Strategic Plan sets comprehensive goals for Hamline

Hamline’s newly-unveiled Strategic Plan is a roadmap to take the university through 2024.

Kelly Holm, Senior Reporter

Hamline’s latest Strategic Plan, containing blueprints for carrying out the university’s mission within the next half-decade, has been released.


The plan consists of five chief goals in the areas of Academic Excellence, Retention and Student Success, University and Student Life, Financial Stability and Sustainability and Investment in Hamline.


Though the newly-released text identifies areas of focus for the next five years, its development also took nearly that long.


The strategic planning process began in 2015 after President Miller’s installation, and its initial stages lasted two years. In 2017, the University Strategic Planning Committee (USPC) and Strategic Plan Task Force (SPTF), consisting of numerous faculty and staff as well as a representative from the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC), were created to complete the various tasks contributing to the final plan. More information about this process, as well as the plan itself, can be found on the President’s webpage.


“[The Strategic Plan’s] purpose is to guide the university in its direction and alignment of resources, and in accomplishing our mission and vision,” Vice President and General Counsel Cathy Wassberg said. “What Hamline is here for is to ensure we’re developing students for success.”


Wassberg elaborated on how the plan’s five main goals contributed to a successful university.


“What we’re committing to provide in the Strategic Plan is relevant, best-in-class educational experience for all kinds of learners,” Wassberg said. “If we bring in a student, we want to retain that student, to see that student graduate from Hamline. With respect to student and university life, the intent there is to create and maintain an open, inclusive campus.”


She also mentioned how the fifth strategy of Investment in Hamline ties into the Take the Lead fundraising campaign, with a goal of bringing in $110 million worth of philanthropic support for the university, as well as the desire to boost alumni engagement on campus.


Vice President of Enrollment Management Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan discussed challenges the Strategic Plan posed in the context of her work.


“One of the initiatives was to grow our [undergraduate] student enrollment,” Xiong-Chan said. “Just based on census reporting and the demography of the students in the United States that would be of traditional age to become an undergraduate student… 16, 17 years ago we were in a recession, and less babies were born, which means if we move to the present time, you just don’t have the bodies… so we have tremendous challenges as we continue to try to recruit and enroll really talented, qualified high school students into our traditional undergraduate program.”


Professor Stephen Arnott, the Faculty Council representative on the Strategic Planning Committee, talked about what differentiates this Strategic Plan from earlier ones.


“[It’s] more specific… the previous one was very aspirational, and couched in very general terms,” Arnott said.


Board of Trustees chair Dale Peterson specified.


“The 2019-2024 differs from previous plans primarily in its brevity and in its focus on specific objectives and measurable outcomes,” Peterson said in an email interview. “The demands on higher education are evolving as student demographics are changing, our society is changing and our workplaces are changing… Hamline must embrace change to remain a leader in delivering rigorous and relevant educational experiences.”