Aerial shot of Rhode Island College

One College. One Vision.

Rhode Island College has many strengths upon which to build over the next five years. Foremost among these is the commitment of our faculty and staff who support the mission of the college each day. Our exceptional faculty are educating students for life and building academic centers of excellence. Our hard-working staff at every level of the institution are supporting the needs of our students and positioning our college for operational success. With grit and determination, our resilient students are pursuing their degrees; improving their lives; and achieving social mobility while making an impact in their communities.

Together, we have the potential to become a premier comprehensive public college in New England, one that is regionally and nationally recognized for multiple and compelling strengths.

With faculty, administration and staff working collectively to strengthen academic areas of excellence, achieve higher enrollment and increase academic achievement among students, we can become a leading college of choice among prospective students in Rhode Island and beyond. Our college can be a place where students are welcomed, challenged, better connected with each other and with faculty, and where they can experience a strong sense of belonging while creating a lifelong bond with the college. Rhode Island College must marshal its resources to sustain its many advantages for many years to come.

Four Goals for the Process
  • Inclusive with Strong Stakeholder Engagement
  • Transparent
  • Research Informed and Data Driven
  • Innovative
Three Strategic Directions
  • Academic Excellence
  • Student Experience
  • Resource Generation and Financial Stewardship
Two Integral Threads
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Community Partnerships
The tangible and transformational change we seek begins and ends with each of us – together, as one college with one vision.

Strategic Directions

Collectively, as we forge ahead with our next strategic plan, we will pursue three strategic directions over the coming year. Together we will develop shared solutions and a commonly held plan to ensure that our institution thrives well into the future:

Rhode Island College’s core academic strength rests upon our extraordinary faculty and personal relationships with students. The college community’s focus on each individual student builds universal competencies in leadership, empathy, and cross-cultural understanding. Our robust general education requirements build skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication and teamwork. Upon these foundations we teach our students to master a body of knowledge, a skill-set or a process as we realize our commitment to graduate well rounded professionals grounded in the liberal arts. These graduates contribute to our democracy, our culture and our economy.1

The pedagogical tools we use, the knowledge we share and the skills we teach are ever evolving. This evolution is reflected in the continuous improvements faculty make to strengthen curriculum to address program needs and priorities. As a college, we must do the same on a systemic level. We must evaluate our academic programs to assure that our offerings reflect our best strengths, align with areas of workforce demand and position our students for future growth and success. We must also be committed to quality improvement. We need to review and evaluate at the individual, program and college levels throughout the administration and the academy. To be our best, we must systematically collect feedback from our students, peers, supervisors and stakeholders, and use this information to drive improvement through new investments in professional development and technology, among other tools. In this era of fiscal difficulties, increased competition and public scrutiny, continuous improvement is fundamental to our success.

The following information and data are provided to support the Investing In Academic Excellence Team as they consider strategies for the next five years:

I. It is time to reimagine and innovate – again:

a. Historically, visionary faculty leadership identified areas of strength and promise in order to advance significant, successful initiatives:

i. 1978: School of Social Work established
ii. 1989: Foundation for the School of Management, which is now the School of Business
iii. 2008: Department of Nursing became the School of Nursing. 

b. Today, the process of innovation is once again underway. This year, faculty submitted 377 curricula proposals, up from 144 the previous year, resulting in a 261% increase.

c. Past work to establish our current academic foundation is creating new opportunities to innovate and align resources in fields such as Health Sciences/Public Health/Allied Health and Computer Science/Information Technology/Applied Technology.

d. New graduate programs in Social Work, Business and Nursing.

II. Current resources are constrained:

Over the last 15 years, the college’s state appropriation increased from $43.9 million in 2005 to $48.8 million in 2020. However, when controlling for inflation, the college actually lost $126 million during that same time. When adjusted for inflation, the college received $8.7 million less this year than it did in 2005. Since 2015 undergraduate enrollment has dropped 13.5%, or just over 1000 students. For the 5th consecutive year, the number of returning students declined and the rate of decrease continues to grow year over year. Declining enrollment results in unrealized revenue. To address the combined effect of these trends, the college doubled tuition and cut programs and services across the board in order to close significant deficits over the past two years. These strategies are not sustainable.

III. Economic growth is a top priority for the State and our students:

a. Efforts to align the State’s publicly funded postsecondary institutions with areas of economic growth now require the college to strengthen and design programs that are focused on Rhode Island’s growth industries.

b. By the end of next year, more than 70% of jobs in Rhode Island will require at least some postsecondary education, yet only 43% of Rhode Island adults have an associate degree or higher.

c. In Rhode Island, employment is expected to increase by nearly 30,500 jobs during the Department of Labor and Training’s current 2016-2026 projection period. Employment in 2026 is projected to reach 550,700 an increase of 36,076 (5.9%) jobs from the 2016 employment level. Much of this projected growth is attributed to increased demand for products and services provided by the Accommodation and Food Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Retail Trade sectors.3

d. Like other regional public colleges, Rhode Island College must balance the needs of its students with the needs of the region, while understanding that the imperatives of the economy require a nuanced grasp of economic changes, the demand for talent, and sector-specific strategies.4

e. Rhode Island College majors with the highest current growth (above 30%) over the past five years are those in emerging technology, health, and education fields such as Early Childhood Education, Computer Science, and Health Sciences.5

f. How well a student’s undergraduate experience advances critical learning outcomes (knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibility, and integrative and applied learning), is what matters most, with 80% of employers agreeing that all students need a strong foundation in both the liberal arts and sciences. It is the integration of liberal arts and technical skills that will provide the best preparation for the future of work.

