls, and conclude that the best and most cost-effective approach of the three is to contract with Apogee networks to provide bandwidth, wired, and wireless access for the residence halls. Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence In 2007, the College adopted a strategic plan for Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence (IIE). A core value at Wells College, IIE is fundamental in creating and sustaining local, regional, and global communities that reflect the principles of social responsibility and cultural pluralism. Efforts at integrating IIE across the campus have been based on the College’s mission statement, institutional strategic plan (PDF), IIE strategic plan (PDF), community standards statement, and academic program goals. Wells strives to cultivate lifelong learning of the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to live meaningfully and effectively in an interconnected and diverse world. As called for in the plan, Wells College will cultivate and sustain a community culture where respect, diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice are understood, embraced, and supported. The College will demonstrate an institutional commitment to diversity that promotes respect and inclusiveness as core values and honors its history as a women’s college. The IIE plan notes that Wells will offer an academic program of the highest quality, with a curriculum that is relevant, culturally diverse, gender-balanced, and pedagogically sound by conducting ongoing periodic internal reviews of the curriculum to ensure that course content, where appropriate, is gender balanced and culturally diverse. The College also committed to self-
studies for each academic program and ongoing evaluation of opportunities to expand the curriculum to meet the needs of current students and to attract new students to the College. The College intends to attract and retain a student enrollment of culturally diverse and academically promising students who benefit from institutional initiatives that support their academic and co-curricular pursuits and their holistic development. In order to do so, the College expects to develop and implement a merit scholarship program that attracts a diverse group of students with high potential for student leadership and academic success, as well as increase and strengthen academic support services for students. Attracting, retaining and supporting a highly qualified, diverse, and professional faculty dedicated to teaching the liberal arts and sciences, as well as providing resources for scholarly, curricular, and institutional development are key components of the IIE plan. The plan also calls for recruitment practices and a campus climate that continue the strong presence of women on the College faculty. Likewise, the College will attract, retain and support a highly qualified, diverse, and professional staff that is well compensated, technically proficient, and enjoys a flexible, comfortable, and supportive work environment; will work to standardize annual evaluation methods and formats; and will create and support incentives for education and improvement of skills, including technology, equipment, and instructional opportunities that facilitate and improve staff work. The College will support and enhance ways to strengthen the sense of community, respect, and inclusiveness on campus, and provide regular opportunities and encouragement for all members of the campus community to participate fully in the life of the College. Beyond campus itself, the College will engage alumnae and alumni as active participants in the life of the College and seek their support of Collegeâ€™s initiatives. Wells will sustain and enhance its sense of community and will strengthen mutually beneficial relationships within local, regional, national, and global communities. A focus on formal and informal ties between the village of Aurora and the College will make the College a welcoming neighbor. In addition, Wells will develop partnerships with organizations and individuals that support the Collegeâ€™s goals and will explore ways to improve understanding and to honor the land and culture of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, with special emphasis on the Cayuga Nation. Finally, the IIE plan encompasses the notion that the College will recognize and preserve the natural beauty of the campus and surroundings by developing and maintaining a physical plant that adequately supports the academic program and the social and recreational life of the campus community, and will make the campus more inviting, secure and accessible to students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Fundraising and alumni programs For the past several years the College has been planning for, and has been in the quiet or nucleus fund phase of, a major comprehensive campaign. Although the date to launch a campaign had not been determined, recent turmoil in the financial markets and the resulting distress at the College, has dictated that timing for a public launch be reconsidered/delayed. Nonetheless, 19
aggressive fundraising at the College, with particular emphasis on annual and special unrestricted gifts, has continued. In fact, unlike many peers, in 2008-2009, Wells surpassed its annual fund goal and increased the number of donors. As the new initiatives and restructured programs mature/take root, the Advancement staff will seek to provide financial support by matching potential donors with funding opportunities. Given ongoing annual fundraising, special opportunities offered by new programs and current priorities, and continued planning for a major comprehensive campaign, the College must invest appropriately in the resources necessary for successful alumni relations and fundraising programs. Specifically, the College must bolster our major gifts outreach and will likely see a positive return on investment - present and future- with concentrated efforts in this area. In addition, while areas that support the fundraising efforts, such as alumnae/i relations and data management, are relatively stable in the current staffing model, as the College reduces the overall staffing in Advancement, realignment of roles and responsibilities will be critical to ensure overall programmatic strength. A key assumption embedded in both the BELA and Experiential Learning/Career Development plans is that the strong connections with alumnae and alumni will be a valuable and available resource. In addition, the BELA plan assumes that the Center will provide a significant donor naming opportunity, thus fostering strong alumnae/i programs and facilitating connections with new initiatives that are critical to success. Marketing and communications It is imperative that we enhance the College-wide ability to engage in marketing in order to more effectively market new initiatives, capitalize on the College’s overall strengths, and attract new students. Thus, as part of the staffing restructure, the College intends to create an Office of Communications and Marketing that will manage marketing for the College as a whole. This represents a change of direction from the current structure of the communications office as a client-based relationship model in which individual offices on campus call upon the staff and expertise in communications to design and/or produce materials which they have determined that they need. Rather, the marketing office will determine the institutional messaging platform and provide a unified approach and centralized responsibility. Major offices, such as Admissions, the President’s Office, Advancement, Academic and Student Affairs will assign a staff member to be a marketing/communications liaison. One of the primary areas of focus must be the College’s web presence. There is urgent need to optimize the College’s web presence since it is critical to the marketing, enrollment and development functions, and affects the primary perceptions of quality of the institution for potential students, parents and donors. While the College works toward a comprehensive web strategy, the IT Office and the Office of Communications are currently collaborating to make improvements to the main College website, as well as provide a coordinated approach to social media applications.
