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2020-21 DePauw University Shared Cabinet-Level Goals for 2020-21

2020-21 Shared Cabinet-Level Goals for 2020-21

The overarching goals[1] listed below will guide our work as we engage in strategic planning efforts.  The objectives listed following each goal are not exhaustive; they represent examples of efforts on which the Cabinet can collectively focus in addition to their more specific division/area objectives.

  1. To actively engage with one another, the Board, and the DePauw community on the development of a new strategic plan -- to move from survival to sustainability – to be presented to the Board in Spring 2021, including:
    • Aligning revenue and expenditures to the Board-approved FY 2021 budget;
    • Assessing our strengths, challenges and opportunities in being regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country;
    • Evaluating our academic and student experiences toward renewal and reimagination of a DePauw liberal arts education for the 21st Century;
    • Coalescing our investment of resources around a sustainable institutional model for the future, programmatically and financially;
    • Reviewing and remodeling a five-year financial plan in conjunction with development of a new strategic plan, including the most immediate budget priorities (e.g., new housing; library renovation; deferred maintenance), cost savings/reallocations and revenue-generating efforts; and
    • Identifying and meeting fundraising targets for FY ’21 and beyond, with a particular focus on cultivating new donors and increasing giving to the DePauw annual fund.
  2. To enhance our recruitment and retention of students, and student belonging, including:
    • Increasing our focus on a data-driven approach to enrollment management;
    • Identifying those students we wish to recruit to DePauw and developing a model to determine strategies for recruiting and yielding them from various categories (e.g., honor and fellows program students, SOM students, student athletes, students from CBOs, Pell-eligible students, students from underrepresented minority groups, international students, Indiana students, students from targeted markets, transfer students, etc.);
    • Continuing to analyze, refine, and re-envision marketing and branding strategies;
    • Enhancing the engagement of faculty and alumni, particularly in student recruitment, along with more effective collaboration between enrollment management and other members of the campus community (e.g., coaches; Centers; SAL, others) toward increasing our yield rate of admitted students;
    • Analyzing our financial modeling for enrollment management toward increasing our net tuition revenue while continuing to allocate sufficient financial aid resources for under-resourced students;
    • Evaluating student retention data by student demographics and developing strategies to increase our overall retention and graduation rates; and 
    • Developing plans for programs and support mechanisms to address student success and retention.
  3. To actively, with the Board, demonstrate commitment to our values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our teaching and scholarship; the student life experience; recruitment of students, staff, and faculty; our internal and external community relationships; and our decision-making, including:
    • Identifying and implementing recruitment strategies for increasing the diversity of DePauw faculty and staff;
    • Reactivating a campus-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion committee/commission (to include the members of the existing Diversity and Equity Committee) to review specific DEI issues and make actionable recommendations to the President for implementation this academic year, with a particular focus on actions that will improve the campus climate for individuals of color;
    • Developing plans for supporting student programming and campus conversations for Fall term, particularly as we head into election season;
    • Providing regular DEI professional development, education, and sustained engagement opportunities for faculty, staff, and students;
    • Encouraging faculty to continue to develop course content reflective of experience and perspectives of diverse communities and providing financial support for faculty to be more inclusive and anti-racist in their pedagogy; and
    • Enhancing programming support for diverse student organizations and/or students/student organizations working on DEI activities for the student community.
  4. To increase and encourage student/staff/faculty/alumni engagement and pride in DePauw toward a more positive campus climate, including:
    • Creating more frequent shared governance opportunities for students, staff, and faculty, focusing on communication, collaboration, and transparency of information, particularly related to seeking community input on critical University decisions;
    • Exploring mechanisms for periodically gathering employee and student feedback to assist in assessing campus morale, identifying actions needed to improve engagement and satisfaction, and supporting a greater sense of community, inclusiveness, and involvement;
    • Exploring opportunities, programs, activities, and spaces for all employees to come together to collaborate cross-divisionally on projects and to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge with one another, as well as additional ways to recognize employee contributions;
    • Using virtual tools to expand our engagement with alumni, parents, friends, donors, and prospective donors; broaden and deepen our outreach and connections with them; and connect with individuals whom we have been unable to reach; and,
    • Further developing alumni involvement programs to enhance alumni opportunities to connect with prospective and current students, convey pride in DePauw, and attract future students.
  5. To invest in our own professional development and those whom we supervise including:
    • Continuing in-house training, development, and networking opportunities for faculty and staff, particularly in leveraging virtual tools; and
    • Establishing a more effective method for tracking professional development and training expenses by department, employee, and programs attended, as well as identifying gaps in departmental needs.
  6. To cultivate opportunities external to the University in support of our goals and increased visibility as an institution, including:
    • Enhancing partnerships and visibility with the City of Greencastle, state and local Chambers of Commerce, our banking and auxiliary partners, and Putnam County;
    • Increasing the use of University spokespersons and experts (e.g., faculty, Deans, VPs, President) and highlights of University research and national rankings in local and national media;
    • Developing faculty and staff capacity for securing grant funding;
    • Developing strategies for increasing our national rankings (e.g., U.S. News and World Report); and
    • Encouraging President, Vice Presidents, Deans, and others to serve on local and national boards.


Our Transcendent Priorities:

    • An unparalleled student experience that, in the spirit of the best liberal arts tradition, intentionally integrates students’ academic and cocurricular learning.
    • A campus culture in which every student, regardless of identity, background or financial circumstances, thrives at DePauw and has full opportunity to participate in all aspects of a DePauw education.
    • Strong partnerships with the city of Greencastle such that the city and the University continue to see ourselves as mutually intertwined.
    • The financial health of our institution today and for the future, including the growth of our endowment.
    • A resolute commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion made explicit to those whom we invite to join our community; we should not be afraid to publicly state these are aspirational values – that part of our learning environment is to figure out, together, what it means to study, work and live in a diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

[1] Note the Appendix lists our transcendent priorities, those we will hold constant as the strong foundation of our university.