IV. Our competitive environment is changing:

a. Post-secondary education is growing increasingly competitive as other four-year institutions (URI, JWU, RWU) attract transfer students from RIC and more students elect to enroll in online degree programs.

b. The CCRI Promise makes the state’s community college a compelling low-cost alternative to RIC. URI’s independence has the potential to give that institution a competitive advantage as well.

c. Pathways and portability of credits help our students further their goals. Competing institutions have established comprehensive and generous articulation agreements to facilitate transfer student enrollment. Roger Williams University now includes a Life Learning Assessment as part of its comprehensive Prior Learning Assessment process. Institutions such as College Unbound are becoming viable, flexible, degree-granting alternatives to our college and other traditional institutions for non-traditional students.

V. Our students expect flexible and convenient courses of study: 

a. Nearly one-quarter of our undergraduates are 25 or older (22%), as are 80% of graduate students.

b. Many Rhode Island College students juggle their academic obligations with other adult responsibilities. Close to half of RIC freshmen (46%) and 44% of RIC seniors report spending at least some time during the week caring for dependents, and 24% of freshman and 43% of seniors report working at least 21 hours off campus for pay during the week. 7

c. Significantly, 86% of our students live off campus.

d. Post-traditional students, who have often delayed college enrollment, attend the college part-time and/or work full-time, seek flexible and convenient postsecondary choices. Increasingly, online education is one way that regional public colleges have offered students the ability to pursue their degrees in a way that suits their needs.8

e. Rhode Island College offers online and hybrid classes but does not offer online degree or certificate programs that support flexible learning approaches in a systematic fashion.

VI. Emerging partnerships support our students and the communities we serve:

We have fledgling partnerships with employers including Lifespan, the Boston Globe, and SAS. In addition, we are partnering with Mt. Pleasant High School. While this has been a long- term program, we are reigniting the partnership and deepening potential impact. The college has partnered with the City of Central Falls, the Central Falls School District, and the RI Department of Labor and Training to establish the Central Falls Adult Learning Workforce Development Hub.

VII. Quality assurance approaches strengthen the college:

We have a full college accreditation process with NECHE, and we must establish a continuous improvement plan for the entire college. We are responsive to quality assurance requests and meet outside accreditation requirements where needed, but as a college, we do not have current systems in place to assure a consistent CQI process across the institution.

VIII. Gender and racial identity impact how some students perceive their future academic success at RIC:

The recent RIC Campus Climate Survey measured students’ perceived academic success, or the degree to which a student believes he or she possesses qualities that would allow them to develop academic abilities and skills in the future. Despite positive overall attitudes among survey respondents, researchers noted statistically significant differences in how some students perceive their academic success depending on their gender identity and race.

a. Among undergraduates, Trans-spectrum students demonstrated less perception of academic success than both Women and Men, and Multiracial students indicated less perception of academic success than White students. Undergraduate students with Multiple Disabilities indicated less perception of academic success than their fellow students without a disability.9

b. Among graduate students, those with Multiple Disabilities indicated less perception of academic success than those with no disability and trans-spectrum students indicated less perception of academic success than both Women and Men. Multiracial students indicated less perception of academic success than both Hispanic/LatinX/AfroLatinX and White students.19

As we work together to develop potential strategies, areas to explore include: 1) realigning and strengthening programs that are poised to grow; 2) expanding pedagogical approaches to improve student engagement; 3) increasing collaboration within the college and with community based partners and employers; 4) utilizing technology and other tools to advance flexible instruction methods to better support the changing needs of our students; and 5) implementing quality assurance strategies across the college to ensure we are delivering the best academic experience possible to our students.


1 T-shaped - Design Thinking: The Advisory Board Company, 2014
Institutional Research and Planning. Official Enrollment Report. Page 1. Fall 2019
3 Industry Outlook 2026, Labor Market Information, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
4 Squeezed from All Sides: Opportunities and Challenges for Regional Public Universities”: Inside Higher Ed. July 2019.
5 Report to the Council on Postsecondary Education, Institutional Research and Planning, Rhode Island College, July 24, 2019
6 Harvard Business Review, Yes, Employers Do Value Liberal Arts Degrees, Lynn Pasquerella, September 2019
7 National Survey of Student Engagement, 2018 Administration; response rates were 27% for freshmen and 28% for seniors.
8 Squeezed from All Sides: Opportunities and Challenges for Regional Public Universities”: Inside Higher Ed. July 2019.
9 RIC Campus Climate Research Study. Rankin and Associates Consulting. October 2019.
10 Ibid.