To facilitate the complete re-design of and comprehensive strategy for the College’s web presence, the Web Steering Committee (WSC) has been established. The committee is responsible for overseeing the development, operations and performance of the College’s website, supporting staff and IT infrastructure. It will review plans of the VP for Communications and the Director of IT to design and implement a website that responds to the College’s needs for external and internal communications and support functionality, especially with regard to student recruitment and services. WSC members will work to ensure the coordination of goals, policies, processes and supporting resources to achieve the approved performance goals. Members are: VP, Communications and College Relations (Co-Chair); IT Director of LIS (Co-Chair); Director of Admissions; Director of Publications and Advancement Writer; Dean of Students staff member; Faculty chair of Admissions and Financial Aid Committee; Manager of Computer and Network Operations; and student representative. The President has approved the authority of the WSC to: oversee and approve strategy, plans, implementation and performance metrics for the Website and its functionality; review budget requests from the VP for Communications for submission to the College’s annual operating and capital budget process; and with approval of the President’s Senior Staff, establish ad-hoc groups to perform studies, analysis and implementation. The WSC keeps and publishes minutes of discussion, decisions and accountable individuals for action follow-up (available on the Globe); will periodically hold campus-wide open meetings to provide updates and solicit input; and will prepare and publish reports to the Senior Staff and campus community as appropriate. As the College creates, publishes, and adopts standards and policies with regards to these resources to preserve the overall College image and efficient use of these important new communication mediums, we will do so within the context of the recently-adopted branding and identity standards. Moving forward with a website redesign will also require planning for, obtaining, and migrating current web data into a Content Management System (CMS), which will enable content managers across the campus to update content on the redesigned website with ease. Equally as important, and intertwined with the need to re-think the College’s web presence, is the need to partner with new initiatives to provide communications and marketing strength to the development, launch and success of those programs. Most immediately the business center has identified, in collaboration with the communications staff, early and key marketing needs. From developing a “look” to crafting language and producing materials, providing value to the center will be a priority.
INSTITUTION-WIDE IMPERATIVES FOR ACHIEVING SUCCESS Achieving financial health and equilibrium Over the last four decades, Wells has endured one financial crisis after another, surviving all of them with the support of loyal alumni and friends of the College. The recent dramatic drop in the College’s endowment (down from $40 million to $32 million in 2010) has resulted in all of its endowment funds being underwater which led to a prudent trustee decision to suspend all future endowment draws for the foreseeable future. This action has exacerbated an already tenuous budget situation and necessitated a comprehensive integrated planning process to develop a long-term solution that will be sustainable in the competitive climate the College finds itself in. A patchwork solution to the problem will not work; without a comprehensive approach Wells will continue to struggle each year with cash flow, capital needs, and an ability to invest in essential programs. The integrated approach to achieving financial stability being proposed builds on the strategic planning process that identifies opportunities to reallocate existing resources and leverage current assets to maximize savings and/or generate new revenues. Additionally, the College’s administration is restructuring so as to support the learning community for students, eliminate duplicative organizational structures, and significantly reduce the existing structural budget deficit. The proposed approach provides resources to make investments and improvements to academic and student programs and services essential in today's competitive higher education marketplace. The strategy has interrelated parts which all work together. Nonetheless, it is relatively straightforward, executable, and measurable. What follows is an outline of how the strategic plan and other planning efforts have been integrated into the College’s attached (Appendix D) three-year Sources & Uses financial plan that provides a pathway to a sustainable financial business model for the College. Academic Strategic Plan: The first part of Wells' strategy to achieve financial sustainability is to implement the new or enhanced programs identified by strategic planning and intended to promote Wells' "value proposition" in order to matriculate a larger student body. Four initiatives have been approved by the Board of Trustees and start-up costs are included in the proposed FY 2010-11 budget as follows: Center for Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Liberal Arts ($117,850) Foundation Year Program for International Students ($125,000) Degree Completion Programs in Partnership with Community Colleges Stressing the Link Between Liberal Arts and Careers through Experimental Learning ($53,320) Recruitment and retention: A second component of the College’s strategy – linked to the strategic plan – is to recruit and retain a student body sufficient to provide the tuition resources necessary to cover current and ongoing operating and capital costs. In order to achieve this goal, Wells retained Royall & Company and Scannell & Kurz, Inc., both nationally recognized firms, to assist 22
in student recruitment and financial aid packaging. In furtherance of this goal, Wells undertook and subsequently adopted this past year an Enrollment Management Plan. The outcome of this effort is already generating positive results in terms of numbers of student inquires (up 25%), numbers of applications (up 17%), and numbers of acceptances (up 33%) as compared to last year at this time. While student recruitment is essential to growing Wells' student body, retaining students is also an essential element of Wells' long-term plan of growing the student body to 800 and relieving pressure on the admissions' effort. Wells is therefore initiating new retention programs as a part of its academic year 2010-11 Budget. To achieve this goal the 2010-11 budget will fund the following programs: An expanding learning commons programs and services ($30,000) A renewed focus on career services and experiential learning opportunities (see above section) Improved academic advising ($20,000) The creation of residential living learning communities pilot ($16,467) Expanded athletic opportunities ($40,000) The Collegeâ€™s financial business model is predicated on the viability of the academic programs and their appeal to a new generation of Wells students. The administration's first order of business has therefore been to focus on insuring Wells' academic programs are competitive and that it has the infrastructure in place to recruit and retain a student body. Financial business model: In parallel with the actions described above, the College has developed a three-year Sources & Uses document (attached) that provides the organizing framework for achieving a sustainable financial business model. The framework was presented to the Board of Trustees at its February board meeting and is defined by the following assumptions: Wells must develop and implement a plan to reduce its structural deficit by $1.5 million by June 30th of this year. To insure a sustainable financial business model, Wells will need to increase its student body from 555 to 701 over a three-year period. (Note that Wells does not need 800 students at this time to be financially viable.) Wells must attract new students by setting aside sufficient resources in the 2010-11 academic year budget to fund the key academic and student initiatives outlined above. The 2010-11 budget must include sufficient new resources to support key investments around retention, information technology, and communications to market Wells more effectively. Wells must provide sufficient resources to maintain academic and student core programs and invest modestly in critical business continuity infrastructure. In addition to operational initiatives, the administration has identified the need to fund onetime capital investments critical to maintaining operations. Achieving a sustainable operating budget with sufficient cash flow is a cornerstone of Wells' long-term business plan. To accomplish this, Wells' financial planning processes have focused on 23
