Strategic Planning

in the College of Liberal Arts


In Jan. 2021, the College began thinking about the future in a way that is unlike anything we’ve done in the recent past. At the dean’s invitation, 32 people from across employment classes and across departments/programs in the college are working on small task forces to help us showcase what it is we already do well, identify emerging trends and needs in the 21st century, and articulate the research and recommendations that will take CSU’s College of Liberal Arts into a transformative realmpositioned at the forefront of this land-grant institution. We live in a time of unmatched potential to shape what we want to be and become in the years ahead.

Read our overview and college and department recommendations, which were developed in June 2021. These reports, along with goals and plans from the department chairs and program directors, will inform the creation of the strategic plan (to occur in fall 2021) and help us to align with the campus’ Courageous Strategic Transformation.

“The liberal arts describes an orientation to the world that is expansive, dynamic, and productive.”

– From Steven Volk and Beth Benedix in The Post-Pandemic Liberal Arts College: A Manifesto for Reinvention 

The empty circles are opportunities to add ideas we haven’t yet thought of. What would you add? Submit ideas to

The Challenge

To imagine an ecosystem of scholarship and learning that encourages:

  • Complementary relationships between degrees and programs
  • Flexible teaching and working modalities
  • Team approaches to scholarship and administration
  • A new vision of how the distinctive aspects of CLA fit into a changing higher education landscape

Themes that Inform the Work

  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Blended teaching and learning
  • Inclusiveness
  • Resiliency
  • Applied, practical, and impactful practices
  • Access for future students and new audiences

Values/Guiding Philosophies

CSU's Principles of Community ground us

  • Attention to equity of access
  • Learning that is continuous, interactive, and cooperative
  • Active engagement with our communities and the world
  • Awareness that research, scholarship, and creative artistry develop wisdom

Task Forces

Goals & Members


Final Reports - July 1, 2021

In June 2021, our three task forces wrapped up their work on their respective topics, writing reports that include recommendations and guiding questions for departments to use as they consider their own strategic goals for 2022 to 2025.

Interim Report - April 23, 2021

The three task forces produced an interim report to capture their research and findings as of end of March. These findings will be used to continue exploration and identify recommendations for the final report.

Town Hall - March 29, 2021

The CSU College of Liberal Arts leadership team presented an update on the CLA Strategic Planning Process on Monday, March 29, 2021.


The work of the task forces and when to expect updates from the Dean’s Office.

June–July 2020

  • Introduction to the strategic plan process; identification of areas of focus, needs, and timeline. Creation of the Guiding Coalition (main planning group for strategic plan process)
  • Prepare for Chairs retreat

August–September 2020

  • Identify steps for process: short-term = education, buy in; mid-term = provide recommendations and write the strategic plan; long-term = implement plan and respond to changes
  • At Chairs retreat: Identifying pillars of strength; what's broken; opportunities and challenges

October–November 2020

  • Create timeline and flow of actions and activities for task forces
  • Read articles on changes to higher education, think pieces on the future of teaching, learning, and work

December 2020

  • Finalize task force membership; send invitations; prepare for January kickoff

January 2021

  • Guiding Coalition and Task Force members kickoff their challenge
  • Task forces meet. Their goal: to identify short-term wins and create a report of recommendations based on research and discovery

February 2021

  • Task forces meet
  • Guiding Coalition review task force meeting notes

March 2021

  • Task forces meet
  • Guiding Coalition reviews task force meeting notes
  • Update to college via town hall (see video above)

April 2021

  • Co-chairs and/or guiding coalition reps develop presentations to various college committees to share updates and solicit input
  • Interim report drafted

May 2021

  • A conversation about the liberal arts with Katherine Rowe, president of William & Mary
  • An update via the "all college email"

July 2021 

  • Final report drafted and finalized

August–November 2021

  • Departments and academic units to discuss the questions, recommendations, and other reports in department meetings

September 2021

  • College-wide Town Hall to discuss final report and answer questions

Mid–November 2021

  • Departments and academic units will submit their action items
  • Dean's Office committee with review, synthesize, and connect themes and actions for inclusion in the College strategic plan

December 2021

  • Items to be added to College strategic plan will be selected
  • Committee to identify ways to integrate College efforts into and with the campus Courageous Strategic Transformation framework

January–March 2022

  • College strategic plan developed and shared

May 2022

  • College strategic plan finalized