Student access, opportunity and degree attainment are at the core of our mission. Faculty, staff and administration must be encouraged to work together across the institution to engage and support our increasingly diverse student body to achieve at the highest levels. Maintaining and advancing a college-wide commitment to students’ academic achievement, personal growth and well-being is essential to the success of our students and the future of the college.

Since 2015, total undergraduate enrollment has declined 13.5%, or just over 1000 students. For the fifth consecutive year, the number of returning students declined in 2019, and the rate of decrease has widened year over year since 2015. This past fall, enrollment declined by 3.7% and can be attributed to a smaller number of returning students compared to last year, as the number of new undergraduates actually grew.1

The following data are provided to support the Student Experience Team as they consider strategies for the next five years:

I. Our student body is growing increasingly diverse and we have more students who place more value on scheduling flexibility, accessibility, employability and affordability:

a. Twenty two percent of undergraduates are older than 25, as are 80% of graduate students.2

b. Eighty-six percent of RIC students live off campus.3

c. Forty six percent of RIC students are first generation college students who may need more financial, academic, and social support than a non-first generation student to graduate on time.4

d. Close to half of RIC freshmen (46%) and 44% of RIC seniors report spending at least some time during the week caring for dependents.5

e. Sixty-two percent of freshmen report working at least some hours off campus for pay during a typical week, while 79.5% of seniors do so. Twenty-four percent of freshmen and 43% of seniors report working 21 or more hours off campus during the week.6

f. Over the past decade, undergraduate students of color have increased by 108% from 19.2% to 39.7% of the student body.7 The graduate student body has experienced a similar increase.

g. Among students of color, Hispanics are the largest group at RIC, representing 21% of the undergraduate student body. Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment at RIC has increased by 120% since 2010. In addition, 10.2% of students identify as Black/African American representing a 35.6% increase since 2010. Three percent of RIC students identify as Asian, 2.2% as two or more races, 0.5% as American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.1% as Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Fifty-seven percent of students identify as White, which is a 31% decrease since 2010.8

h. RIC has experienced an increase in registered students with disabilities. Currently, there are 983 active students enrolled in Disability Services, up from 376 registered students in 2008. Of the 983 active students, 767 students require academic accommodations and 214 require non-academic accommodations such as, housing, early registration, physical/mobility/access-related-parking, special furnishings, meal plan accommodations etc.9

II. Data indicate that we are experiencing challenges engaging and retaining students:

a. In fall 2018, 12.3% of total first-time first-year students and traditional transfers paid a deposit and did not enroll. In the Fall of 2019, the number fell to 9.6%. 10

b. In 2017, 27.2% of first year students did not continue to a second year, up almost 2 percentage points from the prior year. The continuation rate for 2018 is 74.8%. 11

c. As of September 2019, there are a total of 1699 (32.5%) active undergraduate students with some type of registration hold(s). Most registration holds are either Academic Advising or Financial holds. Of the 1,314 academic advising holds, 27.5% (361) are freshman students. Of the 902 financial holds, 40% are freshman students. 12

d. Concerning the academic standing of non-graduating students, within the 2012 FT freshman cohort (N=520), 94% were academically eligible to return (63% had a 2.0 or better, 31% had below a 2.0 but eligible to return, and 6% were dismissed).13

e. Approximately 60% of non-graduating students in the 2011 and 2012 full-time freshman cohorts departed in the first two years. 14

f. The problem of unmet need is constant at RIC. During Fall 2012, 75.9% of our undergraduates had some level of unmet need. In Fall 2019, 82.1% of undergraduates had some level of unmet need. With state and federal financial aid not keeping up with the costs to attend RIC, the average level of unmet need has risen 8.1% since 2012. 15

g. Of equal concern, 80.7% of first-time freshmen had some level of unmet need beginning Fall 2012. For Fall 2019, 91.1% of first-time freshmen had some level of unmet need. The unmet need gap for first-time freshmen entering RIC has increased 12.8% in just 7 years. 16

h. In 2017 and 2018 the college surveyed non-returning students to determine why they leave RIC. The results show that:

(i) Of the departing students, over a third intended to re-enroll the following term and 60.5% intend to re-enroll at some point in the future.

(ii) 23.4% of the non-returning students reported that they intended to go to another 4-year college and 6.3% reported that they intended to go to a 2-year college. 60% of the students who reported an intention to go to another 4 or 2- year college, actually attended another college at some point. The most common institution attended was CCRI.