improving operational decision-making in order to provide sufficient resources - over time â€“ to make strategic investments to support Wells' competitive position and to invest in essential infrastructure improvements in order to avoid unnecessary operating and capital costs in the future. The Sources & Uses document demonstrates that Wells can make significant progress toward achieving this goal with a modest increase in students and a disciplined approach to spending the resources available. An overview of the financial plan for the short term and for the current and next three academic years shows that: 1. Wells will have a projected operating deficit over the next two years of approximately $3,200,000. This will require sufficient cash flow until financial equilibrium is achieved. Current modeling assumes that Wells will reach equilibrium in the academic 2012-13 academic year. 2. Wells needs to invest $6.4 million to fund critical business continuity and foundational issues that, if not solved, could shut down the College or negatively impact academic and student programs. The major drivers included in the capital budget are: a. $5.6 million for the steam line and boilers; b. $415,000 for IT infrastructure, which is necessary and integral to the Collegeâ€™s Information Technology Master Plan 2009-2010; and c. $380,000 for New York State Department of Health mandated improvements to the College owned water filtration distribution system and holding tanks which provide water to the Village of Aurora. 3. Wells will manage Aurora Inn Inc as a strategic resource for the College by moving all non-College operating revenue producing unit under the umbrella of AII in order to leverage benefits for the college and community and to improve profitability. As the AII board works to drive down costs and improve financial viability, the operating losses will be reduced to $289,000 in the life of this plan, and to $150,000 in year five. Annual carrying costs for the properties, exclusive of operating losses, will remain at approximately $350,000. Wells is a microcosm of the financial challenges facing small liberal arts colleges in this country today. It believes it is in the vanguard of taking actions necessary to insure the survivability of this very important sector of America's higher education system. The three-year Sources & Uses model does not spend endowment earnings; Wells will have achieved financial stability even without having reached its goal of 800 students; and new fundraising (which is planned and already underway) is not included in the calculations. The proposed steps are very difficult, but Wells will emerge from this effort both stronger and financially viable. Restructuring and realigning the staffing model President Lisa Marsh Ryerson has communicated to the College community the importance of restructuring staff and faculty to reduce the long-standing structural deficit. The goals of restructuring are to: 1) Ensure excellent education in which academics and student life do not seem separate for students but instead intimately related to each other; and 2) Achieve
appropriate sized faculty, staff, and administration for a college of about 600 students (increasing gradually). On the staff side, several areas will be combined to create greater effectiveness and efficiencies, and several departments will be internally reorganized for the same reasons. Function, rather than individuals or individual positions, has guided the thinking for an improved staffing structure, and all levels including Senior Staff have been considered. The result is that some positions are being eliminated; other positions are being restructured in terms of responsibility, reporting and level; and several new positions are being created. Specifically: The Dean of Students and Dean of the College areas will be combined under the auspices of a Provost and Dean of the College. Within that structure, there will be an associate provost for student and academic life as well as the functions of student life, residence life, campus involvement, experiential learning and career services, the learning commons and advising, athletics, the registrar, the library, the center for business, the Book Arts Center, and off-campus study. This change is intended to create a more seamless student experience and provide a greater link between academic and co-curricular life for students. Financial aid will move under admissions in order to provide integrated service to incoming students and more effectively manage financial aid as an integral part of admissions strategies. The College will adopt a Chief Operating Officer (COO) in which the COO will provide leadership in the following areas: financial services; buildings and grounds; human resources; information technology (IT); the bookstore; business services (including mail and transportation); safety and security; property management; and Aurora Inn, Inc. operations. The Advancement area will also see changes in the organizational structure that combine alumnae/i relations and annual giving programs to provide a more coordinated approach to alumnae/i services and programs, and data entry will shift to the COO area. Communications and College Relations will become Communications and Marketing and move into the Presidentâ€™s Office, allowing for a more integrated and focused emphasis on institutional marketing and messaging. Web content and design functions will move under this area. On the faculty side, the Dean and President have worked closely with the Advisory Committee to share information and gather input on how the College will make necessary staffing and programmatic changes. It is important to keep in mind that the relationship faculty have with both the institution and with students is different from staffâ€™s relationship to the College and, thus, there are not necessarily parallel structures or processes for making changes. The College is committed to honoring current contracts for visiting faculty, to honoring the contributions of long-term faculty, and to ensuring that no individuals are terminated precipitously or without some severance pay, even if their programs are to be discontinued. In making decisions to end any academic programs, criteria to be considered are: 1) average number 25
of students majoring in an area over the last 4-5 years; 2) average course enrollments; 3) cost of the program to the College; and 4) how central this major field is to the liberal arts, or how commonly it is found in other comparable colleges. Changes in governance to facilitate accomplishment of goals The Governance subcommittee was responsible for the study, development and proposal of appropriate governance strategies, policies and procedures to guide the effective work of Wells College as it seeks to “achieve financial health while meeting current and future students’ intellectual, career and personal development needs” (Wells BOT, October 2009). Committee members met regularly throughout the fall 2009 semester to discuss and explore the following areas: governance definitions and best practices as they relate to planning and implementation; and deliberative decision-making processes that may aid Wells College in achieving goals of effective governance, strategic planning and oversight, effective communication and efficient and inclusive decision-making. In addition they reviewed the Wells’ governance and committee structure (student, faculty, staff and administrative) and reviewed information available to them from a variety of sources, including ideas@wells, the Campus Climate Survey, focus groups, the Middle States Self-Study, and a consensus survey developed by AAUP regarding shared governance. The committee viewed its charge as trying to get a finger on the pulse of the current strengths, issues and challenges related to governance and decisionmaking in order to make preliminary recommendations to the Strategic Planning Committee to assist the College’s Strategic Planning process and effective governance going forward. The Governance Subcommittee submitted a report to the Strategic Planning Committee in January 2010 that proposed priority action steps to assist the College’s governance and decisionmaking in the strategic planning process and beyond. The report also outlined specific areas that require further inquiry, discussion and action. The Strategic Planning Committee and the Senior Staff discussed the report and its findings and agreed that it would be important to establish an ongoing committee (with broader representation than the current subcommittee) whose focus would be the ongoing evaluation of governance and decision-making at the College. The Governance Subcommittee met in April 2010 and proposed that an Ad Hoc Committee be established this semester. The committee’s role would be the following: 1. Review the Governance subcommittee’s report. Prioritize the findings in the report and establish timelines and ownership for implementation and decision-making. 2. Investigate more fully any areas that require clarification or new/additional information. 3. Make additional recommendations as necessary. 4. Propose a formal committee structure (and membership) by December 2010 and engage the existing processes for establishing such a committee, whose membership might include: a faculty Divisional Chair; a member of Advisory Committee; Associate Dean of the College; Dean of Students; Board of Trustee member; Director of Human Resources; and Staff Forum chair.
