Approved May 1, 2010
Update June 2014
Update June 2013
Update June 2012
Update May 2011
Strategic Planning is critical to the advancement of The College of New Jersey and to each of its schools. We use strategic planning to decide how to prioritize the use of our resources (including time, energy, and funds) to move our School deliberately toward the attainment of goals we value as a community. When affirmed by our community, our strategic plan will guide us in day-to-day decision making to ensure that those decisions are consistent with our longer-term goals and mission as well as the larger mission of the College of New Jersey.
TCNJ’s School of Culture and Society [the School of Humanities and Social Sciences] aspires to be a national exemplar in undergraduate teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. Upon completion of our program, our students will be prepared to sustain and advance their communities and the world.
The School of Culture and Society [School of Humanities and Social Sciences] is a culturally and intellectually diverse and welcoming community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who value knowledge and the free and responsible exchange of ideas. Through the exercise of analytical rigor in the humanities and social sciences, our community: fosters disciplinary and interdisciplinary work to address significant social issues; develops knowledge and engages in creative activities; seeks to understand local, national, global, cultural, political, and historical perspectives; critically interprets language and symbols; thoroughly examines cultural artifacts and discourses; and promotes ethical reasoning and compassion. Working with our faculty, our students learn how to read and think analytically, solve problems creatively, work with diverse partners, communicate effectively in speech and writing, use technology wisely, and participate fully in civic life. The mission of the School of Culture and Society [Humanities and Social Sciences] is to prepare students for lifelong learning and responsible democratic citizenship.
The School of Culture and Society [Humanities and Social Sciences] organizes its strategic plan by initiatives as described below. The initiatives listed here come from the discussions of the subcommittees participating in the strategic planning process in the fall 2009 semester. The drafters of this plan recognize that items in one section of the plan are often implicated in other sections of the plan; inclusion of a topic in one section, rather than another, is not meant to suggest that these matters are not related.
SECTION I – CURRICULUM:
including our School’s Academic Program and Student Learning, Advising, and Internationalization
SECTION II – COMMUNITY:
including our School’s Community, Intellectual Climate, Faculty, Diversity, Alumni Relations, Community Outreach, and Leadership and Governance within Our School
SECTION III – RESOURCES:
including our School’s Fundraising and Development, Technology, and Office and Classroom Space
All of our academic programs will teach students to read and think analytically, solve problems creatively, find and assess information carefully and use it judiciously, work with diverse partners, communicate effectively in speech and writing, use technology wisely, participate fully in civic life, promote social justice, and be responsible citizens of a diverse and pluralistic democracy.
Goal A: Interdisciplinarity
We will enhance and support interdisciplinary curricula and research within the School and across schools and will work with colleagues to expand interdisciplinary learning, teaching, and research opportunities across campus.
- 1. As a national exemplar in the humanities and social sciences, our School will consider expanding the range of degree programs offered in our School, within the context of the financial constraints of the College. Among other programs, we will consider developing majors in anthropology, classical studies, journalism, linguistics, public policy, religious studies, and languages in addition to Spanish, in view of the range of programs offered at competing liberal arts institutions.
- 2. We embrace opportunities to offer innovative courses that cross-disciplinary boundaries and foster critical thinking and creative problem solving.
Goal B: Experiential Learning
We will increase opportunities for experiential learning, including both undergraduate research and internships.
- 3. We will strive to increase opportunities for our students to conduct research and participate in internships under the mentorship of our faculty and to embed these and other experiential learning opportunities in our curricula.
- 4. In accordance with the larger TCNJ plan to implement a second community engaged learning requirement, our School will embed CEL-2 opportunities in at least one course in every major. We propose to develop the plans for CEL-2 in the 2010-2011 academic year and integrate them into our curricula in time for the Fall 2012 semester. We will thus expand community engaged learning opportunities for juniors and seniors and bring students and faculty together, within their academic programs, in meaningful service to the larger community.
Goal C: Assessment
We will systematically develop and implement assessment for all of our academic programs.