(iii) The top reasons for leaving RIC, include:

1. Not enough financial aid (29.4%)

2. Personal problems (28.0%)

3. Family responsibilities interfered with studies (27.1%)

4. Tuition too expensive (26.5%)

5. Difficulty getting needed courses (20.5%)

6. Campus staff were not helpful (19%)

7. Work responsibilities interfered with studies (16.7%)

8. Not happy in major (13.3%)

9. Dissatisfied with the quality of teaching in classes (13.3%)

10. Unhappy with academic performance (13.3%)

11. Other reasons included, but were not limited to: didn’t feel welcome (11.4%), faculty were not approachable (11/4%), didn’t know where to go for help or support (10.0%), and accepted to another college they would prefer to attend (10.9%).17

(iv) 37.4% of departing students left without talking to any faculty or staff. 12.1% wanted to talk with someone but did not know with whom to speak. 29.3% spoke to faculty/staff and were neither encouraged nor discouraged to re-enroll in the spring. 15.2% spoke to a faculty/staff member and were encouraged to re-enroll, and 6.1% spoke to faculty/staff and were not encouraged to re-enroll due to money issues, lack of academic focus, and dismissal from program of interest.18

(v) When asked what RIC could do to encourage them to return, the answers included:

1. Offer more financial aid/reduce cost

2. Offer more flexible course delivery (more offerings on the weekend and more online options)

3. Increase course availability

4. Improve advising/guidance

5. Improve responsiveness/communication19

III. Issues of equity and inclusion impact student experiences among RIC’s diverse student body.

a. Fifteen percent (n=377) of student respondents to the recent campus climate survey indicate that they personally had experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct at RIC within the past year.20

i. There were no significant differences between respondents of Color (16%), Multiracial (18%), and White respondents (13%) who indicated that they experienced exclusionary conduct. However, significantly more Respondents of Color (37%), and Multiracial respondents (32%) than White respondents (6%) thought the conduct was based on their racial identity.

b. Thirty-one percent (n=486) of undergraduate students and 22% (n=64) of graduate students seriously considered leaving RIC within the first semester 44% (n=241) or second semester 48% (n=262).21

i. Undergraduate students’ reasons for seriously considering leaving are: Lack of social life (56%); Lack of sense of belonging (38%); personal reasons (e.g., physical health, mental health, family emergencies) 26%; and course availability (25%).

1. Among undergraduate students, non-transfer students were more likely to consider leaving than transfer students and Black/African/African American and Multiracial students were more likely to consider leaving than Hispanic/LatinX/AfroLatinX students. Concerning sexual identity, Bisexual and Queer-spectrum students were more likely to consider leaving than Heterosexual students.

ii. Graduate students’ reasons for seriously considering leaving are: Lack of sense of belonging (38%); Climate was not welcoming (36%); Scheduling difficulty (33%); and Course availability (28%).

1. Among graduate students, Multiracial students were more likely to consider leaving than White students and Disabled and First-Generation students were also more likely to consider leaving.

c. Six percent (n=162) of respondents indicated that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact/conduct while at RIC. This was defined as relationship violence, stalking, sexual interaction, and unwanted sexual contact.22

i. Of note, 36% of respondents indicated that drugs and alcohol were present.

ii. Undergraduate students most often experienced unwanted contact/conduct in their first year (43%).

iii. Unwanted sexual contact/conduct was rarely reported, as only 5 out of the 162 respondents contacted a RIC resource.

d. Thirty-six percent of all student respondents felt a sense of being pre-judged for their identity, with Hispanic/LatinX/AfroLatinX students more likely to feel pre-judged than White students and First-Generation students more likely to feel pre-judged than non-First Gen students.23

i. Only 64% of students believe that there is a process to field complaints of bias.

As we analyze these challenges, potential strategies to explore include: 1) better engaging students in and beyond the classroom; 2) improved enrollment management; 3) expanded career preparation and readiness supports; 4) increasing retention and completion; 5) creating an increasingly inclusive campus environment/climate; and, 6) better addressing the needs of our increasingly diverse student body including adults, first generation students, commuter students, and those with disabilities.


1 RIC Institutional Research and Planning Department Fall 2019 Enrollment Report. Page 1
2 Ibid. Page 2
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 RIC Institutional Research and Planning. 2019
6 Ibid.
7 RIC Institutional Research and Planning Department Fall 2019 Enrollment Report. Page 2
8 Ibid.
9RIC Disability Services Center. 2020
10 RIC Institutional Research and Planning. 2019
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Ibid.
15 RIC Enrollment Office 2019.
16 RIC Enrollment Office 2019.
17 Institutional Research and Planning Department. “Insights from the 2017 and 2018 Administration of the Non-Returning Student Survey” August 2019. Response rate was 15%.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
20 RIC Campus Climate Research Study. Rankin and Associates Consulting. October 2019.
21 Ibid.
22 Ibid.

Rhode Island College is operating in a resource constrained environment; has faced significant operating deficits over the past few years; and absent change, faces an unsustainable future. The major contributing factors are limited state support and declining enrollments. With our commitment to access, we cannot continue to rely on increased tuition to address fiscal needs, yet the college must possess the resources required to provide students with the programs and services necessary for them to graduate and contribute to the culture and economy of our state. We must increase our capacity to attract and acquire new resources and practice exceptional financial and administrative stewardship while purposefully and transparently allocating resources to top priorities.