CONCLUSION Wells faces a critical juncture in its history. It has made a successful transition from a women’s to a coeducational college, but it has not yet become an institution able to cover its operating costs through revenues rather than through endowment earnings. The challenging economy and consequent greater competition in the market of higher education has made it imperative that Wells act creatively and quickly to identify new sources of revenue and opportunities for growth, all the while maintaining its commitment to quality. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that the College has made progress toward our initial goal of 800 students, and, because of the new pricing model, the increase in tuition revenue has helped offset the reliance on earnings from endowment. At the Winter Board meeting in February 2010, the Trustees of the College approved four new initiatives that Wells will put into place over the next few years. These are diverse plans that attend to all aspects of the College’s operations—from new academic programming to services of the Aurora Inn, Inc. What unites all the initiatives is the steadfast faith in the quality and value of the liberal arts education that Wells offers. While all of these new programs will offer meaningful return on investment in the near term, there remains the period of the next two years during which the initial start-up costs will have to compete with our already austere budget. In order to “buy time” through this transition period we are pursuing other financing options including releasing restrictions on endowed funds and external financing. Unlike most other colleges and universities, Wells has not depended on financing to fund our growth; rather it has been self-funded. Wells has long been an anomaly in higher education as a college that has operated without debt. In addition to these funding options, it will be necessary for Wells to make reductions in some departments in order to become a vibrant community with a solid foundation for long-term financial health. Wells has long had a structural deficit in that our revenues do not cover our expenses, and we have grown to become a college too large for our student population. The work of eliminating this structural deficit must be a first step in achieving financial equilibrium and planning for a sustainable and exciting future. There are no simple solutions to the challenges that face us, yet we are confident in the great spirit of the Wells community and our rich pool of compassion and intelligence. In working together for a brighter future, Wells will exemplify its mission to educate extraordinary lives. The kind of education Wells offers – one in which students are encouraged to think critically, reason wisely, and act humanely – is one that makes a positive difference in the world at large. We are working to ensure that a Wells education continues to benefit tomorrow’s learners. We will know we have been successful when the College is able to fund annual operating costs through student-generated revenues (tuition, room, board, fees, etc.) and annual giving, and the College offers new programs that more closely match the exciting changes in the liberal arts which more closely align with the diverse futures graduates will have.
APPENDIX A Business Plan for Center for Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Liberal Arts at Wells College Executive Summary An innovative business center at Wells College will put the College at the forefront of national efforts to revitalize undergraduate business programs by connecting them more fully to the liberal arts. The center will focus on teaching business in a manner that stresses interdisciplinary and experiential learning, in keeping with Wells’ core curriculum. The College’s new center will build signature programs in areas of business that best leverage Wells’ distinctive values and strengths, including arts administration; nonprofit business; “green” business; entrepreneurship; and hospitality. Students will engage in hands-on learning throughout the program by working under supervision at college-owned businesses, including a luxurious inn, to learn such aspects of business as how to develop financial and marketing plans. The center is envisioned as a hub of activity, integrating academic and student life areas, through activities that will include initiating a speakers’ series, developing clubs (for example, a local branch of SIFE or Students in Free Enterprise), networking with alumnae/i as well as local and regional businesses to develop appropriate internships, and coordinating with the College’s career services office to help place students in internships and jobs. Many students, not just students who major in business, will benefit from courses in entrepreneurship, legal issues, and finances, particularly in the current challenging job market. Wells will apply to New York State for a revision of its major plan in order to offer this professional program, in addition to submitting an application for a new major field in business. The new director, to be hired in spring 2010, will work with current Wells faculty to develop an innovative curriculum for a new major field. In the meantime, students who are interested can work with the director on individualized major proposals. The new center for business, yet to be named, will take advantage of Wells College’s scenic location that features vineyards, wineries, organic farms, bed and breakfast establishments, restaurants, crafts stores, antique shops, local museums, and a large and well known ceramics firm (MacKenzie Childs). The center will also take advantage of the College’s proximity to the small cities of Auburn and Ithaca that have a typical range of businesses, some of which are “high tech.” Increasing ties with local and regional businesses will benefit the College by making it better known at the same time that they will increase experiential learning opportunities for students.
Motivation for a Business Center The business motive for establishing a center for business, entrepreneurship, and liberal arts at Wells College is to attract and retain a greater number of students. Nationwide, more students at four-year colleges major in business than in any other undergraduate field. In 2006-2007, of 1.5 million bachelor’s degrees given nationwide, 328,000 or about 22 percent, were awarded in business (National Center for Educational Statistics data). If one looks at entering students’ intended majors, the percentage is lower; College Board figures show that about 14 percent of students entering four year colleges plan to study 28
business. A contact at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania confirms this pattern: their business department has enrolled between 11 and 12 percent of all students at the college during the past three years but of these student majors, only about 60 percent planned on majoring in business when they entered Ursinus. In other words, slightly fewer than two-thirds of the students who majored in business at Ursinus entered college with that major in mind. So we need to realize that more students will end up majoring in business at Wells than will actually come to Wells specifically for that major. Regardless of specific figures used, it is clear that without a business major, Wells College does not attract a significant segment of potential college students. Moreover, even if students plan to study another field, they might change their minds and only stay at Wells if we offer such a “practical” major. Additionally, students in a wide variety of major fields, from sciences to arts, will benefit from being able to study legal, financial, and marketing aspects of their areas. A director for the new business center will enable Wells to focus and develop already existing faculty interests in this field. Her or his expertise will be useful to faculty eager to develop business materials in their courses and major fields. The director will also be working with faculty to develop a new, interdisciplinary major field of business that supports the Wells’ mission. It is important to realize that, while new to Wells, the concept of a center is common in academia. It requires little infrastructure or cash outlay—instead, it gives the Wells community a way to organize its thinking around these new ideas. As a semi-autonomous entity, it should be attractive to donors who would like to support