Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Administration launches strategic planning process, ‘Emerson 2030’ to be implemented this December

Jakob Menendez
The Little Building residence hall.

Emerson’s strategic planning process, dubbed “Emerson 2030,” is currently underway, with plans to be implemented by the end of this year. 

The six-year strategic plan will coincide with Emerson’s 150th anniversary in 2030. According to the strategic planning website, the plan will “help us update our mission, values, and strategic priorities to ensure that Emerson continues to lead the way in the study and practice of communication, the arts, and the liberal arts to make a difference for society and the world.” 

The strategic plan is being developed using a five-phase timeline. Phase one involves community engagement and visioning, where focus groups, listening sessions, and interviews are used to gather community feedback. Phase two involved identifying action items to better inform the college’s mission, values, and development. 

Phase three, the drafting of the strategic plan, is set to take place over the summer. Community input will be used to create an outline and draft of the strategic plan. Phase four, set to take place between August and October of this year, will involve completing the strategic plan and presenting it to the college community. The final phase of the planning process, from October through December, is when the strategic plan will be implemented. 

The strategic planning executive committee is comprised of President Jay M. Bernhardt, Interim Provost Jan Roberts-Breslin, Vice President for Administration and Finance/Chief Financial Officer Paul Drowkis, and Vice President/Chief of Staff Melissa Richards. 

The strategic planning steering committee, which oversees the design and implementation of the strategic plan, is co-chaired by Jim Hoppe, vice president and dean of campus life, and Maria Koundoura, interim dean of the School of the Arts and assistant provost. 

Hoppe noted that Emerson’s strategic plan has not been updated since former President Lee Pelton’s tenure and that now is a key time for it to be updated. 

“Most colleges depend on strategic plans to help make decisions and focus around key issues to move forward in a thoughtful and collaborative way,” said Hoppe. “It is a key time for the college to engage in this process around a year into President Bernhardt’s tenure.” 

Both Koundoura and Hoppe strongly encouraged community members to participate in the strategic planning process, most tangibly by filling out the anonymous feedback form linked on the strategic planning website. 

“We want to urge members of the community to participate. This is such an opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and community members to have agency and have their voices heard,” said Koundoura. “There will be so many ideas brought forth, and we are going to work together to understand the core [ideas].” 

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