Phase II FAQ

Q: What is the goal of Phase II?

A: Salem must continue to evolve to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students. Phase II is the next phase of our planning process and we, Salem Academy and Salem College, must demonstrate courage and extraordinary intentionality as we seek to strengthen our institution. In Phase II, Salem must assess and align its resources to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities facing students in the 21st century.


Q: Didn’t we just complete a strategic planning process last year?

A: This is the next phase of the long-range planning process for Salem Academy and College, which included market research in 2017, an inclusive strategic planning process in 2018, and a successful fundraising initiative in 2019 that engaged our community and provided momentum for future initiatives.


Q: Why are there two Committees and how were the members chosen?

A: The Academy and the College have their own committees to ensure that the proper focus and expertise is applied to each part of the institution. The committee members were chosen by the Board of Trustees and institutional leadership to ensure that all constituencies are represented - Board members, administration, faculty, and alumnae – with various areas of expertise.


Q: What is the charge for the Committees?

A: The Committees are charged with making sure that Salem is well positioned for the long term and that our students graduate with a student learning experience that is distinctly Salem, one that positions our students and alumnae for the future – a future that is just being created.


Q: What are we doing to prepare for this work?

A: The Committees are researching leading educational institutions, regional and national enrollment trends, programmatic and employment realities, and the skills that will allow our graduates to be nimble. We have joined a community of future-thinking educators whose mission it is to be creative problem solvers that embrace the next generation of students and their needs. And we are partnering with consultants whose reputations are built on holistic, data-informed strategic planning.


Q: Who is helping to guide the Academy?

A: The Academy created an RFP (Request for Proposals) process and solicited potential partners who are experienced in future thinking and long-range planning. The Academy is in the final stages of selecting a strategic partner with expertise in private secondary education.


Q: Who is helping to guide the College?

A: The College created an RFP (Request for Proposals) process and solicited potential partners who are experienced in future thinking and long-range planning. The College has selected Credo ( as its strategic partner. Credo has worked with 400+ independent colleges, including 20 women’s colleges, since 1995. The Credo team will be guiding the College Committee for Phase II Strategic Planning through two two-day workshops in May and June.


Q: Who is making the decisions? What is the timeline? How will I be kept informed?

A: Based on intensive research, examination, and planning this spring and summer, the Committees will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees in August 2019. The Board of Trustees, which is responsible for setting strategic directions, will make its decisions on the recommendations in August. Immediately thereafter, Phase III of our strategic planning process will begin, with faculty and staff creating the action plans to carry out the agreed-upon plans developed in Phase II. Throughout the process, the Salem community will receive regular updates.


Q: How can I become more knowledgeable about this area?

A: If you would like to learn more about the challenges facing education, educators, and our students, we invite you to join us in a community read of Robot-Proof by Dr. Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University.  He shares his insights on the challenges and opportunities that are pertinent to our work as we consider innovation at both the college-prep and the college level. Additional resource materials are available on the website at


Q: How can I share my thoughts about Salem’s future?

A: We need your input and creativity. Please visit to share your ideas. All suggestions and comments will be considered by the Committees.