- 5. We will document student learning in order to identify and enhance areas of strength in our programs as well as to address any areas of weakness.
- 6. We will communicate effectively with students, parents, and others about the value of a liberal arts education.
- 7. We will assess and enhance the ways in which our curricula support student development during and after college. We will document our students’ post-graduate educational and career choices, including admission to graduate and professional schools, as well as their placement in jobs gained as a result of their liberal arts education.
Goal D: Advising
We will recognize the value of thoughtful student advising and support the professional development of faculty advisors to enhance advising and mentoring of our students.
- 8. In order to enhance advising for all students, our School will review and consider the existing recommendations of TCNJ’s Advising Planning Council, including the recommendation to develop and implement a peer-advising system.
- 9. To better serve growing numbers of students who enter our School in the open-options program, we will recruit additional faculty advisors to support the Assistant Dean within the existing faculty workload system.
- 10. Because students need differentiated advising throughout their academic careers, we will assess the advising system for transfer students, sophomores, and upper class students, paying special attention to the needs of students who have double majors, minors, and interdisciplinary liberal learning concentrations.
- 11. Our faculty will work with the Career Center to help our students with post-graduate planning within the existing faculty workload system.
Goal E: Internationalization
We will intensify our School’s global awareness and engagement and promote study abroad for all students.
- 12. In order to encourage student participation in study abroad opportunities, we will implement early advising for students and parents about the importance of study abroad in a liberal arts education.
- 13. In order to help students overcome administrative and financial obstacles to study abroad, we will seek to increase the range of opportunities for going abroad (e.g., international internships, summer research opportunities, and Maymester programs) and the number of financial support options, encouraging students to apply for national and international study abroad scholarships and working to increase the pool of financial aid available to support TCNJ students in study abroad programs.
- 14. In order to help students overcome curricular obstacles, we will establish curricular opportunities for study abroad for every major in our School.
- 15. In order to encourage more faculty-led study-abroad opportunities for students, we will work to establish additional financial compensation and released time and logistical support for faculty leading such programs.
- 16. In order to enhance the internationalization of our curriculum, we will expand opportunities for our students to engage with immigrant communities in the United States as part of our School’s curricula and we will seek to increase the number of foreign students and scholars coming to our campus for short- or long-term stays and to integrate them into the life of our School.
- 17. In order to enhance the internationalization of our community, we will work to establish living/learning communities for students to immerse themselves in the languages and cultures we teach.
The School of Culture and Society [School of Humanities and Social Sciences] is and will be a culturally and intellectually diverse and welcoming community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who value knowledge and the free and responsible exchange of ideas.
Goal F: Reclaiming Our Identity
In order to more accurately reflect the programs of study in our School in the very name of our School, we will change the name of our School to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective as of the Fall 2011.
- 18. Changing the name of our School in a way that is consistent with the six other Schools of the College of New Jersey will make it clear to students, faculty, alumni, and colleagues and partners within higher education and beyond that our School is the academic home for disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
- 19. In order to enhance the spirit of community within our School, we will create opportunities for faculty, students, staff, and alumni to work together on community projects, participate with one another in creating and cultivating new School-wide traditions, including a periodic forum – a Socrates Café – to wrestle with the “big questions of life” in accordance with the spirit of the liberal arts curriculum.
- 20. We will promote thought-provoking discussions by inviting scholars from beyond the TCNJ community to give lectures and lead discussions on our campus. We will coordinate such lectures, as well as exhibits, performances, and films as much as possible with courses taught in our School in order to enhance the academic impact of these special events for our community.
Goal G: Diversity
We will enhance efforts to promote and embrace diversity in our community because it enhances the quality of our learning, teaching, research, and service and is critical to the success of our educational mission.
- 21. We will foster a community within our School and on our campus that values diversity; accordingly, we aspire for our community to more closely resemble the larger community of the state of New Jersey.
- 22. We will establish a Diversity Advisory Council, charged with making recommendations to the Dean as to how to increase the diversity of the students, faculty, and staff that comprise our community and to develop strategies to ensure success for all students, faculty and staff. This Council will include representation from the Office of Admissions and the Office of Human Resources to enhance collaboration on diversity issues.