its work. The business center will likely start as a single office but develop to have dedicated offices, classroom spaces and other resources clustered in a campus location. We believe it is important that its location facilitate its integration with academic programs. The most frequent criticism of business programs at other colleges is that they are too separate and not perceived as supporting the liberal arts. Even while the center’s physical presence is developing at Wells, it will still benefit from a strong graphic identity and naming structure (for courses, programs, lectures, etc.) as these will help provide a sense of tangibility and presence for the center. In fact, its very existence of a graphic identity and name should send a positive signal to parents, prospective students, alumnae/i, and donors, that we are serious about developing a sound and innovative business program that will make Wells stand out in the marketplace. Our version of business in the liberal arts needs to be crafted carefully to fit our mission. The center needs to be bold and distinctive, for reasons of marketability and so that it best suits our niches of small size and high quality; finally, it must explore every opportunity to have business and the liberal arts cooperate and support one another at Wells, as we move toward developing the many connections between our traditional liberal arts offerings, experiential learning, and increasing access to careers. This new kind of work at Wells will be guided by the mission of the College, and will call for creative use of Wells’s resources: personnel, location, property and intellectual capital. In contrast to stand-alone professional programs, this business center will be integrated with the study of the liberal arts in addition to a traditional business major curriculum, it will offer courses in hospitality, entrepreneurship, arts management, green businesses, and perhaps non-profit businesses. We also note our current pre-professional programs, such as 3/2 engineering and a 4+1 MBA at Clarkson, as models for new initiatives. Such a major will feature hands-on or experiential learning at College enterprises, in particular, the Aurora Inn Inc. businesses. The center will encourage students to think critically and reason wisely; it will encourage creativity as well as sound decision-making while cultivating an appreciation for social justice. Students’ analytical and critical capabilities will be developed by the application of financial, marketing, planning, and managerial skills to a wide variety of new and established businesses. 29
The center will identify business and management components already present in our curricula, and will seek to find common themes among them, under the assumption that these elements and activities represent strengths. As this inventory is developed, and as faculty come to better understand how to incorporate business, it will be important to keep abreast of what the most innovative business programs are doing around the country, so that Wells’s business program starts (and stays) distinctive. We believe that, in order to compete most effectively this late in the game, since our regional competition is robust and diverse (see section VI), Wells must strive to make its business offerings as unique and progressive as is feasible. Recent reports indicate that business schools (e.g. Stanford, Cornell) are coming to realize that businesspeople of the future will need to be trained in ethical thinking, the environmental and societal impact of business decisions, and the need for socially responsible business practices. Wells’s entry into this market at this time, with its strong traditions in those areas, couldn’t be more propitious.
How the Business Center will operate The center will have a director, who will teach (initially, at least) roughly half-time, and undertake administrative activities for the remainder. As a member of the faculty, the center’s director will report to the Academic Dean. Once the center is fully operational, the proportion of teaching to administration will be adjustable. In consultation with Wells faculty, the director will be responsible for development of a new major field and for teaching courses in business and management, along with ancillary classroom activities such as workshops and lectures. The position description for the director, which applicants for the advertised position have seen, is as follows: The director of the center for business, entrepreneurship, and liberal arts will lead Wells College in developing an innovative business program, integrated with and expanding the College’s liberal arts curriculum, in a manner consistent with the new strategic plan, Advancing Liberal Arts [sic]. Specific Responsibilities: Develop interdisciplinary curriculum with input from faculty in arts, social and physical sciences, and humanities Develop new courses that use innovative pedagogy, stress hands-on learning and internships Teach two or three college-level business courses per academic year Work with Registrar on applying to New York State for a new major field in business Network and create partnerships with local businesses, including Aurora Inn, Inc., alumni/ae, parents of current students to advance the goals of the program Develop an advisory council to provide advice, possible funding, and mentors for students Grant writing (with assistance from other staff) for funds for endowed chairs, curriculum development, professional development for faculty Prepare and monitor appropriate department budget Participate in faculty meetings and committee work Develop speakers’ series and workshops on such topics as social entrepreneurship, green businesses, women/minorities in business Work with student life staff to develop co-curricular activities related to business, for example, a branch of SIFE or Kiva
Work with Career Development Services to sponsor events useful to students seeking employment Marginal Responsibilities: Contribute to website and market development to represent the program in a way that appeals to prospective students and their families Attend on- and off-campus events as appropriate Qualifications/Skills: MBA or PhD in business-relevant field Experience working in a variety of different types of businesses Successful project management experience and proven leadership skills Knowledge of and commitment to core values of liberal arts colleges Experience teaching college-level courses Experience with budget development and planning Ability to travel regionally Strong service orientation—flexible, energetic, pragmatic, and good humored Another way of summarizing the core activities of the center and its director, apart from its role in “traditional” business education, is to note that they are intended to build curricular ties between business and the liberal arts at Wells through the following: As liaison to Wells faculty who seek to incorporate or enhance business-related curricula into their course offerings, and in order that they can more easily tend to other activities such as internship development and experiential learning support, the director of the center will provide training to faculty, help develop outside contacts, and serve as a resource for information for faculty. As a specialist with real-life business experience coupled with strong knowledge of current trends in curricular design for integrating business into the liberal arts, the Director will assist students in planning their programs, both before and after a formalized “Business Major” has been established. As expeditiously as possible, the Director will prepare the needed applications to the State of New York, so that (a) the Master Plan can be changed to allow us to offer a business major and (b) the business major itself can obtain state approval and needed HEGIS number. We expect there to be strong connections between the center and to the internship/career initiative, as they evolve in parallel. The center should be in active partnership with the Advancement Office to reach out to foundations, individuals, and alumni for financial and other support, not to exclude naming opportunities for the Center itself, faculty postings/chairs, and support for student internships and scholarships. Finally, so that the College may operate its own tourism-oriented businesses as profitably and sustainably as possible, the business Center will provide counsel to college-owned businesses.
