Approved June 2, 2017
HSS STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2017-2022
This is the new strategic plan for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), written with the input of students, staff, alumni, and faculty. It continues and expands the 2010-2015 strategic plan for the School and is conceived in coordination with TCNJ’s recently-adopted strategic plan, “TCNJ 2021: Bolder, Better, Brighter.”
HSS offers a rigorous education in the humanities and social sciences within a dynamic, collaborative, and inclusive community of learners. Living TCNJ’s values of excellence, engagement, integrity, inclusiveness, and self-reflection, we will serve as a national exemplar of public higher education in the liberal arts with a commitment to accessibility and affordability.
Grounded in the liberal arts, and focused on undergraduate programs and targeted graduate programs, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) provides a personalized, collaborative, and rigorous education in the humanities and social sciences that engages students at the highest level both within and beyond the classroom, as well as within and beyond a single discipline. We in HSS believe in the transformative power of a liberal arts education to develop analytical, critical, and creative thinkers, conscientious and active global citizens, and lifelong learners and leaders. In addition to providing a liberal arts grounding for all TCNJ students, our school empowers our diverse students, staff, and faculty to succeed in the careers that they undertake and to sustain and enhance their communities both locally and globally.
HSS’s 2010 strategic plan was organized into three broad areas: curriculum, community, and resources. For the current plan, we have organized HSS’s strategic initiatives to align with the priorities of the College-wide strategic plan, adopted in 2016. As an academic unit, HSS will offer more significant contributions in some areas of the TCNJ strategic plan than in others, but the order of the priorities and goals below follows the order in “TCNJ 2021: Bolder, Better, Brighter.” While HSS can and should strive to make meaningful contributions to all TCNJ’s five strategic priorities, its immediate purview is academic, and the allocation of its attention and resources will correspondingly be more on TCNJ’s academic priorities than on others.
TCNJ PRIORITY I: Attract and retain talented students, faculty, and staff into a diverse, inclusive, and healthy campus.
HSS GOAL A: HSS will continue to foster an engaged and vibrant intellectual community that is attractive to diverse and talented students, faculty, and staff.
- Through a consistent message on websites and social media, in print materials, and at in-person events, convey a common, sustaining vision of both the practical and the inherent value of the liberal arts for prospective and current students, faculty, and staff.
- Develop and promote strategies to attract and retain students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented groups in order to diversify student, staff and faculty populations in HSS.
- Create a School-wide strategy to advocate for faculty and staff lines as a community (rather than through competition among departments) in order to maintain the high quality and increase the diversity of HSS programs.
- Draw together the HSS community to harness its expertise to help address issues that affect the retention, diversity, and health of students, faculty, and staff on campus (e.g., through research, campus events, presentations, and College-wide dialogue).
- Provide support to HSS staff through initial and ongoing training in where to find resources and how to meet needs (e.g., regarding TCNJ’s operations and protocols, mental health issues, and accommodations).
- Support adjunct faculty and their connection to the HSS intellectual community by providing departments with training resources and professional development opportunities for adjunct faculty.
TCNJ PRIORITY II: Enhance Signature Experiences.
HSS GOAL B: The central role that HSS plays in TCNJ’s initiative to enhance Signature Experiences will be recognized, and participation in these programs will be one of the highly-desirable, defining experiences of TCNJ graduates.
- Always remember, when it comes to resource allocation, practical planning, and new initiatives, that the first Signature Experience (as well as the first focus of all that we do) is (and should be) personalized, collaborative, and rigorous education.
- Make HSS’s Signature Experiences highly visible to all TCNJ students early on – through Admissions, marketing, advising, and other Schools.
- Advocate for economic assistance to students in financial need to enable more diverse student participation in opportunities such as faculty-student research, internships, and study abroad.
- Materially support faculty and staff who are developing new Signature Experiences, as well as faculty and staff who have delivered Signature Experiences for years (and may need resources for further innovation or regeneration).
- Create a buzz for HSS Signature Experiences through public campus events and social media, and invest resources in creating exciting, innovative content.
