Chair of Steering Committee Shares Strategic Planning Updates

Dear members of the Salem community,

I am writing to update you on Salem’s 2018 strategic planning process.

On Friday, April 13, the Steering Committee for the Strategic Plan hosted a very successful Innovations Forum at Salem’s gymnasium. The Forum, which was open to the entire Salem community, drew students, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Trustees.  After a lively and provocative panel presentation with five “external experts” representing a variety of perspectives and experiences, Salem participants asked questions and discussed ideas focused on the future for Salem.

On Saturday, April 14, a smaller group that included Board members, faculty, staff, students, and alumnae gathered to develop a set of strategic directions for Salem to consider moving forward. The discussions on Saturday were informed by the output from open forums and interviews conducted at Salem during February and March as well as the output from Friday’s Forum. A few of the key strategic themes that emerged from the Saturday session include:

  • Offering innovative approaches to providing Academy and College students with cross-discipline, experiential learning opportunities that are deliberate, intentional, wide-ranging and available to students at the Academy and College.
  • Preparing Academy and College students for life beyond Salem. Academy students graduate with the breadth and depth of skill needed to matriculate to colleges and universities of their choice. Through an applied liberal arts model, college students are fully prepared for the workforce and considered competitive for positions and careers of their choice.
  • Strengthening Salem’s financial, physical, and operational infrastructure needed to support student success and a sense of community across campus.

Moving forward the Steering Committee will use the content generated during the April 13 – 14 sessions to draft a strategic vision grounded in three to four key strategic directions with desired results. This draft document, including recommendations for sustaining the strategic planning effort, will be shared with the Board of Trustees for review and discussion by the end of May. This document will also be shared with all of Salem’s constituent groups.

As we look ahead together to the future of Salem Academy and College, I am confident that we will affirm a vision and focused strategic direction that is driven by the educational and developmental needs of students; reflects the values of Salem; effectively engages alumnae in the life and future of Salem; and leverages resources in support of current and future opportunities.

As always, thank you for your engagement and support of this important process for Salem.



McDara Folan

Chair, Steering Committee for the Strategic Plan