Strategic Plan 2013–2017

Marymount Manhattan College promotes the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and social development of each student through a curriculum that emphasizes the connections among the arts and sciences.  The Strategic Plan 2013-2017 is our blueprint for achieving success in this endeavor through accurately defining the College, offering a more coherent and integrated selection of academic programs, and operating more efficiently. This plan will ensure the College’s continued excellence, strengthening it and positioning Marymount Manhattan College as a sustainable, thriving institution in a quickly changing environment. 

The liberal arts are the educational cornerstone at Marymount Manhattan College.  As a student-centered college, MMC graduates thoughtful, articulate, and curious individuals with degrees in the performing arts, visual and media arts, and liberal arts, as well as select pre-professional programs rooted in the liberal arts.  We conceive of these branches as reinforcing one another and, at the foundation is a rigorous interdisciplinary education in the liberal arts that is contemporary and innovative. 

Our small size and our New York City location are valuable and essential elements of our identity.  These assets allow us to deliver personalized instruction that engages students in opportunities uniquely available in this global capital, including an incomparable array of research, experiential learning, internship, and career possibilities.

This Plan recognizes the variety of the College’s stakeholders: current students; alumni/ae, both more and less recent; faculty; staff; donors; and trustees.  While the interests of these stakeholders may differ, we all will agree that the College needs to ensure its continuing vitality and excellence. 

To continue to flourish, Marymount Manhattan must more sharply define itself and acknowledge, and indeed celebrate, its existence as a unique educational institution especially noteworthy for its interrelated programs in the performing, visual and media, and liberal arts. 

We developed this plan during at a time of enormous change in higher education and with the expectation of further change.  We embrace the challenges that change brings and stand ready to ensure the College’s viability and continuous improvement.  This Plan establishes how we will do so in the period 2013 to 2017.


 Over the period of the past two strategic plans, and through 2010, Marymount Manhattan became more fiscally stable, generating annual surpluses that, along with a $25 million comprehensive campaign that yielded $37 million, allowed the College to make great strides.  Advances included capital improvements, such as the purchasing and remodeling of a neighboring townhouse as a faculty center and improving space for college life in a newly-built terrace and Commons; a 30% increase in the number of full-time faculty; and a reduction in teaching load.  The College also achieved and maintained a favorable Moody’s rating.  Additionally, during this period, full-time enrollment reached 1,781 and first-year retention increased by 11 percentage points.  The College’s alumni/ae increasingly were reporting many notable career achievements.  The College had made enormous progress and was poised for further success. 

However, the outlook for higher education has changed dramatically since 2010.  The value of a college education and, in particular, one that is liberal arts-based, has been repeatedly challenged.  Across the country, private liberal arts colleges are struggling to achieve sustainability, with families increasingly worried about borrowing or spending the amount needed to pay tuition.  Colleges without renowned programs or other financial supports are struggling simply to survive.  Traditional colleges are also facing the impact of student interest in on-line instruction and questioning the possible impact of “massive open online courses” (MOOCs).  Additionally, the number of high school graduates in most of the country and especially in the northeast is declining.  

Finally, the federal government is regulating higher education to a greater extent than ever.  It is presenting data on graduation rates and tuition for public review and it is considering ways of measuring post-graduation outcomes.  The federal government appears to be heading toward requiring that colleges guarantee that academic programs can be completed within four years and 120 credits.  The College recognizes that federal involvement in higher education is likely to grow and we should anticipate increasing levels of regulation.  The College should make sure that its measurable outcomes – retention and graduation rates and post-graduation employment or graduate study – and its tuition are at rates that will compare favorably to those of competing schools. 

At Marymount Manhattan, the past three years have seen a significant decline in student enrollment (down 10.7% from 1,781 full-time students in 2010 to 1,591 in 2013).  More recently, the College’s first-to-second year retention declined, after a period of steady increases, from 68.3 to 65.8%.  Of particular concern is a decline in retention this year in the Dance and Theatre Arts programs, which have the highest retention rates among the College’s degree programs.  In addition, this year the Dance and Theatre Arts programs exhausted their waiting lists for the first time in order to achieve expanded targets for new student enrollment.  

As a result of these conditions, the College recognizes that the present strategic plan must differ from the last two plans, which focused on innovations in a period of increasing resources.  For example, the last strategic plan, which covered the period 2008 to 2013, resulted in the creation of the learning communities and the honors program, the revitalization of general education, and a reduction in faculty teaching hours to allow full-time faculty to work more closely with students, to develop their pedagogy, and to devote more time on their scholarship. 