Marketing Plan General Approach As with any business venture, the success of the Wells College business center will depend on effective marketing. The marketing world is changing rapidly due to economic conditions and increasingly competitive landscapes. In order to determine best marketing strategies and to execute them efficiently, sound research is required. 31
Marketing research is essential for providing guidance towards decision-making about pricing, quality standards and an optimal mix of resources and inputs. For the business center to identify and define marketing opportunities, primary as well as a secondary research will be needed. Primary research in this case means gathering our own data on prospective student interests and preferences for our intended programs of study, namely, green businesses, the hospitality industry, health industry management, arts management, entrepreneurship, not-for-profit organization management, etc. This can be achieved through the admission application process, college fairs, admissions’ recruiting trips and correspondence, athletic recruiting trips and networks, campus tours, and the like. Additionally, we could do focus-group interviews and our surveys of current students at Wells to learn about their take on the proposed programs of study under the new business center. It is also equally beneficial to determine earning potential and post-college prospects for graduates in these “creative” areas of education. Marketing research for the business center will call for identification of its competitors and knowledge of the programs of study offered by them towards the goal of achieving a competitive advantage. This will require secondary research which means the use of information from external sources such as publications of various kinds—journals, institutional profiles, government agencies, social networking, not to mention the Internet. By combining data collected from both primary and secondary sources, statistical summary measures will be generated and inferences will be drawn about demand (enrollment), revenue projection, viability and sustainability. Economics of Marketing Determination of the total market size for the programs launched by the Wells business center will require careful estimation of national and regional enrollment in comparable fields of study. What share of the total market the BC can capture will depend on price (tuition and complementary costs), distinct properties of its programs of study, publicity, marketing strategies and so on. Growth potential can be determined by employing a proper forecasting technique based on aforesaid marketing research. Profitability and viability is determined by comparing potential costs and revenues. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) projects that the initial cost to launch new marketing materials (including promotional and recruiting publications) will be $25,000-$50,000. These figures will have to be re-evaluated over time. The revenue potential remains unknown. However, SPC’s forecast net annual receipts (revenues minus costs) for the BC as of its expected take-off year of 2012 will be about $700,000. Thus it’s a profitable venture! However, all revenue and cost figures will have to be periodically re-determined and re-forecast. Marketing our Specific Product The business benter will integrate the study of liberal arts with non-traditional innovative business programs offering several areas of concentrations, such as green businesses, entrepreneurship, the hospitality industry, health industry management, arts management and not-for-profit organization management. The goal is to educate and train business students with awareness of social justice issues while providing exposure to practical tools and hands-on business skills. Initially structured as individualized majors, these areas of study are expected to maintain distinctiveness from other business programs offered around the country. Marketing Specific to Wells College Promotion of the business center will be multifaceted and will include updates to existing Wells marketing and recruitment efforts. The marketing of this program gives an impetus to consolidate messages and materials that are currently developed by members of both the admissions and communications offices. Such centralization would allow for consistent messaging and expression of identity. 32
Before any materials are generated, we need to establish the business center’s name. We are currently using the descriptive, if cumbersome, “Center for Business, Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts” but hope to have a more memorable branding, whether an acronym, a donor name, or some other creative identity. While specific integrations have yet to be worked out, information about the business center will appear in future versions of promotional and recruitment publications already produced by Wells. These include the “look book,” recruiting brochures, orientation materials, and collateral for Henry Wells Scholars’ weekend and the majors fair. These materials will be presented to potential students through direct mailings, college fairs, recruiting trips, athletic recruiting and campus tours. We might opt to create separate but complementary print collateral because the business center is still being defined and the timing may not allow integration with other recruiting and communication tools. We might also separate the business recruiting materials to segment the pool of most likely interested students so that we can appeal directly to them, and so that we can attract the attention of guidance counselors, and perhaps high school business teachers within recruiting regions. Text about the business center should be added to the campus tour script and should be modified as the center gains a campus presence. Information about the business center will be developed for the current website and will be updated into the next generation website now in development. This information should include the curriculum, pages, links and contacts for the director and faculty, press items, internship and experiential learning opportunities, case studies, and (eventually) examples of quality student work. The business center will be featured in future articles and featurettes in The Express. This coverage will be written to appeal to potential program supporters and to communicate a future direction for the school. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will be an important, inexpensive way for the College to direct its messaging about the center. These sites can also be useful for generating “buzz” about center activities. LinkedIn will be useful for creating professional connections and fostering students’ use of networking tools. Because of the colloquial nature of these sites, communication will have to be managed for consistency of messaging and identity while also allowing for dynamic interaction. Related student groups such as SIFE will generate their own communications through print media, web, social networking sites and through the SIFE site and publicity. In Spring 2010 a SIFE group from Syracuse University spoke at Wells, which has already generated significant student interest in developing a Wells chapter of this national movement. Press opportunities include strategic messaging that will announce specific stages of development for the center. An initial press announcement has been made, but other milestones and moments might include hiring a director, program approvals from the Board of Regents, first students, first graduates, noteworthy course and thesis projects, and program alumni news. Local newspapers such as the Citizen and PostStandard are obvious venues but professional newsletters and other publications may present opportunities as well. Advertising should be used to target specific audiences and geographic areas. These messages will include print ads in selected publications. We may target particular geographic areas and demographics with radio spots. We will likely advertise in publications that are specifically directed to current community college students – and thus potential transfers. 33
