BOARD OF TRUSTEES UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES COLLEGE'S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020

9/242015

Strategic Plan (pdf)

Priorities and Objectives One-Page Sheet (pdf)

Four Priority Areas Targeted as Trustees Establish College’s Roadmap Through the Year 2020

PHOTO: SUNY Orange CommencementMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- In the face of an ever-changing landscape in higher education and a renewed national focus on community colleges, the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees Wednesday (Sept. 23) unanimously approved the College’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, setting the course for the College over the next five years.

The plan targets four priority areas—awareness and access, student support and success, collaboration and communication, and efficient and effective operations—along with 15 accompanying strategic objectives spread among the four priorities.

“Over the next five years, this plan will help us raise the visibility of the College and communicate the value of a SUNY Orange education, while at the same time supporting students in achieving their educational and career goals,” said Helen Ullrich, chair of the Board of Trustees. “And by building connections internally and externally, we will be able to develop beneficial partnerships throughout the community that will advance the College and help us adapt to the changing realities we face.”

Adoption of this new plan comes at a time of transformative change regarding how community colleges are viewed at the national and state levels. Leaders from President Barack Obama to local Assemblymen and Assemblywomen are discovering and appreciating what Orange County’s local leaders have realized throughout SUNY Orange’s 65 years in existence: community colleges play a vital role in providing high-quality education, contributing to economic stability and growth, and convening opportunities for cultural engagement and understanding.

However, over the past five years in particular, the financial and educational parameters in which SUNY Orange operates have changed drastically. Economic hardships have altered how students and their families approach their college education. Student enrollment has been adversely affected by many factors, including declining numbers of high school graduates and escalating tuition costs. Lower enrollment and stagnant funding from New York State have placed additional financial burdens upon the College.

“The entirety of this plan was researched and developed prior to my arrival, but it is clear that this plan recognizes SUNY Orange’s strengths and embraces those areas where we can improve,” added Dr. Kristine Young, who began her tenure as SUNY Orange president on June 8. “Our next step is to identify those action steps that will yield positive results between now and 2020.

PHOTO: Kaplan Hall“This plan was developed holistically. Our Strategic Planning Steering Committee spoke to the community, listened to students in focus groups, and facilitated in-depth discussions with faculty and staff,” Young said. “We came to appreciate our strengths, recognize our weaknesses, identify opportunities and understand the challenges we face. No stone was left unturned.”

Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, SUNY Orange conducted an intensive strategic planning process that included the review and revision of the College’s guiding statements (vision, mission and values) as well as the development of the strategic plan. An 18-member Steering Committee included faculty and staff representation from all sectors of the College, as well as members from the College’s Board of Trustees and the SUNY Orange Foundation Board of Directors.

As the first step in the College’s strategic planning process, the Steering Committee conducted a review and revision of the College’s vision, mission and values statements, which were unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2014. With detailed feedback from that process, the Steering Committee embarked upon a comprehensive analysis of the perceived Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats/challenges (SWOT) facing SUNY Orange.

The committee conducted sessions with a wide variety of employee and student stakeholders across both campuses, as well as the Board of Trustees. Additionally, the Steering Committee developed and administered a survey to current students, alumni, Orange County Chamber of Commerce members and high school partners to engage them in the process. Information gleaned from these sessions was documented and analyzed in order to identify the areas of focus.

“It is important to thank the Board of Trustees for its vision, input and support of this plan,” Young added. “Kudos also to the 18 Steering Committee members who selflessly devoted countless hours to the research and analysis required to build this plan. And my predecessor, former President Dr. William Richards, must be commended for his vision and leadership over the past 12 years.

“The hard work is done and I can assure you that, clearly, this is the right plan for the right college at the right time. Now we tackle the fun part and I look forward to sharing our successes over the coming months and years,” Young continued.

Following are the priorities and objectives from the SUNY Orange Strategic Plan 2015-2020.

Priority 1: Awareness and Access

We will raise the visibility of the College and communicate the value of a SUNY Orange education through enhanced outreach efforts and educational opportunities.

1.1 Increase online offerings as a means of expanding access, increasing enrollment and promoting academic success
1.2 Increase the number of faculty, staff and students to reflect the diversity of Orange County through focused recruitment initiatives
1.3 Expand the visibility of the College’s excellent programs and services through strategic marketing efforts

Priority 2: Student Support and Success

We will support our students in achieving their educational and career goals.

2.1 Prepare students for college success through academic planning and advising and comprehensive, ongoing support
2.2 Accelerate students’ completion of developmental education and ensure college readiness by refining processes, services and course sequences
2.3 Increase student retention, completion, transfer and employment readiness
2.4 Engage in comprehensive review of program offerings, delivery formats and course scheduling to meet the needs of diverse populations

Priority 3: Collaboration and Communication

We will develop connections between internal and external constituents and advance mutually beneficial partnerships. We will promote a culture of trust, respect and collective responsibility.

3.1 Foster stronger connections among academic programs, business and industry to increase applied learning opportunities for students
3.2 Optimize enrollment through partnerships with area high schools, civic organizations and businesses
3.3 Improve management of information to increase transparency and centralize communication practices
3.4 Strengthen the sense of community to improve the institutional climate and promote collegiality, civility and mutual respect

Priority 4: Efficient and Effective Operations

We will anticipate and adapt to changing economic realities while maintaining the infrastructure and resources necessary to foster innovation and develop and deliver high-quality programs and services.

4.1 Maximize existing funding streams and explore alternative revenue opportunities to ensure financial stability
4.2 Develop, cultivate and support innovation throughout the organization for continuous improvement
4.3 Review and revise allocation methods to ensure appropriate investment in people, services, facilities and technologies
4.4 Foster a collective commitment to comprehensive planning, assessment and prioritization to ensure institutional effectiveness


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Mike Albright
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