In 2012, our Middle States evaluators noted the need for a different kind of strategic plan, one that they recognized might be more difficult to create and would have to address issues central to the College’s sustainability.  They noted that:

Marymount Manhattan was able to manage effectively through the early years of the economic downturn and was able to make significant progress toward achievement of an ambitious strategic plan. The future may require that the College make even harder choices among competing priorities than it has had to in the past. A future strategic plan may need to be more focused and less comprehensive…The team also encourages the College to consider developing a more focused, less comprehensive plan that addresses, among other things, the sustainability of the College’s business model.

The current strategic plan is designed to strengthen the College by making it more sustainable in a period that presents new and serious challenges.  These challenges have propelled us to rethink Marymount Manhattan, using its strengths and competitive advantages to ensure its health over the next half-decade. 

This document presents a plan in which three major aspects of Marymount Manhattan – academic programs, administrative programs, and technology – have been and will continue to be re-examined.  The plan lays the groundwork for a high-quality education across a narrower set of fields, while emphasizing more efficient administration, better promotion and advertising, and improved technology that more effectively serves and strengthens instruction.  Adjusting to this new environment will be challenging and will involve sacrifice for some, but these changes are necessary for the institution to sustain itself for the future.

Our Potential

 To achieve the goals of this Plan, the College will build on its strengths, including a vibrant and committed faculty who offer students an individualized education; competitive and internationally recognized programs in Dance and Theatre Arts that attract students because of their quality programs and the liberal arts-based education provided at MMC; and our central Manhattan location, which makes the College particularly attractive to students in general, but especially in fields such as the performing arts, visual and media arts, media, business, and international studies, and provides unparalleled internship possibilities.    

Marymount Manhattan remains committed to the liberal arts as an essential foundation of an undergraduate education.  Our liberal arts sensibility relies on our traditions, encourages exploration, and emphasizes connected learning.  The programs we offer provide students with pathways for discovery about themselves and the world around them.  The integrative nature of our approach is evident in the recently redesigned General Education curriculum and in our support of students’ pursuit of double-majors and minors.  The College encourages faculty and students to cross disciplines in building their course of teaching and study.  Opportunities that allow unexpected yet transformational connections across disciplines distinguish Marymount Manhattan from other institutions.  Our integrated and experiential approach to a liberal arts education leads us to new frontiers of knowledge. 

The Changes

 This plan indicates how, over the next five years, the College will firmly articulate its identity, strengthen its academic offerings, make its administration more efficient, utilize its technology resources more effectively, and promote itself more vigorously. It will guide the allocation and re-allocation of resources that occurs in the annual budgeting process over these years. 

Articulating our Identity

 The Plan was guided by discussions within the Strategic Planning Committee and among the faculty and the larger community, and reinforced by the report of our consultants, AKA / Strategies.  It proposes that the College recognize that it is an institution with a tri-partite identity, i.e., as a college of the performing, visual and media, and liberal arts. Marymount Manhattan’s strength draws from the interrelationships between and among these areas. 

Many faculty members cross the boundaries of these three branches, as do our students: e.g., the double major in Communication Arts and Business who interns at the White House; the Psychology major who is now a highly successful fashion designer; the International Studies alumna who has performed with her band on Saturday Night Live; the Dance alumna who is now a corporate lawyer and another who is in medical school.  Most importantly, we recognize that one of the main attractions of our performing arts program is that, unlike conservatory programs, the intellectual development of our Dance and Theatre Arts students is just as important as the mastery of technique and is earned through their studies in general education and in the majors themselves, as well as through optional second majors or minors.  We also seek to make courses and activities in the performing arts more available to students who are majoring in liberal arts disciplines. 

The members of the Middle States Evaluation Team that visited the College in 2012 were surprised at the level to which students, staff, faculty, and trustees knew, understood, and appreciated the College’s educational mission.  The mission remains the key to Marymount Manhattan College’s purpose.  In this Strategic Plan, we embrace the following vision of the College that reflects our current enactment of the mission and further clarifies our identity: 

Marymount Manhattan College offers students the advantages of a small college in one of the world’s greatest cities.   At the foundation of our academic programs is a rigorous interdisciplinary education in the liberal arts that is contemporary and innovative.  From this foundation, interrelated programs in the performing arts, visual and media arts, and focused advanced study in the liberal arts nurture students’ intellectual and creative growth and provide pre-professional preparation.  Exceptional faculty teach in small classes and are committed to students’ academic success.  Our location provides unparalleled internship opportunities and cultural resources.  At Marymount Manhattan, we are dedicated to preparing students, one by one, for rewarding lives and careers, and to be productive members of society.