Goal H: Intellectual Climate
We will sustain and improve an intellectual climate that provides students with a rich cultural basis for a lifetime of intellectual growth.
- 23. In order to graduate informed citizens who possess a sense of social responsibility and are prepared to engage constructively with their communities, the nation, and the world, our faculty will teach students to critically evaluate various claims and perspectives and to make ethical and sound judgments.
- 24. We will partner with the Division of Student Affairs to engage our students in a broad range of co-curricular activities and to teach them to value vigorous debate among individuals with diverse perspectives.
- 25. We will seek to sustain a variety of intellectual offerings to promote respect for a range of viewpoints and to teach and model the value of reasoned discourse in civil society.
Goal I: Faculty Development
We will support the professional development of faculty from their hiring through their retirement, through existing and new practices in individual departments and programs and new School-wide activities.
- 26. While departments and programs conduct searches, the hiring of faculty is guided by school-wide goals and strategic planning; therefore, search requests must promote the School’s mission, School-wide goals, and school and departmental strategic plans.
- 27. We will aim to extend mentoring to all faculty through departmental and School-based mentoring programs.
Goal J: Alumni Relations
We will improve and deepen our relationships with our alumni.
- 28. In order to enhance our School’s relationship with its alumni, we will establish an Alumni Advisory Council to foster relationships between current students and alumni and between faculty and alumni. This Council will be charged with running events of interest to alumni and current students, working with faculty to establish mentoring and networking opportunities for current students, and advising the Dean on matters of importance to alumni and future alumni.
- 29. We will work with Alumni Affairs to enhance reach out to our School’s alumni to better track their interests in working with the campus community.
- 30. We will work with the Office of Alumni Affairs to use social networking software and other web-based options to enhance this outreach to our alumni.
- 31. We will begin to cultivate strong alumni relationships from the day that students first arrive on campus for convocation by creating and sustaining traditions that bring students and alumni together in the context of common interests spanning the generations of communities at the College of New Jersey.
Goal K: Community Outreach
We will improve our engagement with the larger community beyond the boundaries of our campus.
- 32. We will invite more community organizations and residents to participate in campus events as well as encourage more faculty, staff and student participation in off-campus activities.
- 33. We will create opportunities for community organizations and residents to articulate their needs and interests, which will inform our community-engaged learning and other outreach activities.
- 34. We will work with faculty to develop community-engaged learning classes that engage students in responding to community needs and interests, and classes that provide opportunities for students to enhance their research skills while helping the school understand the needs and interests of community organizations and residents.
- 35. We will encourage and support faculty members who wish to help build and sustain positive relationships with the community and community organizations.
- 36. We will intensify our collaboration and coordination with the Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement, creating and supporting educational opportunities that address the unmet needs of its community partner organizations.
Goal L: Leadership and Governance
We will improve governance structures and processes that involve all stakeholders in the life of our School.
- 37. We will establish an Alumni Advisory Council, as described above, which will consist of alumni, nominated by the Vice President for College Advancement or the Director of Alumni Affairs, two faculty members appointed by the Dean, and two students appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President of the Student Government Association. In addition, the Vice President for Advancement will designate one or two representatives to sit on the council ex officio.
- 38. We will establish a Community Advisory Council that will consist of individuals representing potential employers – from the public, private, and non-profit sectors – of our School’s graduates. These individuals will be nominated by the Vice President for College Advancement or his/her designee or by the Director of the Career Center, as well as two faculty members, appointed by the Dean, and two students appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President of the Student Government Association. The Director of the Career Center will also serve on this Council ex officio
- 39. We will transform our existing Curriculum Committee into an elected committee reflecting more stakeholders of our community, consisting of 3 faculty from the humanities elected to staggered three-year terms, 3 faculty from the social sciences, elected to staggered three-year terms, 1 staff member serving a one-year term, and 2 students (preferably one each from the humanities and social sciences) appointed to one-year terms. The Assistant Dean of our School will serve on this committee ex officio. Students serving on this committee will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President of the Student Government Association; student committee members may be elected SGA senators or members of our School’s student body. The staff member serving on this committee will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the chair of the committee. The Curriculum Committee will be charged with the review and approval of proposals for new and revised courses and academic programs within our School.
