Cabinet Big Thinking Session

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Cabinet Big Thinking Session
January 17, 2017

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 1.  If PC were to be best known for one thing only within the next 10-20 years, what should it be?

a.  It gets people ready for life.
– Tools developed at PC helped later in life.
– Students develop an ability to work in an environment they might not have planned for; ready to respond to adversity and to  work across differences.
– Flexible and adaptable
– Problem solvers and critical thinkers
b.  It provides an unapologetically Catholic, liberal arts education:  Innovative Catholics.
– Goes “against the grain” of most other schools.
– Emphasis on Dominican principles// disputed question
– Engagement with Dominicans and faculty
– Challenge students to be invested in the curriculum
– A liberal arts education teaches students how to learn; how to make connections; think creatively; how to think outside of the box.
– Not trying to be just another secular liberal arts college.
– Catholic identity distinguishes us from other liberal arts colleges.
c.  DWC is a vital part of the liberal arts curriculum at PC; distinguishes us.
– Students develop strong critical thinking skills.
– Value in integrated learning; weaving together of disciplines.
– Catholic culture is important and distinctive.
d.  This isn’t where everyone else is going; therefore, we must preserve what we’re doing.
e.  Students get to contemplate the big questions, and then to share the fruits of their contemplation.
f.  Interdisciplinary programs and experiences are important (integrated rather than sequential)
g.  Connect study of liberal arts to life happiness and success.
h.  Principles of the Catholic Church will guide us through the challenges that aren’t going away.
i.  How do we best “do” diversity in a Catholic context (as opposed to a secular approach)?  Move beyond proportionality.
– Bring the diversity of the Church home to us.
– Move beyond proportionality.
– Noted that people are diverse in their relation to the Church.
j.  Attract students who want to come here//welcoming approach.
k.  Catholic identity puts us at a big advantage.
– Seeking a contemporary Catholicism (not “Father Knows Best”); “innovative Catholicism.”
– Students appreciate the value of faith, and the integration with reason.
l.  PC Network that cares about students, who will become a part of that network.
– “I’m in this with you.”
– PC Family has lifelong meaning.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 2.  What should the College be doing in the next 10-20 years that it isn’t doing today?

a.  Allow/encourage students to do more signature work in relation with faculty that they can carry to the next phase of their lives.
– More Capstone-like work
– Professional camaraderie with faculty.
– Clubs and organizations also fit into signature work.
b.  Have more students experience something similar to liberal arts honors.
c.  Resources directed to relationships between faculty and students (e.g., research).
– “Professional camaraderie” for all students
– Engaged relationships
d.  Clubs PC should find a sustainable financial model that will allow us to meet full need.
– Is need-blind sustainable?
– Do we want to increase diversity, or close the financial aid gap?
– Do we need to maintain a 5% operating margin?
– How do we change attitude of alumni who feel that they don’t owe the College anything, even those who received financial aid?
– Multi-prong approach:  Incorporate need-blind, operating margin, eliminating the gap, etc.
– Should be able to assure students who want to come, that if they are admitted, we will provide a financial aid package that makes it possible for them to matriculate.
– Instill alumni loyalty

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 3.  If you had $100 million+ new money to spend, how would you spend it?

a.  Increase endowment to meet full need.  Need at least $300 million to support increased access; first-generation students
b.  Solidify Schools (School of Professional Studies), including PC in Rome (our own campus?)
c.  Retreat Center for off-site meetings, retreats, and contemplation.
d.  Wade deeply into departmental structure and capitalize on interdisciplinary studies, removing silos.  Less majors? Reduce inefficiencies; eliminate departments?
e.  Use of technology
f.  Make curriculum more nimble; lower the barriers.
g.  Reconsider tenure?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 4.  What should be the most important measure or indicator of the College’s success?

a.  Many intangible metrics (Gallup/Purdue) related to student experience.
b.  Tangible metrics:  Acceptance rate, yield, retention, graduation, fundraising
c.  Connectivity/Interdisciplinarity/Community:  Reduce silos, including through the use of technology.
d.  Nimbleness; being quicker to decide and act
e.  Determining what drives student enrollment
f.  How do we define academic excellence?
g.  What is the value of a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts, residential experience?
h.  Giving a sense of being cared for when students are here:  How do we get even better at this?
i.  $10 million endowment for mission:  Ongoing program for formation for faculty and staff

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Source: http://library.providence.edu/fhertr/index.php/cabinet-big-thinking-session/