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Ursuline board approves three-year strategic plan, Leading a Legacy

September 15, 2017

The Ursuline College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to approve Leading a Legacy: The Ursuline College Strategic Plan, 2017-2020. The plan is the result of six months of focused work by a committee of faculty, staff, and board members with direction from the Kantor Consulting Group.

"I am very grateful to the Board of Trustees for authorizing this new plan and embracing the vision behind it,” said Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD. “I greatly appreciate the faculty and staff members who analyzed data, reviewed trends and formulated the steps that we need to take in the next three years in order to thrive.”

Sister De Vinne noted that Leading a Legacy calls for retaining Ursuline’s identity as a women-focused college and invigorating efforts to promote women’s leadership development through the curriculum and in special events including a speaker series.

The plan sets out the following ten-year strategic direction: “Ursuline College will be recognized throughout the region as a women-focused college whose programs and community partnerships support an emphasis on women in leadership. We will refine and adjust our program portfolio on a continuing basis, centering on health care-related and other dynamic programs and directed toward providing a recognizable return on students’ investment.”

Sr. De Vinne said these approaches are intended to help the college increase enrollment while retaining a highly personalized approach to students. Combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the College now stands at 1,100.

More specifically, Leading a Legacy calls for the following actions in four broad categories.

  • Women-Focus – The College will audit all curricular and co-curricular programs to ensure they include a focus on women's leadership. Ursuline will also develop a women’s center dedicated to research about and services for women, including a speaker series and student scholars program.
  • Program Portfolio – The College will review the mix of academic programs now offered, building on its health care-related and other dynamic programs and adjusting other programs as needed, while supporting students in their leadership development.
  • MarketingLeading a Legacy calls for the College to develop and implement a new marketing plan that celebrates its women’s focus and health care-related and other dynamic programs, and leverages them to grow enrollment.
  • Retention and Graduation – Finally, over the next three years Ursuline will increase its focus on enhancing the campus environment in an attempt to improve student retention and graduation rates.
Nationally, while the number of women’s-focused institutions has shrunk significantly since the 1960s, there are still roughly 40 women’s colleges that enroll about 8% of all women who go to private colleges.

“We know that Ursuline College is a great choice for many young women and, in implementing this strategic plan, we are committing ourselves to making new and more creative efforts to reach these future students,” Sr. De Vinne said.

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