- 40. We will establish a Diversity Advisory Council to monitor the success of efforts to enhance diversity among students and faculty in our School and make recommendations to the Dean in this area. The Diversity Advisory Council will consist of 3 faculty from the humanities elected to staggered three-year terms, 3 faculty from the social sciences elected to staggered three-year terms, 3 students serving one-year terms, and 1-3 staff members (at least one of whom must be an employee of our School) serving staggered three-year terms. In addition, a staff member from the Office of Human Resources, a staff member from the Office of Admissions, and a staff member from the Office of the Equal Opportunity Fund will all serve on this council ex officio. Students serving on this committee will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President of the Student Government Association; student committee members may be elected SGA senators or members of our School’s student body. Staff members serving on this committee will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the chair of the Diversity Advisory Council.
- 41. Our School’s department chairs and program directors, convening in monthly meetings with the Dean as the Council of Chairs, will be charged with reviewing progress on matters related to the implementation of this Strategic Plan and with the creation of ad-hoc committees and task forces as needed to support this process. Progress on the implementation of this Strategic Plan will be assessed annually; a thorough review of the Plan will be conducted in five years or upon request by the Dean.
- 42. We will also establish a Student Advisory Council, consisting of one student from each major in the School, one student from each of the other 6 schools in order to represent the TCNJ student body enrolled in liberal learning courses, all Student Senators representing our School, and other representatives in consultation with EOF and other units on campus. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary of the Student Advisory Council will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the President of the Student Government Association. The mission of the Student Advisory Council is to discuss matters of importance to students and make policy recommendations to the Dean; the Student Advisory Council is also charged with discussing questions brought forward by the Dean.
We strive to utilize our existing resources in an efficient, productive, and equitable manner, and to enhance revenue to the School and the College.
Goal M: Fundraising and Development
Consistent with the institutional priority to find new and enhance existing revenue streams for the College, our School will undertake new efforts in the area of fundraising and development.
- 43. In order to improve our School’s success in these areas, departments and programs are charged with creating short- and long-term priorities for fundraising and updating these goals annually. Department chairs will provide the Dean with annual updates to this list of priorities, ensuring that the Dean can work with Alumni Affairs and Development to connect supporters of our School with opportunities for giving that meet departmental or School-wide strategic needs.
- 44. We will expand the School’s external relationships to enhance students’ experiences, promote the School’s work and reputation, and increase external financial support of key programs and scholarly activities while advocating for the value of the humanities and the social sciences.
- 45. We will cultivate support to meet our School’s needs by developing an annual comprehensive calendar of programs and activities to engage alumni, faculty emeriti, parents, friends, and corporate and civic leaders.
Goal N: Technology
We will improve the technological literacy of our students, faculty, and staff.
- 46. Our School will continue to run an Information Technology Roundtable comprised of one representative (liaison) from each department and program, meeting with the Dean and our School’s IT Support Specialist, to review and prioritize technology purchase requests from departments and programs, and in accordance with conclusions drawn at these roundtable meetings to authorize our IT Support Specialist to use School IT funds to purchase and install hardware and software as per faculty requests.
- 47. In order to enhance our instructional efforts and to ensure that our students graduate with technological literacy, our School supports efforts to include technology-based projects in our curriculum.
- 48. In order to enhance the use of technology in the research and teaching of our faculty, our School will work with colleagues in Information Technology to identify technology-based solutions to research and teaching challenges. We value opportunities brought forward by faculty, students, and colleagues in Information Technology, to learn about new technologies (hardware and software) that might be useful for teaching, learning, research, and service.
Goal O: Office and Classroom Space
We strive to employ our classroom and office space is the most efficient, productive, and fair manner.