The following data are provided to support the Resource Generation and Financial Stewardship Team as members consider strategies for the next five years:

I. We are experiencing declining enrollment:

Since 2015 undergraduate enrollment has dropped 13.5%, or just over 1000 students. For the 5th consecutive year, the number of returning students declined and the rate of decrease continues to widen year over year.1 Declining enrollment results in unrealized revenue.

II. The College’s revenue model is becoming increasingly reliant on student tuition and fees and is unsustainable:

a. Tuition and fees comprised 58% of revenue in ‘17, up from 46% in ’06.2

b. Conversely, state aid constituted 38% of revenue in ‘17, down from 48% in ‘06.3

c. Since ’08, in-state full time tuition has increased by 53%. Over the same time, out of state tuition has increased 49%.4These figures do not include required fees.

d. However, in-state full time tuition for RIC is among the lowest in its peer group, despite the increases in tuition rates during this time.

 

Rhode Island College Unrestricted Revenues (Thousands), 2005-06 to 2018-19

Year State Appropriation State Appropriation
% of Total
Tuition & Fees Tuition & Fees
% of Total
Other Other
% of Total
Total
2006-07 $45,024 48% $42,927 46% $5,130 6% $93,081
2007-08 $44,347 47% $45,899 48% $4,919 5% $95,165
2008-09 $39,895 41% $51,481 53% $5,685 6% $97,061
2009-10 $37,654 38% $57,551 57% $5,136 5% $100,341
2010-11 $37,567 36% $62,263 59% $5,524 5% $105,354
2011-12 $38,240 35% $64,061 59% $6,218 6% $108,519
2012-13 $38,482 34% $65,553 59% $7,701 7% $111,736
2013-14 $38,960 35% $66,058 60% $5,637 5% $110,655
2014-15 $42,652 37% $66,087 58% $5,436 5% $114,175
2015-16 $44,791 37% $70,075 58% $6,052 5% $120,918
2016-17 $46,996 39% $69,107 57% $5,755 5% $121,858
2017-18 $47,903 38% $72,656 58% $5,274 4% $125,833
III. Future decreases in state aid are likely:

a. According to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the 2.9% of tax revenue collected in RI that is allocated to higher education is the 4th lowest in the nation (FY 2016).

b. Over the last 15 years, our state appropriation increased from $43.9 million in 2005 to $48.8 million in 2020. Controlling for inflation, the college actually received $8.7 million less this year than 15 years ago. Over that 15-year period, adjusted for inflation, we actually lost $126 million.

IV. Increased operating costs are outpacing revenue from tuition, fees and state appropriation:

In FY 2019 we had to close a $4.5M deficit and in FY2020 the college must address a $5.7M deficit. Compensation and benefits are the largest operating expenses for the College, ranging from 68% to 72% of total costs. Although compensation and benefits have increased 9% over the last 5 years, this has kept pace with cost of living adjustments. However, supplies and services, which represent 18% - 21% of total operating costs, have increased 28% over that same 5-year time period. 

 

Operating Expenses ('000s)

Category 2015 % of Total 2016 % of Total 2017 % of Total 2018 % of Total 2019 % of Total
Comp & Benefits $96,605 70% $103,303 72% $106,205 72% $104,181 68% $105,288 68%
Supplies & Services $25,753 19% $25,539 18% $26,992 18% $34,316 22% $33,059 21%
Depreciation $8,596 6% $8,628 6% $8,950 6% $10,248 7% $10,823 7%
Scholarships $6,602 5% $6,588 5% $5,550 4% $4,7818 3% $5,098 3%
Total Operating Expenses $137,556   $144,058   $147,696   $153,526   $154,268  
V. Lack of financial reserves:

RIC possesses no financial reserves within the general fund (the main operating fund for the College). The accounting rules applicable to a governmental entity does not allow for reserves (funds set aside for future use) within the general fund. Historically, surpluses generated by the College have either been returned to the State or set aside for future capital projects. In addition, a repair and maintenance fund had been established to preserve funding for future needs but has no longer been maintained.

As part of the budgeting process, the College has worked to reestablish a funding process that will not only address the current needs, but addresses the funding needs related to deferred maintenance and routine equipment replacement.

VI. Incremental budgeting is inadequate given the current operating environment:

The college practices incremental budgeting - a resource allocation process where each unit’s budget is based on its allocation in the previous year, plus or minus an adjustment equal to the overall change in institutional resources. This is simple to understand, equitable and non-disruptive. However, in times of resource constraints, it does not allow for investments in strategic priorities which would support overall growth. A greater in-depth analysis of our revenues and expenditures will be essential as the college moves forward.

As we work together to analyze these challenges, potential strategies to explore include: 1) increasing academic and administrative capacity to maximize the impact of our resources; 2) increasing advocacy for additional state resources; 3) developing new funding streams; and, 4) examining and adopting budgeting best practices to ensure that our resources are closely aligned to our priorities.