We wish to be seen as a place where students can expand the critical reasoning, reading and writing skills they learn in the liberal arts, into relevant and marketable business skills and experiences. We will provide links to a wide variety of career options for students. The business center will align with the values presented in the College’s mission statement. The business center’s graphic identity should reflect the Wells College institutional identity developed by Cognitive Marketing, even as the business program may have its own complementary logotypes, images and other graphic elements. In short, the Center should have its own look that fits within the Wells College identity. Graphic support may come from several area design companies who have created Wells materials in the past. In-house staff that includes members of the Communications staff will aid the graphic support. A new College website is in the conceptual stages—the business center’s identity must be enhanced and integrated into in this endeavor. Twenty percent of students identify business as an area of interest for study. Areas such as arts administration, sustainable (or green) businesses and entrepreneurship are related areas of interest. Through surveys given during admissions and testing, students interested in business self-identify themselves to Wells and other institutions. Wells learns of these interests through the application process, but also through firms, such as Royall Co. which help the College target potential students. As we improve the systems for advising students, we expect that academic advisors will help direct students to the center as appropriate. In addition, a close relationship with the office responsible for experiential learning and career development will be essential as we expect that those offices will also help students identify when courses or programs in the business center may augment other interests, provide links to career interests, or create appropriate ways to pursue or enhance awareness of an area of study. Wells College’s Competition –Other Colleges that Offer Business Programs Liberal arts colleges with business degrees will be our main competitors. If we assume that students who would come for the Wells business program are those who want to be at a small liberal arts college, we end up with one list of competitors; if we assume that students who would consider coming to Wells want to be in this geographic region, we narrow the list still further. On the other hand, talking to students who come to and stay at Wells, makes it clear that not all students choose a college in such a logical fashion, i.e., some current students also applied to large universities in other states. What is probably fair to say is that we will not be competing with large, well-established business schools but rather with liberal arts colleges or universities that have business majors. Competitors in central New York State Below is a list of four-year colleges and universities in central New York State (within approximately a twohour driving range of Wells) and the specific business-related majors they offer for undergraduates: Binghamton University—Accounting, Management (both B.S. degrees) Cazenovia College—Business and management is one of its 4 college-wide divisions and includes a B.S. degree in business, and a bachelor of professional studies (B.P.S.) degree in various facets of business Cornell University—not a general major at the undergraduate level but a degree in hotel administration Elmira College—baccalaureate degrees in accounting as well as business administration Hartwick College—business administration Houghton College—business and economics 34
Ithaca College—B.S. in accounting as well as a B.S. in business administration, housed in a new “green” building Keuka College—4 different degrees in accounting, business management, management, marketing Le Moyne College—accounting, applied management analysis, business, finance, management and leadership, marketing Nazareth College—a school of business with 7 undergraduate majors including accounting, business administration, international business, marketing, music/business Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)—a college of business with 7 undergraduate majors (marketing, finance, accounting, etc.) Roberts Wesleyan—accounting and information management, business administration, international business, management and social entrepreneurship, Syracuse University—School of business with undergraduate majors in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing management, real estate, retail management, supply chain management SUNY Cortland—business economics with four different concentrations possible SUNY Geneseo—accounting and business administration Narrowing the List of Competitors in Central New York State Eliminating religious colleges as unlikely competitors (Houghton, Nazareth, Roberts Wesleyan, Le Moyne), state universities (Binghamton, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Geneseo) and large institutions (Cornell, RIT, and Syracuse) leaves the following list of potential competitors: Cazenovia, Elmira, Hartwick, Ithaca College, and Keuka. Especially noteworthy among them are Hartwick College which has a Hartwick Humanities in Management Institute and a stated commitment to liberal arts; and Ithaca College which has a School of Business that states its commitment to liberal arts and sustainability. Competition Beyond New York State Moving beyond New York State, institutions comparable to Wells College which have a business program (and which might therefore be competitors) include: Albion College in Michigan; Allegheny College in Pennsylvania; Beloit College in Wisconsin; College of Wooster, Ohio; Cornell College in Iowa; Hanover College in Indiana; Juniata College in Pennsylvania; Ursinus College in Pennsylvania; and Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Most interesting for potential models for the Wells program are: Allegheny’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development, which offer students powerful and engaging out-of-classroom experiences; Beloit’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit –CELEB; and Juniata’s (Juniata Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership--JCEL). Wells should also be aware of indirect competitors, including Online programs offered by accredited fouryear business schools (such as Bryant & Stratton College, and Empire State College among other on-line programs in the the SUNY system); “For-profit” educational institutions; and various short-term certification and training offerings, by colleges and trade schools, which offer students very focused and intensive opportunities. Our strongest edge in competing is our focus on integrating the liberal arts with our business program, providing opportunities for internships and experiential learning. Our major competitors are those institutions which indicate the integration of the liberal arts with their business program.
Financial Plan While there is no pricing differential for this program compared to other Wells areas, this simple fee structure may prove to be advantageous compared to some professional training programs that charge a premium for specialized programs. The assumptions for expenses and revenue are embedded in Sources and Uses document (found in Appendix D). Tuition and fees for students participating in the program are reflected in the overall tuition, feel, room and board figures, while operating costs are covered in the salary and budget expense lines. Progress to Date and Timeline During spring semester, 2010, an advertisement for the position of Director of the Center for Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Liberal Arts at Wells College was placed in regional newspapers (paper and online versions) as well as Inside Higher Education and HERC (both of which Wells belongs to and hence has inexpensive ways of placing job ads). More than 80 applications were received. The search committee, comprised of Professors William Ganis (Art History), Scott Heinekamp (Physics), Jan-Martijn Meij (Sociology), Muin Uddin (Economics) and staff members Muriel Godbout (Director of the Library), John Taylor (Director of IT), and Leslie Miller-Bernal (Dean of the College) [and on a more intermittent basis, Acting CFO Steve Golding and President Ryerson] conducted preliminary phone interviews with eight of the most promising candidates and brought three of them to campus for further interviews and to meet community members. A schematic diagram summarizing the timeframe for various tasks associated with establishing a business center at Wells College is attached as a separate document:
Appendix B: Below is a chart outlining some characteristics of existing degree-completion programs at CCC and TC3. Wells should consider how it would address some of the more common characteristics of these kinds of programs. Keuka @ CCC Program/Major
Credits required to enter the program
Credits required from coordinate institution to complete program Timeline to completion Enrollment
BS in Organizational Management, MS in Management, BS in Criminal Justice, BS in Nursing, BS in Social Work Associates or 60 hours
LeMoyne @ CCC BA in Sociology with certification in childhood and special education
Morrisville @ CCC BBA in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Delhii @ TC3
Associates or 60 hours
Priority for AA or AAS degrees, can transfer up to 63 lower-level & 20 upper-level hours Classroom and online, evenings
Classroom, Sundays in the fall and spring, evenings in the summer
