Engaging Challenge: Sesquicentennial Plan

Intellectual Rigor

Sharpen our focus on academic excellence by creating a vibrant intellectual climate rich with ideas, inquiry and discovery by providing students with meaningful experiences and opportunities that challenge them to reach their full potential as intellectually empowered, creative, thoughtful, responsible and productive persons.

Goal: Foster an atmosphere of high expectations, intellectual integrity and appreciation for the  power of education by:

• Striving to establish the benchmarks for excellence in undergraduate education and setting high standards for timely and successful completion of baccalaureate programs;  
• Creating innovative and distinctive new programs that are challenging, intellectually stimulating and of enduring importance to students in a knowledge-intensive world;
• Providing critical educational experiences that will encourage students to consider the role graduate education could have in their lives, while preparing them for success at those highest levels of graduate and professional education.

Goal: Recruit, engage and retain academically talented, independent, highly motivated, mature, responsible and self-directed students by:
• Forming meaningful relationships with diverse student populations in ways that prepare them for college-level work;
• Ensuring that both need-based and merit-based aid is available and competitive with colleges and universities of high stature to help attract the most serious, talented and gifted students who demonstrate both strong preparation and motivation for the rigors of our academic community;
• Promoting academic success and lifelong learning through personalized educational environments, high-quality curricular and co-curricular programs, strengthened honors programs and other opportunities for high-achieving students that encourage intellectual vitality in which students learn to lead and work with others, solve problems and serve their communities in meaningful ways.

Goal: Provide transformative learning experiences for students that leverage the college’s strengths by:
• Expanding delivery methods of teaching to include forums, debates, didactical approaches, interdisciplinary inquiry, project-based learning and other innovative formats;
• Introducing students to the processes and methods that produce research, scholarship, and creative work, and enabling their full engagement in such work;
• Providing incentives for faculty/student collaborative research and academic experiences that produce new knowledge, innovations and creative work to improve our lives and society.

Goal: Expand scholarly and research capabilities and opportunities for faculty and students by:
• Setting substantial goals for growing sponsored research and financial support to advance the scholarly enterprise;
• Ensuring the availability of robust, seamless research environments by investing selectively in technology, equipment and facilities that serve the needs of multiple investigators and promote collaborative and interdisciplinary work;
• Serving as a regional catalyst for intellectual development, innovation, patents and consulting services.