1 Institutional Research and Planning Fall 2019 Official Enrollment Report. Page 1
2 Institutional Research and Planning Fact Book 2018-2019. Page 111
3 Ibid. Page 111
4 Ibid. Page 107

 

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Strategic Plan Questions

We welcome your suggestions, questions and comments.

Strategic Planning Process

Members

Co-chairs

Kimberly Conway Dumpson
Vice President for Advancement & External Relations, kdumpson@ric.edu

Julie Horwitz
Professor, Educational Studies, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, jhorwitz@ric.edu

Steering Committee Members

Vincent Bohlinger
Professor, English and Film Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Chair, Council of Rhode Island College, vbohlinger@ric.edu

Michelle Brophy-Baermann
Associate Professor, Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, mbrophy@ric.edu

Daphney Coriolan
Student

Ann Marie DaSilva
President, Rhode Island College Foundation, ann@chronomaticinc.com

Tim DelGiudice
Chair, Council on Postsecondary Education, DelGiudice313@gmail.com

Jeannine Dingus-Eason
Dean, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, jdinguseason@ric.edu

Alexia Estrada
Student

David Filipek
Associate Professor, Accounting and Computer Information Systems, School of Business, dfilipek@ric.edu

Ducha Hang
Associate Vice President, Student Success, dhang@ric.edu

Quenby Hughes
Professor, History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
President, Rhode Island College AFT, qhughes@ric.edu

Deborah Kaspin
Instructor, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
President, Rhode Island College Adjunct Faculty Union, dkaspin@ric.edu

Stephen Nedder
Vice President, Administration & Finance, snedder@ric.edu

Marianne Raimondo
Associate Professor, Management and Marketing, School of Business, mraimondo@ric.edu

Keri Rossi-D’Entremont
Director, Disability Services, krossi@ric.edu

Sherry Shroyer
Rhode Island College Council 94 AFSCME, sshroyer@ric.edu

Michael Smith
President, Rhode Island College Alumni Association, msmith@ric.edu

Brian White
Professional Staff Association, Rhode Island College, bwhite@ric.edu​

Members

Co-chairs

Jeannine Dingus-Eason
Dean, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, jdinguseason@ric.edu

Marianne Raimondo
Associate Professor, Management and Marketing, School of Business, mraimondo@ric.edu

Members

Jon Bartelson
Assistant Vice President/Chief Information Officer, jbartelson@ric.edu

Stefan Battle
Associate Professor, BSW Program, School of Social Work, sbattle@ric.edu

Carol Cummings
Associate Professor, Health and Physical Education, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, ccummings@ric.edu

Kevin Fitta
Director, Capital Projects, Administration & Finance, kfitta@ric.edu

Sharon Galloway
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, sgalloway@ric.edu

Jenifer Giroux
Associate Vice President, Professional Studies and Continuing Education, jgiroux@ric.edu

Eric Hall
Associate Professor, Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, ehall@ric.edu

Leslie Schuster
Professor, History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Interim Dean, Graduate Studies, lschuster@ric.edu

Holly Shadoian
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, hshadoian@ric.edu

Alison Shonkwiler
Associate Professor, English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, ashonkwiler@ric.edu

Members

Co-Chairs

Michelle Brophy-Baermann
Associate Professor, Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, mbrophy@ric.edu

Ducha Hang
Associate Vice President, Student Success, dhang@ric.edu​

Members

Mikalia Arthur
Professor, Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, marthur@ric.edu

Kieran Ayton
Associate Professor, Adams Library, kayton@ric.edu

Lisa Bain
Professor, Accounting and Computer Information Systems, School of Business, lbain@ric.edu

Lynn Blanchette
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Associate Dean, School of Nursing, lblanchette@ric.edu

Chad Minnich
Director, Marketing and Communications, cminnich@ric.edu

Anna Cano Morales
Associate Vice President, Community, Equity & Diversity, acanomorales@ric.edu

Melissa Kazarian
Student

James Mendonca
Director, Security & Safety/Chief of Campus Police, jmendonca@ric.edu

Donald Tencher
Director of Athletics, dtencher@ric.edu

Matthew Thureson
Student

James Tweed
Dean of Enrollment Management, jtweed@ric.edu

Tamika Wordlow-Williams
Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students, Student Success, twordlow@ric.edu

Susan Zoll
Associate Professor, Elementary Education, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, szoll@ric.edu

Members

Co-chairs

David Filipek
Associate Professor, Accounting and Computer Information Systems, School of Business, dfilipek@ric.edu

Stephen Nedder
Vice President, Administration & Finance, snedder@ric.edu

Members

Kavinda Arthenayake
Director, College Events and Conference Services, karthenayake@ric.edu

Robert Eaton
Director, Budget Office, Administration & Finance, reaton@ric.edu

Kenneth Ferus
Director, Financial Aid, Student Success, kferus@ric.edu

Margaret Lynch Gadaleta
Director, Community, Equity & Diversity, mlynchgadaleta@ric.edu

Melissa Marcotte
Assistant Professor, Psychology. Faculty of Arts and Sciences, mmarcotte@ric.edu