- 49. Accordingly, we will conduct audits of the use of office and classroom space once every five years, in order to determine that the allocation of office and classroom space (classrooms for priority scheduling) is consistent with demand in the context of changing patterns of staffing and enrollments. An ad hoc committee will be created once every five years for this purpose.
- 50. In addition, a committee of all School staff will be convened once a year to discuss concerns and issues related to the use of office and classroom space and to ensure that all staff are familiar with procedures for dealing with any maintenance emergency.
This Strategic Plan was created on the basis of work of faculty, staff, current students, and alumni of the College of New Jersey participating in face-to-face meetings, phone conferences, and collaborative writing through a Wiki space over the course of the Fall 2009 semester, under the leadership of Dr. Celia Chazelle, Professor and Chair of the Department of History, and with the extraordinary administrative support of Ms. Diane Minger. Successive drafts of the plan were vetted in live and web-based fora as well as through surveys; drafts were then revised by committee members reflecting on comments and suggestions offered by members from all sectors of our School community. We are grateful to the following individuals for their time, energy, and dedication to this project and are especially grateful to those individuals who chaired subcommittees for this process, as noted below:
Professor Robert Anderson (Sociology, Liberal Learning), chair of Subcommittee on Advising
Ms. Meg Ayers (Staff, History Department)
Mr. Greg Caiola (Alumnus)
Ms. Joanne Cantor (Staff, Philosophy & Religion)
Professor Celia Chazelle (History), Chair of Committee
Professor He-Len Chung (Psychology)
Professor Holly Didi-Ogren (World Languages & Cultures / Japanese), Chair of Subcommittee on Internationalization
Mr. Patrick Donohue (Bonner Center), Chair of Subcommittee on Community and Community Outreach
Ms. Amanda Esposito (Student)
Dr. Candice Feiring (Psychology, Academic Affairs)
Professor Alvin Figueroa (World Languages & Cultures / Spanish)
Dr. Christopher Fisher (History & African American Studies)
Dr. Debra Frank (Institutional Effectiveness)
Professor Ellen Friedman, (English)
Professor Janet Gray (Women’s and Gender Studies)
Ms. Lynette Harris (Career Center)
Ms. Eileen Heddy (Alumna)
Mr. Ray Hennessey (Alumnus), Chair of Subcommittee on Consistency
Professor David Holleran (Criminology)
Ms. Mary Lynn Hopps (WILL)
Professor Jean Kirnan (Psychology)
Mr. Chris Larthey (Information Technology)
Professor Rebecca Li (Sociology), chair of Subcommittee on Curriculum and Student Learning
Professor Miriam Lowi (Political Science / International Studies)
Mr. Peter Manetas (Development)
Mr. Nicholas Manetto (Alumnus), chair of Subcommittee on Alumni Relations
Ms. Nancy Mansfield (Development)
Ms. Lisa McCarthy (Alumni Affairs)
Ms. Rebecca McGrath (Development)
Mr. Marc Meola (Library)
Professor Jiayan Mi (English, World Languages & Cultures / Chinese)
Mr. Christopher Morris (Student), Chair of Subcommittee on Leadership and Governance
Ms. Ceceilia O’Callaghan (Career Center)
Professor Kim Pearson (Journalism)
Mr. Andrew Polansky (Alumnus)
Professor Brian Potter (Political Science / International Studies)
Professor John Ruscio (Psychology)
Dean Benjamin Rifkin
Professor Qin Shao (History), Chair of Subcommittee on Intellectual Climate
Professor John Sisko (Philosophy & Religion, Honors Program)
Dr. Jon Stauff (Center for Global Engagement)
Professor Felicia Steele (English), Chair of Subcommittee on Fundraising and Development
Professor Glenn Steinberg (English, First Seminar Program), Chair of Subcommittee on Faculty
Professor David Stillman (Staff, World Languages & Cultures / Spanish)
Ms. Sara Stryker (Student)
Professor James S. Taylor (Philosophy & Religion)
Professor Morton Winston (Philosophy & Religion)