TCNJ PRIORITY III: Promote the College’s distinctive identity to enhance institutional and program recognition at the national level.
HSS GOAL C: The value of the humanities and social sciences will be clearly recognized by HSS, other TCNJ Schools, the administration, and external constituents, and HSS will be viewed as a critical partner in the academic life and distinctive identity of TCNJ.
- Take the lead on campus in addressing major issues of our society from a critical, interdisciplinary perspective that highlights the important contribution of our disciplines to rigorous public discussion and intellectual inquiry.
- Increase awareness among our students and across campus of the value, quality, and distinctiveness of HSS programs (including the inherent value of the liberal arts and their value in preparing students for future careers) – e.g., through advising and through highlighting successful HSS alumni.
- Advocate for an emphasis on TCNJ’s liberal arts core in the College’s external messaging, and consult alumni and prospective employers to explore the strengths and weaknesses of HSS curricula and messaging.
- Market HSS second majors and minors among students in professional schools as a path to gaining skills and enhancing career opportunities and success.
- Package HSS courses as a way of fulfilling Liberal Learning requirements for students in the professional schools (e.g., through new interdisciplinary concentrations or undergraduate certificate programs) and strengthen current Liberal Learning interdisciplinary concentrations.
TCNJ PRIORITY IV: Build, operate, and maintain a safe, sustainable, and accessible physical and technological infrastructure that supports high-caliber learning.
HSS GOAL D: Because physical facilities reflect HSS’s importance, contributions, and caliber of students, and their neglect implies a devaluation of disciplines, faculty, and students, HSS will have modern, appealing, sustainable, and accessible facilities for gathering, learning, and working.
- Identify and prioritize issues and implement a facilities renewal plan for Bliss Hall and the Social Sciences Building to make the space and classrooms of HSS departments functional and appealing, as well as increase the buildings’ environmental sustainability and accessibility for persons with differing abilities.
- Consult alumni and external constituents to determine the technological needs of our graduates in their careers, and incorporate those technologies into HSS classrooms and programs.
- Institute a process of regular review of HSS space needs and issues (including changing classroom needs and priority rooming, computer lab use and needs, available adjunct faculty office space, and cleaning protocols and issues).
TCNJ PRIORITY V: Achieve a sustainable financial model that allows the College to realize its vision while maintaining quality and affordability for the students it serves.
HSS GOAL E: HSS will increase and publicize its contributions to the financial sustainability of the College.
- While carefully protecting the undergraduate mission of HSS, incentivize and support faculty-led initiatives to create continuing education programs, professional development institutes, new majors and minors, joint degrees (e.g., a JD/BA with Rutgers), and M.A. programs that meet the needs of new populations of students and tap new sources of revenue for the College and HSS (alone or in collaboration with other TCNJ Schools).
- Liaise with the Grants Office and institute a program to provide faculty with released time and access to consultants/grant writers to help seek out and apply for grants in the humanities and social sciences.
- Conduct a study to document the contributions of current HSS programs toward the College’s revenues (e.g., through tuition dollars, through service to other programs), and develop new metrics that make visible HSS’s contribution to the College’s productivity (e.g., student credit hours generated in place of number of majors as a measure of departmental productiveness).
- Dedicate and secure marketing resources to network with alumni and encourage alumni financial support.
- Improve the viability of summer and winter course offerings in HSS (e.g., through research into courses likely to have adequate student demand to be offered successfully).
HSS Strategic Planning Committee:
Glenn Steinberg (Co-Chair), Professor and Chair, Department of English
Winnifred Brown-Glaude (Co-Chair), Associate Professor and Chair, Department of African American Studies
John Landreau, Professor, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Pierre LeMorvan, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classical Studies
Rebecca Li, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Chris Smith, Department of Criminology
Daniel Almberg, Senior, History and Self Design Double Major
Nicole Athan, Senior, Sociology Major
Jody Friedman, Senior, Cognitive Science and Philosophy Double Major
Kelly Dalton, Junior, Pre-Law Major
Heba Jahama, TCNJ Records and Registration
Noelle Petruzelli-Marino, Prudential Financial