Restructuring our Academic Offerings

 The College is committed to delivering high quality education to its students.  Given the changing circumstances outlined above, we recognize the need to restructure our offerings to become a more focused, niche college that does fewer things but does them well.

The College offers two popular, competitive majors, Dance and Theatre Arts.  In some years, student demand for these programs cannot be met.  It also offers a Communication Arts major that has grown prodigiously, not because of a strategic intent but simply as a reflection of student interest.  However, the last two years have seen a decline in enrollment of new students in Communication Arts.  Two other majors, Art and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, have grown significantly over the past years while their resources have been stagnant or have grown only modestly.  Reworking the College will require us to put more resources toward these large or growing majors that currently have insufficient resources to achieve the quality we need to remain competitive as a whole.

At the same time, the College offers several majors that serve small numbers of students and place disproportionate demands on resources.  One major, Accounting, serves few students and offers only one course that meets general education requirements.  The programs in the social sciences, with the exception of International Studies, serve a relatively small number of students in their majors and, while they offer courses in the general education curriculum, they exist within small departments that can be resized through creative combinations in order to serve more robust numbers of students.  

Over the past decade, the number of academic minors was deliberately increased as part of a strategy to provide students with opportunities for an in-depth education in selected areas to augment their majors.  Given the changes in the environment noted above, we now need to direct our energies and resources to building and sustaining strong majors.  The College cannot spread itself across so many minors such that they threaten the strength of the major programs by diverting resources away from students’ central area of study (i.e., the major).  These resources include sections, faculty time and attention, space, and advertising.  We need to be more focused and re-allocate resources in support of major programs.  In addition, having too many minor programs makes it difficult for those unfamiliar with the College to understand the institution’s identity as reflected in its roster of programs.  Consequently, the College plans to phase out several academic minors and assess the newer minors to determine their viability.  Viability of these newer programs will be based on whether they have attracted and have graduated a sufficient number of students. 

Academic programs are prioritized in the following paragraphs.  These categories are intended to guide the allocation of resources on an annual basis for the next five years.

We will invest in our programs in Art, Communication Arts, Dance, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Theatre Arts (including the Musical Theatre minor) to help them to meet student needs more effectively.  The College will create a master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology, a program that will build on our already strong undergraduate program that boasts an in-house, working clinic and for which demand has been well documented.  We will enhance the visibility of the Hewitt Gallery of Art as a locus of pedagogy and as a laboratory for academic programs.

The next priorities are the majors in Business and the minors in Arts Management, Creative Writing, Journalism, and Music. 

We will maintain the programs in Art History, Biology, English, International Studies, and Psychology, as well as the minor programs in Economics, History, Neuroscience, Forensic Psychology, Political Science, and Social Work.  It will be important going forward to ensure the vitality and strength of these programs.

We will assess the viability of recently developed programs as they reach the seven-year mark for majors and five-year mark for minors.  These programs are the major in Philosophy and Religious Studies and the minors in Accounting, Art Therapy, Asian Studies, Chemistry, Drama Therapy, Environmental Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Justice Studies, and Language Sciences.  Assessments will be performed under the joint auspices of the Academic Policy and Curriculum committees and will include an evaluation of each program’s ability to attract, retain, and graduate students. 

We will restructure the majors in History, Political Science, and Sociology, and the minor in Religious Studies.  Programs that have not been successfully restructured by June 2015 will be phased out.  Stakeholders in these programs are urged to consider this to be an opportunity for reflection and innovative transformation.  Shifts in priorities will entail reallocation of resources, but they will also provide opportunities to develop these programs in a creative way that is consistent with the College’s identity.  Faculty proposing new programs should ask themselves why students would come to MMC to study in this program, and why they would stay.

We will phase out the major in Accounting and the minors in French, Hispanic Studies, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Mathematics, Media Studies, Political Economy, and Promotional and Professional Communication.

Classes that routinely run with small numbers of students impede our ability to support academic programs.  In 2012-2013, 110 sections (fully 10% of all offerings) ran with an enrollment of ten students or fewer.  Running half as many sections would fund 2.5 new full-time faculty lines.  This plan calls for departments and divisions to determine how to increase average class size.  Chairs will determine the best way for their departments to achieve a higher average while still allowing small class sizes when needed.  A gradual increase in departmental average class size will still keep our class sizes lower than those of most colleges but will free up resources to allow us to strengthen our degree programs. 

We recognize that other activities are needed to ensure the continuing quality of our academic offerings.  These pertain to increasing first-year students’ contact with full-time faculty, increasing the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty through reallocation of resources or faculty lines, achieving greater integration of part-time faculty, evaluating non-degree academic programs, and reviewing the academic divisional structure.

