As Bryant approaches a landmark 160 years of continuous innovation and evolution in 2023, the University community is engaged in collaborative discussions and planning for even greater national recognition. Over the past year, nearly 300 faculty, students, staff, alumni, families, and trustees have engaged in broad conversations to guide the vision for the University’s future.
The first phase of strategic planning began last fall with the creation of the Academic Affairs Task Force for Higher Education in the 21st Century and brainstorming sessions to generate ideas shared with the Bryant University Board of Trustees in January 2021. Early planning was focused on developing concepts with a growth mindset. How could Bryant further strengthen and nationally distinguish a Bryant education to prepare students with critical 21st century skills in high demand? How might the University achieve increased national recognition through an immersive education at the intersection of business, the liberal arts and STEM? Where would the University build on its global mindset to educate a new breed of leaders ready to make global contributions and address complex challenges facing industry and society?
Vision 2030 planning sparked multiple engagements with the community including dialogue with members of the Bryant Senior Advisory Council (BSAC) and workshops with faculty, students and staff convened to leverage design thinking methods to introduce new and innovative ideas. Concurrently, Bryant faculty on the Academic Affairs Task Force for Higher Education in the 21st Century continued their work with focus on academic priorities. Early themes were tested in focus groups including those with members of Bryant’s National Alumni Council, graduates from the Bryant Senior Advisory Council, and the Parents Leadership Council.
This fall, Bryant has embarked on the second phase for strategic planning- engaging five University-wide committees to develop, review, and refine recommendations around emerging themes:
- Experiential Learning: led by Associate Provost Wendy Samter, Ph.D., and Kevin Gaw, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Amica Center for Career Education
- Bryant Community 2.0 (Student Experience and Facilities): led by Inge-Lise Ameer, Ed.D., VP Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Thomas Mann, Director of Capital Projects
- DEI and Belonging Initiatives: led by Kevin Martins, Ed.D., Associate VP, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Mailee Kue, Ph.D, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator
- Lifelong Learning programming and Corporate Partnerships: led by Diya Das, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Business; Terri Hasseler, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; and David Wegrzyn ’86 M.Ed., P ’23, VP University Advancement
- Critical 21st Century skills in Business-STEM and Beyond: Campus discussions led by Deans Veronica McComb, Ph.D, College of Arts and Sciences, and Madan Annavarjula, Ph.D, College of Business; and Edi Tebaldi, Ph.D., Faculty Fellow and Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Strategy
What comes next? The work of these committees and the Academic Affairs Task Force for Higher Education in the 21st Century, which is now focused on graduate and undergraduate programs and reimaging the general education curriculum, will be shared in a joint session November 9 and with the Bryant community on December 8, then evaluated and presented to the Board of Trustees in January 2022. Next spring will be a time for pilot testing concepts, further refinement, and early implementation. The final Vision 2030 strategic plan is expected to be announced in late spring and implemented with the 2022-23 academic year.