Warren Miller
Assistant Professor, BSW Program, School of Social Work, wmiller@ric.edu

Edwin Pacheco
Executive Director, Rhode Island College Foundation, epacheco@ric.edu

Arthur Patrie
Director, College Dining Services, Administration & Finance, apatrie@ric.edu

Susan Weiss
Assistant Professor, Accounting and Computer Information System, sweiss1@ric.edu

Victoria Restler
Assistant Professor, Educational Studies, Feinstein School of Education & Human Development, vrestler@ric.edu

Joseph Zornado
Professor, English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, jzornado@ric.edu

Key Dates and Milestones

DATE MEETINGS / EVENTS / MILESTONES
12/11 8:30am - 10:30am Roberts Hall 400 Team Captain meeting
12/13 12:30pm- 2:00pm Student Union Ballroom Joint Kick-Off Meeting with Steering Committee and Teams
12/16 4:00-5:00pm Support team meeting
1/2 4:00 -5:30pm Support team meeting
1/8 8:30 -10:00 am Roberts Hall 400 Team Captain meeting
1/13 11:00am - noon TBD Support team meeting
1/22 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Student Union Ballroom
(looking to expand this to 12:00-2:00pm Joint Meeting with Steering Committee and Teams
1/28 Staff & Faculty 4:30 -6:00 pm
Alger Hall 110
Town Meetings with staff and faculty
1/29 Students 12:30 -2:00 pm
Alger Hall 110
Town Meetings with students
2/4 12:00 -2:00pm TBD Team Captain Meeting
2/12 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Student Union Ballroom 
Joint retreat with Steering Committee and Teams
2/25 2:00 -4:00 pm Roberts Hall 400 Team Captain meet with President (1st hour) Team planning meeting with facilitator (2nd hour)
3/17 1:00 - 3:00 pm Alger Hall 110 
St. Patrick’s Day!
Teams meet to start work on strategies
3/24 1:00 -3:00 pm Roberts Hall 400 Joint Support Team and Team Captain Meeting
Support Team Meeting (1 hour) 
Team Captain Meeting (1 hour)
4/1 1:00 -3:00 pm Student Union Ballroom Teams continue to work on strategies
4/1 3:00 – 4:00 pm Student Union Ballroom Support Team Meeting
4/15 1:00 -3:00 pm Roberts Hall 400 Team Captain meet with President (1st hour) Team planning meeting with facilitator (2nd hour)
4/21 4:30-6:00pm TBD Faculty and staff town meetings
4/22 12:30-2:00pm TBD Student Town Meetings
4/30 1:30 -3:30 pm Roberts Hall 400 Steering Committee Meeting – Team Captains report out on strategies
5/7 1:00 -3:00 pm Student Union Ballroom Team Meetings
5/12 1:00 -3:00 pm Roberts Hall 400 Team Captain meeting
SUMMER  
8/26 2:30 -4:30 pm Clark Greene's office Support team meeting
9/3 1:00 -4:00 pm Student Union Ballroom Joint retreat with Steering Committee and Teams
9/9 1:00 - 3:00 pm Roberts Hall 400 Joint Support Team and Team Captain Meeting
Support Team Meeting (1 hour)
Team Captain Meeting (1 hour) 
9/14 3:30 - 4:30 pm Conference call
9/16 12:30 - 2:00 pm TBD Town Hall meeting with students
9/17 4:30 - 6:00 pm TBD Town Hall meeting with faculty and staff
TBD Team Captain meeting
9/22 2:00 - 4:00pm Student Union Ballroom Team meeting
10/7 9:00 - 11:00am Student Union Ballroom Team meeting
11/5 1:00 - 3:00pm Roberts Hall 400 Steering Committee meeting
11/9 3:30 - 5:30pm Clark Greene's office Support Team meeting
11/16 4:00 - 5:00pm Conference call Support Team Check-in (call)
11/23 3:30 - 5:30pm Roberts Hall 400 Steering Committee meeting

 

 

Key Terms

TERM DEFINITION EXAMPLE

Vision 

Declares where your organization wants to be in the future, framed in an aspirational, forward-thinking manner. 

Rhode Island College will be recognized as a thought leader among public colleges, acknowledged for its individualized, student-centered programs and preparation of the state and region's diverse populations. The college will be distinctive in providing industry-leading, dynamic curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, fostering student retention, completion and professional development. Renown for the expertise and leadership of its faculty, staff, students and alumni, the college will continue to focus on its entrepreneurial approach to preparing students for a 21st century workforce; adaptability to the changing social and economic environment; and collective impact on Rhode Island's economy and culture.   

Mission 

Defines what your organization is currently doing and why it is important. 