We will encourage full-time faculty to teach first-year courses to a greater extent, recognizing the importance to freshmen retention of contact with full-time faculty.  A greater proportion of freshman writing sections will be taught by full-time faculty through reallocating full-time lines to the Writing program, creating new positions when possible, and encouraging (but not mandating) more full-time faculty across the College to teach these courses.

The last strategic plan set a goal of having 70% of courses taught by full-time faculty.  To reach that goal, the College added many new full-time faculty lines.  However, the plan had another goal: to decrease the faculty annual teaching load from eight courses per year to seven, thus allowing faculty to dedicate more time to scholarship, student advisement, and preparation for teaching.  As a result, the current full-time teaching rate – about 55% – remains the same as when the previous strategic plan was written.  The College recommits itself to increasing the full-time teaching rate, albeit more gradually, to at least 60% of courses by 2017-2018.  This is meant to be a rate that we achieve for individual programs and departments, rather than college-wide, recognizing that the full-time teaching rate already varies dramatically by program and department.  Resources will be reallocated and created for programs identified as priorities by this strategic plan.  When conducting searches for new faculty, we will continue to endeavor to ensure diversity among the faculty with particular attention to race and ethnicity.

Recognizing the pivotal role part-time faculty play in instruction at Marymount, we will increase opportunities for full and part-time faculty to interact so that part-time faculty can learn more about curriculum and pedagogy in their departments.  New resources will be directed toward supporting this collaboration to promote the quality of instruction.

The College’s three academic programs that do not lead to a degree, i.e., the Honors Program, the Learning Communities Program, and the Liberal Studies Program, will be evaluated to ensure that they are strengthening the College and contributing to retention.

The Academic Policy Committee will examine the divisional and department structure to identify whether a new structure would be more conducive to effective delivery of our academic programs. 

Making Administrative Programs More Efficient

 To support more effectively the College’s academic programs in the coming years, its administration needs to be leaner, more efficient, and more agile.  This Plan follows a contraction of the administration in summer 2013 due to an enrollment shortfall in which 12 staff lines were cut, several more positions were left unfilled, and “other than personal services” funding was diminished.  While those changes addressed an immediate problem, the recommendations of this plan position the College for longer-term strength.

Benchmark comparisons of functional areas, with the assistance of the Office of Institutional Research, based on data from professional organizations and/or institutions of similar size, will be used to determine areas in which the College is in excess of or below norms.  The data will be used to establish greater efficiencies.

The critical issue of College space will be addressed by a taskforce guided by the priorities articulated in this strategic plan with particular attention to be paid to studio, theatre, computer laboratory, library, and classroom space.  While this taskforce should conduct a thorough assessment of all College spaces in the Main Building, Nugent, the Townhouse, and residence halls, special consideration should be given to spaces that are thought to be comparatively less frequented, including but not limited to the Multi-Faith Center, the faculty lounge, and the fourth floor private dining room.  Opportunities to generate revenue, while not compromising our educational mission, should be considered. 

The Office of Career Services will be strengthened and will work more closely with academic departments to increase students’ opportunities to obtain valuable internships and to help them secure good jobs and enter graduate school, thus increasing graduation rates and post-graduation success.

We will renew our commitment to energetically embracing opportunities within New York City for increasing internship experiences and experiential learning.  Faculty will re-examine the role of internships and experiential learning within academic programs and consider embedding internships as options within their degree requirements.

Library resources will be reconsidered by a taskforce that includes faculty, staff, and students.  The taskforce will reconsider the book collection and recommend the disposition of rarely used books; it will also make recommendations about the collection of print journals.  This undertaking will free up space to better meet current and future needs, which might include additional classrooms, media labs, studio and performance space and small study spaces.  The taskforce will also examine the use of electronic resources, printing policies, and the changing roles of college librarians in the twenty-first century.

The Academic Policy Committee should assess whether the support provided to the academic divisions is sufficient.

 The College will update its deferred maintenance plan with an eye toward supporting the initiatives and recommendations within the Strategic Plan. 

Utilizing Technology More Effectively

 To deliver education and support services more effectively, the College needs to make better use of technology.  

The College will solicit an external review of the Office of Information Technology, with an eye toward improving its service orientation with regard to the rest of the College.  In particular, external evaluators will review staffing assignments to determine if personnel are effectively utilized and to remediate gaps in support for Colleague, instructional technology, and the liaison function to non-academic departments.

The College will review and invest in academic and instructional technology.  It will provide faculty and students with consultation and access to technology tools, training, and ongoing support from an instructional technologist, and will review in- and out-of- class technology to determine the hardware, software, and training that will enhance student learning.  The College will promote technology-enhanced, hybrid, and online learning, with particular focus on summer and January terms to use resources more effectively and to be more competitive.

