ERIN GANNON ’19
On Sept. 8, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney officially kick-started the Bicentennial Strategic Planning Commission (BSPC) during Common Hour in the newly renovated Cave. The BSPC formed at the end of the 2016 spring semester, with aims to “guide plans in several areas of the College as we approach and enter into our third century” in 2023.
The BSPC is divided into two parts- a Steering Committee (SC) and five subcommittees aimed at improving various areas of the College. The five focus groups cover Partnering with Hartford, A Global College, Learning and Skill Development Inside and Outside of the Classroom, Resources, and Facilities and Environmental Sustainability.
The SC will lead and guide the subcommittees in their efforts, ultimately consolidating into one document the individual reports that the subcommittees are working to produce. Each document will summarize the plans for their respective areas of focus. President Berger-Sweeney chairs the SC which includes the Secretary of Faculty, the co-chairs of each of the subcommittees, the president of the Student Government Association, and the chairs of the exempt and non-exempt staff councils.
The Partnering with Hartford subcommittee seeks to strengthen the relationship between Trinity and the local community. Co-chaired by Professor of Applied Science, Susan Masino and the President’s Chief of Staff, Jason Rojas, the subcommittee poses critical questions that touch upon partnerships in Hartford, the immediate surrounding community, and Trinity’s urban connection.
The subcommittee focusing on A Global College is co-chaired by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Tim Cresswell, and Professor of Language and Culture Studies Anne Lambright. The subcommittee focuses on enhancing Trinity’s global engagement by identifying global demographic trends in order to align the College with the rapidly changing world.
Associate Professor of English Chris Hager, and Dean of Academic Affairs Melanie Stein co-chair the Learning and Skill Development Inside and Outside of the Classroom subcommittee. The group focuses on the best strategies for student development in both academic and co-curricular contexts & how to best prepare students for today’s global environment.
The Resources subcommittee is co-chaired by Vice President of Finance and Chief Operating Officer Dan Hitchell, and Professor of Political Science Kevin McMahon. Their aim is to balance the College’s modern financial needs while preserving the endowment and intergenerational equity.
The last subcommittee, Facilities and Environmental Sustainability, is co-chaired by Professor of Fine Arts Kathy Curran, and General Counsel and Secretary of the College Deke Mathieu. The subcommittee poses critical questions which focus on preserving Trinity’s historic campus whilst maintaining environmental sustainability and financial feasibility.
At the event, President Berger-Sweeney invited attendees to contribute their ideas by placing sticky notes on posters that were hanging around the Cave with suggestions and recommendations in response to each of the subcommittees critical focus questions.
Members of the SC handed out drafts of a new mission statement, and asked members of the Trinity community for feedback. Ultimately, three possible drafts will be produced and voted upon by the Board of Trustees.
The BSPC provides members of the ever-expanding Trinity community with a unique opportunity to shape the growth of the College as it enters its 3rd century, while looking back on its nearly-200-year history.
“Times change, things evolve,” Berger-Sweeney commented after the event. “Now is the time for members of the community to contribute their ideas and help shape the future of Trinity College.”
ERIN GANNON ’19