The Planning Process

The process for developing the CIIS 2020 Strategic Plan was initiated in spring 2014 by the President and the Dean of Academic Planning and Administration. Both serve as co-chairs of strategic planning at CIIS; they organized the planning processes for CIIS' two previous strategic and implementation plans. The approach to the past plans (prior to 2015) was to develop a plan with a group of lead administrators and to have the faculty and staff provide input afterwards. For CIIS 2020, the approach was changed by having many more faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in the earliest stages of drafting the plan. The plan was the focus of the Faculty/Staff Gathering in August 2014, where collecting faculty and staff input was the main purpose of the event.  

Seven areas were designated - Academic, Administrative Services, Advancement, Diversity & Inclusion, Enrollment, Student Life, and Technology and Facilities. A team of faculty and staff members was selected for each area, and a faculty member and a staff member co-facilitated each team. The development of a draft was left up to the team's discretion with the understanding that each team would arrive at one goal, several supporting objectives, and identification of implementing strategies. The co-facilitators met with the co-chairs to discuss approaches, and the co-chairs were available for consultation to the co-facilitators throughout the process. The teams produced excellent goals and objectives which were then lightly edited by the co-chairs and distributed to the community and the Board of Trustees. At its May 2015 meeting, the Trustees suggested that an eighth area be added: Collaborations & Partnerships, which was drafted soon thereafter by the co-chairs in consultation with Board members.  A ninth area, Ecological Justice, was identified during summer 2015 for inclusion in the Plan, with content drafted by a coalition of students and faculty. At the annual Faculty/Staff Gathering in August 2015, faculty and staff reviewed the updated plan and suggested priorities. The plan was revised in light of the suggestions. In the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016, the strategic planning co-chairs will work with CIIS' four vice presidents to develop an implementation plan that details timelines, benchmarks, and resources.

Strategic Plan

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  In alignment with the Mission and Seven Commitments of CIIS, the following statement of institutional goals and objectives articulate the desired state of the University by the year 2020.  To remain not only sustainable, but to maintain viability characterized by financial and programmatic strength, CIIS must harness its existing fiscal and human resources to increase enrollment; to realize a larger portion of revenue from non-tuition sources; to modify and expand curricula; to broaden student support services; to enhance technology, facilities, and administrative services; and to build a diverse and inclusive learning community.  The University cannot do this alone; it increasingly needs to engage in mutually beneficial local and international collaborations and partnerships with other educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations. Most importantly, CIIS must remain vigilant to disruptions in the external environment and be receptive to possibilities of expansion and realignment that will strengthen the University's strategic position and advance its historical transformational accomplishments.


I. Academic

II. Administrative Services

III. Advancement

IV. Collaborations & Partnerships

V. Diversity & Inclusion

VI. Ecological Justice

VII. Enrollment

VIII. Student Life

IX. Technology & Facilities

I. Academic

Goal: Continue to enhance and sustain CIIS's ability to offer high quality, innovative, forward- thinking academic programs that advance the University's mission and commitments.  

Objective 1: Continue to offer high quality degree programs that are aligned with the University's mission and that explore potential new transdisciplinary program offerings.  

Objective 2: Grow the student body in a sustainable manner by adding new degree and certificate programs, maintaining existing programs already at capacity, and growing those with unused capacity and potential.

Objective 3: Build the University's online learning presence in both online and hybrid programs, and incorporate advantageous online capabilities to supplement face-to-face courses.  

Objective 4: Merge the ACTCM faculty into CIIS shared governance and community.

II. Administrative Services  

Goal: Provide an organizational and administrative infrastructure to enhance the user experience, raise public consciousness of the University, and nurture a diverse, inclusive, and creative community of students, faculty, and staff.  

Objective 1: Implement financial and business practices enabling CIIS to be recognized as a model of financial sustainability in higher education.  

Objective 2: Provide organizational support, create and maintain information and communication systems, and facilitate relations among administrative departments, faculty, students, and the world beyond CIIS.  

Objective 3: Assess and improve administrative structures and improve operating efficiencies, including those resulting from integrating the formerly separate structures and protocols of ACTCM and CIIS.  

Objective 4: Engage in cyclical reviews of all administrative units in order to ensure ongoing quality control of all operational areas of the University.

III. Advancement  

Goal: Increase non-tuition revenue to 30% of the operating budget through enhanced endeavors in Development, Public Programs & Performances, Alumni Relations, Travel Programs, and the Arts.  

Objective 1: Increase Development revenues to $3M-$5M annually.  

Objective 2: Cultivate a culture of alumni giving and continuing engagement via expanded programming and outreach.  

Objective 3: Grow the Public Programs & Performances audience to 30,000 annual patrons, increase annual gross revenue to $2M, and grow non-ticket revenue by 25%.  

Objective 4: Create exhibitions, symposia, performances, readings, conversations, and travel opportunities that are vibrant, dynamic, relevant, and fearless-thus building community and enriching the educational experience of the CIIS community.  