Classroom and some on-line courses, Sundays in the fall and spring, evenings in the summer one four-hour class part-time, two at a time, 3x's per courses at a time, year semester system with a fall, spring, summer session 34 - 70 hours
17 - 24 months
3 1/2 years
6 - 18 students in a cohort
Up to 30 students (new program; enrollment patterns not established) adult students
25 or permission
Classroom and on-line courses, Sundays in the fall and spring, evenings in the summer one course every eight weeks totaling two courses a semester
BBA in Business and Technology Management or Hospitality Management
full- or parttime, semester system
GPA requirement Marketing
2.0 to enter
2.6 to enter
2.3 to enter
ASAP (Accelerated Studies for Adults Program)
Lemoyne degree at CCC -convenience
Full-time Keuka faculty, some adjuncts
part-time rate, FA available All LeMoyne faculty
2.3 to enter
$207/credit hour Combination of TC3 & Delhi faculty
APPENDIX C: 2010-2011 Sources and Uses Model Definition of Terms and Key Assumptions
Revenue (Sources) Tuition and Fees: Generated through tuition and fee payments. Includes tuition (@ $1.75M) from nonWells students participating in the College’s flagship study abroad programs. In 2008-2009 the College raised tuition $10,000 for new students and grandfathered in current students. Revenue increase over the time period is a combination of modest annual increases in tuition for all students, higher enrollment, and the higher price rolling through over a three year period as the current students who are paying a lower rate graduate. The enrollment increase that drives the tuition and fees increase incorporates the center for business and entrepreneurship in the liberal arts and linking liberal arts to careers through experiential learning strategic planning initiatives. Financial Aid: Includes institutional grants and scholarships. To maintain access to education for the College’s students and in recognition of the economy’s impact on families, the model assumes a higher than desirable tuition discount rate of 52.9% for first year students and 50.1% overall. Net Tuition Revenue: Net financial impact of Tuition and Fees less Financial Aid. Has more than doubled over the past five years due to higher enrollment and tuition rates. Private Gifts and Grants: Typically @ 80% of this revenue source is from gifts by alumni, friends, and parents to the College’s Annual Fund. Model assumes slight decrease in FY 11 with modest Annual Fund increases thereafter. The remainder is previously donor restricted funds for which the College has met the obligation and which have been released for the College to use at its discretion. Special Gifts: The financial model does not assume success with a large-scale comprehensive campaign during the next three years (although one is planned). In FY 11 this revenue stream is projected to increase from FY 10 $200,000 to $1.328M. The decrease in the annual fund goal in FY 11 is compensated for in the special gifts goal anticipating that some annual fund donors may shift their focus at the College’s request. Federal and State Grants: Includes Bundy aid, SEOG Grant, and federal work study funding (that must be used for a specific purpose). Current funding levels are based on federal government formula. May increase with increase in enrollment but financial model does not assume an increase given the economy. Other Income: Income from operating the College’s small fleet of vans, vending machines includes washers and dryers, sale of water to village of Aurora residents (College owns, operates and maintains the water treatment facility that services entire village), parking tickets, and College-owned telephone system in student rooms. May increase modestly with increase in enrollment. Has decreased in previous years through decreased student use of College vans service and room telephones. Auxiliary Enterprises: Annually 80-85% of this revenue is generated from student room and board charges (Wells students and non-Wells students participating in Wells-operated study abroad programs). Remaining sources are bookstore sales, rental properties, educational conference income, Book Arts Center, and Alumni Reunion. For FY 11 the College raised room and board to $11,000 from $9,000 to be more in line with private school competition. Revenue increase over the time period is a combination the 40
higher rate going into effect for all classes in FY11, modest annual increases in the room and board rate thereafter and higher enrollment. Note this category does not include Aurora Inn Inc. operations. Current Endowment Income: FY 11-FY 13 model assumes only dividends and interest income. New Endowment Projections: Model reflects conservative assumption of no new endowment gifts during the next three years.
Expenditures (Uses) Academic Salaries: Salary expenses for teaching faculty. Assumes restructuring process currently underway reduces this expense by $550K for FY 11. Modest annual raises are incorporated starting in FY 12. Administrative and Staff Salaries: Salary expenses for all non-faculty employees. Assumes restructuring process currently underway reduces this expense by $550K for FY11. Modest annual raises are incorporated starting in FY 12. College Work Study: Funds paid to students for campus jobs. For FY 11 decreases slightly based on utilization in FY 10. In FY 12 and FY 13 assumes expenses increase at the rate of enrollment growth. Instruction: Academic department budgets. Academic Support: 75-80% of this expense is attributed to the library and to support Wells studentsâ€™ participation in affiliated study abroad programs. The remainder includes learning support services, dean of the college and related operating budgets. Student Services: Includes the departmental operating budgets for student recruitment and co-curricular programs including admissions, career services, athletics, student activities, orientation, residence life, and commencement. Increase in FY 11 due to budget management change of student fees passing through this administrative budget and being allocated to student government, programming board, publications board, residence advisors, campus involvement. Institutional Support: Includes the departmental operating budgets for technology, fund raising, financial services, alumni relations, legal, post office, diversity initiatives, president, and board of trustees. Operation and Maintenance of Plant: Nearly half of this expense is attributed to utilities. Also includes institutional insurance, and operating budgets for physical plant maintenance and repair, housekeeping, safety and security, and water facilities maintenance. Auxiliary Enterprises: Nearly half of the expense is the cost of providing room and board for non-Wells students participating in Wells-operated study abroad programs. Nearly 25% is the payment to the campus food service provider (starting in January 2010 this is now Aurora Inn Inc. a change designed to decrease Aurora Inn Inc. deficit over time). Remaining expenses are the departmental operating budgets for campus bookstore, transportation, rental properties, and alumni reunion. Fringe Benefits: Includes FICA, retirement contribution, College portion of employee insurance, and long term disability. Historically the Collegeâ€™s retirement contribution was 7.5% of eligible employees salary, contribution was reduced to 2.5% during FY 10. Assumes phased restoration of historical contribution level starting in FY 12 and annual increase in the Collegeâ€™s portion of employee insurance. 41
Appendix E: Strategic Planning Committee Membership Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President Leslie Miller-Bernal, Vice President for Academic Affairs (Chair)
Arthur Bellinzoni, Trustee and Professor Emeritus James Chase, Director of Facilities Becca Cooper, Staff Representative Martha Craig â€™10, President of Collegiate Sue Edinger, General Manager of Aurora Inn Inc. Muriel Godbout, Director of Library, Library and Information Services Amy Godert, Professor, Educational Policy Committee representative Steve Golding, Chief Financial Officer Scott Heinekamp, Professor, Chair of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Division Linda M. Lohn, Professor, Chair of Humanities Division Anne Lundquist, Dean of Students Mike McGreevey, Vice President for Advancement Milene Morfei, Professor, Chair of Social Sciences Division Niamh Oâ€™Leary, Professor, Advisory Committee representative Ann Rollo, Vice President for Communications and College Relations Susan Sloan, Director of Admissions Cindy Speaker, Associate Dean of the College John Taylor, Director of Information Technology, Library and Information Services Crawford Thoburn, Professor, Chair of Arts Division Meredith VanDuyne, Assistant to the President Jamey Ventura, Director of Athletics Steve Zabriskie, Trustee Director of Institutional Diversity [vacant] 43
Published on May 9, 2010
Draft strategic plan presented to the BOT May 7th. Faculty and staff were only given 24 hours to comment. What was done with any comments...