Luther College announces new strategic framework guided by a ‘grounded and global’ vision
Luther College has launched a new strategic framework to guide the institution for the next two years. The framework addresses the college’s need to expand its reach, align its resources and strengthen its organization, as it maintains a vision of being both grounded and global.
“This approach is deliberately conceived as a ‘framework,’ rather than as a ‘plan,’” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “Instead of creating a multi-year plan, which would require a lengthy process and has a high potential of becoming out-of-date in this era of rapid change, the framework will enable Luther College to lay the groundwork for adapting its strategies and operations going forward, while also aligning us with the college’s historical mission and values, which call us to be a community where we are enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another.”
The framework’s vision states that the college is both grounded in its place and mission and also global in its reach and impact. Luther is the first U.S. college founded by Norwegian immigrants, and its “rooted and open” Lutheran intellectual heritage remains a vital underpinning of its identity. At the same time, the strategic framework’s vision emphasizes its openness to the world, with high enrollment of international students and participation of students in study abroad, as well as a curriculum with a global focus.
In order to expand the college’s reach, the framework specifies work to add new academic programs, engage its constituencies, and form new partnerships. This area of focus would expand upon recent work such as a new engineering science major and a partnership with the University of Iowa College of Public Health to create a 4 + 1 Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree in Public Health. The college also launched a new core curriculum this fall with an emphasis on skills-based and experiential learning.
Another important tenet of the new framework is engaging alumni and friends of Luther to support the college and mission.
“’Activation’ is an important word for us right now. Luther is blessed to have so many alumni, parents and donors who have a deep love for this place and this community,” said Mary Duvall, vice president for development at Luther. “So we’re seeking to activate our community—equipping our alumni to connect current students to internships and job opportunities, inspiring prospective students to choose Luther and ensuring the transformational Luther experience is available for students long into the future.”
Implementing the first phase of the college’s new campus master plan is another component of the strategic framework. An early example of the types of campus-wide changes envisioned by the campus master plan includes this summer’s renovation of two classrooms, one in Main Hall and one in Olin Building, in order to create more active learning spaces. Additional projects included in the strategic framework include renovating more classrooms, fundraising for a Regents Center renovation and completing feasibility studies for the renovation of Preus Library and Main Building.
The strategic framework web page includes more details about the college’s plans to expand its reach, align its resources, and strengthen its organization during the next two years. The new framework succeeds the previous strategic plan, “Inspired. Empowered. Engaged,” launched in 2018 with a five-year life span.
About Luther College
At Luther College in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, students explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Luther’s academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.