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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Reiser

Clarke unveils new Strategic Plan: Value. Opportunity. And a considerable degree of breadth.

Updated: May 5

The strategic plan for the next three years 2023-2026 is finally published. After months of work from 23 faculty, staff and administrators, four main goals are set for the next three-year-period.

Led by Chief Strategy Officer Mariann Kurtz Weber, Clarke University has drawn up a vision for the next three years. They introduced their results over the course of the Homecoming Weekend and it portrays Clarke University's Core Values.

The first outlined goal is to "Live our mission and values". This concept is aimed at "bringing [the core values] to life in new ways to support [the] students and employees of today and tomorrow." In order to reach those goals, the strategic committee sets out certain objectives, including the plan to reinvigorate Clarke's mission, educational legacy and heritage in its programs and services. Additionally, it is desired to establish durable organizational structures and leadership capacity, while enhancing a culture of inclusion, belonging, and wellness for all at Clarke.

The second segment Clarke values is to "Empower student success". Clarke considers itself to have a tradition of supporting students' minds, bodies, and spirits. Empowering student success implies increasing and enriching student engagement in academics, co-curricular activities and residential communities, while helping with holistic advising, academic support and career preparation. In this regard, the University already introduced a new form of academic advising, which is designed to support students more actively with their academic decisions.

Aside from that, Clarke sets out to adapt and modernize facilities and technology platforms to meet student needs. Students already mentioned the need for easier use or more guidance in terms of digital learning platforms.

The third goal the committee wants to achieve is to "Sustain institutional vitality". The main guideline is "progressing with the times to prepare students for the world they enter upon graduation". The objectives that lay out the foundation include increasing and sustaining student enrollment, following the biggest incoming class ever in 2023. Moreover, the University will recruit, retain and invest in employees and continue responsible and effective stewardship of resources.

The last change that was envisioned is to "Cultivate a lasting legacy". That means impacting the greater Dubuque community through engagement and leadership, while fostering the increased alumni engagement.

View the Clarke Strategic Plan:


This is a great idea and a good initial plan, but it is too broad. The objectives don't actually pin down what will be done, they rather specify the goals but not the way to achieve them. How will Clarke actually enrich student engagement? What actions will be executed?

Students want to have a vision for their future here, but not giving them a specific vision for their environment, won't let them imagine Clarke University's future. Students can't imagine what "adapting and modernizing technology platforms" means, but they could imagine an objective that offers an easier user-interface for CUHub until the fall semester of 2024 for example. They don't know how sustaining and increasing student enrollment will be achieved. What's the incentive for students to come here, what exactly will be done to get more students to decide to go to Clarke University?

This is a beginning and it helps establish a shared vision of culture and goals, but now the right actions have to follow and it would be interesting to know them beforehand.

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