Objective 5: Increase the visibility of the University through enhanced capabilities for positioning and differentiating CIIS in the higher education landscape and telling a compelling "CIIS story" to new audiences.

IV. Collaborations and Partnerships  

Goal: Explore possibilities for new affiliations, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions.  

Objective 1: Create new partnerships with community organizations and companies where mutual benefits can be realized from joint programming and sponsorships.

Objective 2: Develop strong relationships with nonprofit agencies through improved and expanded clinical services.

Objective 3: Build international collaborations focused on shared teaching, research, conferencing, degree and certificate programs, and student and faculty exchanges.

Objective 4: Remain vigilant and receptive to opportunities for mergers and acquisitions that enable growth while aligning with CIIS mission and values.

V. Diversity & Inclusion  

Goal: Establish CIIS as a strategic leader in embodying and modeling a diverse, inclusive, socially just, and inter-culturally sensitive learning community.  

Objective 1: Increase recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff across differences of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age, physical ability, and medical condition, with specific attention to increasing access for historically underrepresented U.S. groups.  

Objective 2: Provide an educational experience that is diverse, inclusive, equitable, and inter-culturally sensitive and that prepares students to serve in a globally interconnected world of increasingly diverse cultures and worldviews.  

Objective 3: Create and sustain a welcoming, affirming, and inclusive environment for all members of the CIIS community and provide a workplace in which faculty and staff satisfaction, morale, diversity, and creativity are valued as significant contributors to the University's success.  

Objective 4: Enhance the institutional infrastructure supporting the President's Initiative on Diversity, Inclusivity and Intercultural Sensitivity and provide assessment tools that promote a fair and nondiscriminatory environment within CIIS.  

Objective 5: Develop a Diversity Handbook that outlines and collates policies, guidelines, best practices, and expectations pertaining to diversity, inclusivity, intercultural sensitivity, and equity at CIIS.

VI. Ecological Justice

GoalEnsure that all of the University's activities are in line with commitment #5 of the CIIS Mission Statement -- Advocate Sustainability & Social Justice -- which states that: CIIS is committed to exploring and promoting knowledge and practices that affirm human solidarity with the entire Earth community. Recognizing that business as usual threatens the integrity of life itself on a planetary scale and perpetuates structures of oppression on a large portion of the human population, CIIS strives to generate creative alternatives leading to a just and flourishing world.

Objective 1: Assure that all current and future plans for construction and renovation at the University are reviewed and/or designed with ecological justice as a top priority.

Objective 2: Encourage CIIS students and faculty to conduct research and take action to continue enabling the University to be a leader in the emergence of an ecological civilization.

Objective 3: Ensure that the University's financial investments are just and sustainable.

Objective 4: Investigate the feasibility of and then commit to being a "Net Zero" carbon emission school by 2025 (modeled on a similar pledge by the University of California system).

Objective 5: Assure that the CIIS Café purchases and sells sustainably grown local and organic food.

Objective 6: Form an Ecological Justice committee to help realize these multifaceted objectives in concert with department managers.

VII. Enrollment

Goal: Selectively enroll high quality students through University-wide community engagement, increased scholarship offerings, and effective and creative admissions operations for sustainable growth.  

Objective 1: Grow student headcount to 2000 through increasingly successful endeavors in recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation.  

Objective 2: Increase financial assistance through expanded scholarships, fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, and work-study opportunities.  

Objective 3: Expand recruiting, user experience, and outreach initiatives through software solutions and an enhanced marketing and enrollment management infrastructure.  

Objective 4: Increase collaborations with community partners to provide students with work and internship placements.

VIII. Student Life

Goal: Create and provide outstanding services and resources responsive to student input and attuned to students' diverse range of needs.  

Objective 1: Create and sustain a student-centered institutional culture.  

Objective 2: Provide and ensure funding for "life line" services for students.  

Objective 3: Support students' development of professional identities.  

Objective 4: Consistent with, and embodying, CIIS values of integral education and cultural inclusivity, provide café, bookstore, library, writing center, computer lab, herb dispensary, and other student support services in attractive, inviting spaces and accompanied by effective, innovative, and sufficiently-resourced programming.

IX. Technology and Facilities

Goal: Identify strategic areas for technology and facilities enhancement and implement systems that promote continual innovation, efficiencies, and ease-of-use for students, faculty, administrators, and staff at CIIS.

Objective 1: Improve and enhance community access to CIIS through increasingly diverse and complex technologies.  

Objective 2: Enrich educational technology through expanded training and seamless integration with curricular content and learning outcomes.  

Objective 3: Improve enterprise systems through tighter integration and use of evolving cloud solutions.  

Objective 4: Sustain, expand, and strategically deploy human resources dedicated to technological advancement.  

Objective 5: Ensure sufficient technology infrastructure to meet evolving needs for communication, administration, teaching, and research.  

Objective 6: Enhance the physical infrastructure through improvement of facilities and their aesthetics, supported by a funding model that dedicates funding for building improvements and seismic upgrading.

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