Rhode Island College is a public higher education institution anchored in liberal arts and experiential learning opportunities, with an unwavering commitment to student-centered teaching. Through their experience on campus, and with myriad community partners, students gain knowledge, skills and insight necessary to contribute to, and benefit from, our ever-evolving culture and economy.  RIC continually strives to provide a safe and respectful campus environment that assures freedom of thought and expression, rooted in the belief that we, as a community and individually, all benefit from a diversity of ideas, philosophies and cultural representations. With a strong focus on intellectual and personal growth and professional development, RIC is a force for positive change in the lives of our students and in the state and region. 

Core Values 

Qualities that govern the behavior of your system or organization.   

Excellence and Innovation 
Access and Opportunity 
Student-Centered 
Diversity and Inclusion 
State and Community Leadership 
Transparency 

Strategic Directions 

Defines three to five strategically consequential “chunks of work" that move your organization towards its vision.  Typically, they reflect critical gaps that your organization or the system wants to address first.   

Academic Excellence 
Student Experience 
Resource Generation and Financial Stewardship 

Desired Outcomes

A qualitative description of the expected effects, impact, or results you want to achieve for your primary customer within each strategic priority.

It is helpful to think about this question for each of your stakeholders e.g. 

  • Students 
  • Employers in the Region 
  • Faculty
  • Community Partners 
  • Staff and Administration 
  • Alumni

Later these can be translated into outcomes statements and goals (see chart below for more detail about goals and outcomes) 

All students have access to flexible learning options 

Students finish undergraduate degree programs in four years or less 

Freshman and graduation rates increase (equity gaps decrease) 

RIC has new ventures and partnerships with off-campus constituencies. 

Big, Bold Areas of Action 

Additional focus areas within each strategic direction.  Useful for very large, complex institutions to further focus its strategic thinking on the 1-5 areas.   

“If all else remained the same, what top 5 areas of bold, broad action that would result in the most progress towards the desired future state for your strategic direction?” 

Realign and strengthen programs that are poised to grow 

Expand pedagogical approaches to improve student engagement 

Increase collaboration within the college and with community-based partners and employers 

Utilize technology and other tools to advance flexible instruction methods to better support the changing needs of our students 

Implement quality assurance strategies across the college to ensure we are delivering the best academic experience possible to our students. 

Strategies 

Articulate more specifically “how” the desired will be achieved (but not at the task level).  Typically, there are multiple strategies underneath each strategic priority or bold area of action depending on what makes sense. 

A strategy under the area of action - Utilize technology and other tools to advance flexible instruction methods to better support the changing needs of our students – might be: 

Implement the use of adaptive learning tools which blend data with elements of artificial intelligence to tailor classwork to the abilities of students.
 

Tactics 

Specific actions that need to be taken to implement a strategy.  These are not included in a strategic plan. Tactics are identified and mapped out in implementation plans. 

A tactic under the strategy example above might be: 

Purchase McGraw-Hill’s Smartbook platform.
 

Objectives 

Defines a specific step that an organization plans to take to reach its goals.  There are usually multiple objectives for each strategic direction or big, bold area of action.  Objectives are concrete and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound). Objectives are a key component of a dashboard. 

Increase the baccalaureate graduation rate  

Progress Measures 

Indicators of progress towards an objective.  Usually they are measures of inputs, activities or outputs related to the implementation of a strategy but they can also be measures of outcomes that indicate progress.  Progress measures are a key component of a dashboard. 

Student athletes achieve an institutional average GPA of 3.0 annually. 

 

A deeper comparison of goals versus progress measures or objectives:

GOALS
(derived from the desired outcomes)
OBJECTIVES OUTCOMES
(derived from the desired outcomes)

Where you aim to be one day 

Defines the steps an organization plans to take to reach its goals or aim 

Desired end result of achieving the organization’s goals. 

EX: The Cancer Wellness Foundation will expand its capacity to serve individuals in receiving prescribed medical treatment for their cancer diagnosis that otherwise lack access to care. 

EX: Three hundred cancer patients that cannot afford round-trip transportation to prescribed chemotherapy and radiation appointments will be issued gasoline vouchers (one of several objectives supporting the goal) 

EX: Ninety-five percent of cancer patients participating in the transportation program will report receiving in all chemotherapy and radiation treatments as prescribed by their medical doctor. (result of reaching the goal) 

Broad in scope 

Narrow in scope 

Broad in scope 

General intention or direction 

Specific/ Precise (SMART) 

Specific (but not always SMART) 

Intangible or “soft” 

Tangible 

Tangible  

Abstract 

Solid/ Concrete 

Qualitative or Quantitative 

Can’t be easily measured/ validated 

Can be easily measured/ validated 

Measurable (but not always directly) 

Large in size 

Chunks 

Large in size 

The end 

Ends in themselves 

Describes the result of reaching the goal 
The result 

The result 

The means to the end 

The whole 

Part of the whole, often with milestones 

The whole 

Longer term 

Shorter term 

Short, Intermediate or Long-term 

A goal is supported and measured by the achievement of a series of well-defined Objectives. 

Objectives are supported and measured by the achievement of a series of well-defined progress measures or indicators (inputs, activities, products) 

Long-term outcomes can be supported by short and intermediate outcomes. 

 

Important Resources