The College will explore ways to increase the value of Colleague, its enterprise system. Specifically, we will acquire new modules, schedule trainings for deeper understanding of the current system, and determine if there are currently unknown features that would benefit various departments and offices. 

The College will pursue technology upgrades that create College-wide gains in efficiency and productivity (including an upgrade of the telephone system/VOIP access) and in space (including imaging & digital/cloud storage to reduce files and increase office space, and digitization of library collections to create library space for other purposes).

To better support administrative offices, the top technology initiatives will be the acquisition of on-line technology for transfer students, expansion of digital library resources, and introduction of Career Insider/Vault and a NACELink Kiosk with card swipe capability for Career Services and other offices.  Of lower priority but still important are the acquisition of integrated smart cards that could serve needs in Student Financial and Registration Services, Security, and other offices; and programming for students to be able to update their MMC profile information via the web. 

Promoting the Institution More Vigorously

 The College will rebrand and market itself more aggressively and in line with the new emphasis on its identity as a niche college focused on the performing, visual and media, and liberal arts. The College should solicit assistance from outside experts in branding and marketing to build a cohesive public image and seek out publicity opportunities.

The College will then grow and make more effective its marketing efforts.  Marketing, admissions, advisement, and faculty will work together with the recognition that these joint efforts are necessary to attract, retain, and graduate a sufficient number of students. The College will promote its existing and new programs with particular attention to developing interest in the College overall and its various degree programs.  A more integrated approach will link the College’s publications, the website, and marketing tools to convey a single theme: at Marymount Manhattan College, you can be intellectual and creative, take advantage of performance opportunities, and successfully prepare for both your life and your career.  In addition, the Admissions Office, Institutional Advancement, and other offices will work together to share information and market a consistent message both internally and externally.

The construction of an East 72nd Street Station for the Second Avenue “T” Train Subway line may provide new opportunities for the College as East 72nd Street becomes a more popular thoroughfare.  The College will consider how it might re-conceptualize, expand, and revitalize its East 72nd Street entrance to increase public awareness of the College and its programs and to create new revenue streams.

In addition to these external promotional efforts, the College will also promote greater internal communication.  Such efforts will enhance communication among and between groups and thereby increase the sense of community among the College’s various constituents.


 The following section indicates specific goals, activities, and timelines for implementing the Plan.  As with previous strategic plans, a Strategic Plan Committee will be established to monitor progress.  It will include faculty, students, and staff and it will receive progress reports on each of the goals set forth in this action plan.


 Goal #1:  Increase full-time student enrollment to 1,770 students, continuing in our mission “to educate a socially and economically diverse population.”

Activity:  Add non-audition track in Theatre Arts in collaboration with the creative media area in Communication Arts; add a Dance minor; add a Fashion concentration in Business that includes offerings in Business and Communication Arts; apply the recommendations of Noel-Levitz regarding recruitment, financial aid, and retention; .

Timetable and Criteria for Success:  fall 2014: 1,620 students; fall 2015: 1,670 students; fall 2016: 1,720 students; fall 2017: 1,770 students.

Goal #2:  Increase first-year retention to 73%.

Activity:  The College should continue to improve the first-year experience through greater contact of first-year students with full-time faculty and stronger links between first-year teaching and advisement.

Timetable:  Introduce stronger links between teaching and advisement in fall 2014.

Criteria for success: Increase first-year retention to 67% by fall 2014; 69% by fall 2015; 71% by fall 2016; 73% by fall 2017.

Goal #3:  Invest in the programs in Art, Communication Arts, Dance, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Theatre Arts (including the Musical Theatre minor) to help them meet students’ needs.

Activity #1:  Transfer full-time faculty lines as they become available into these programs and create new lines when possible; in faculty searches, seek to diversify the faculty particularly with regard to race and ethnicity.

Timetable:  Add two lines per year to these programs depending on need beginning fall 2014 and ending fall 2017.

Criterion for success: Transfer or addition of eight full-time lines spread across these programs.

Activity #2:  Allocate sufficient space to meet current needs and accommodate growth of these programs.  The process should consider all options for utilizing space optimally; no space should be considered untouchable.

Timetable:  By June 2014, develop a space plan to support academic programs in their current size and, where appropriate, to prepare for anticipated growth of these programs.  Begin implementation in summer 2014 and continue as needed in the ongoing years of the plan.

Criterion for success:  Creation of new spaces, as needed, for these programs by September 2017.

Activity #3:  Create a master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology.

Timetable:  By June 2014, develop the program curriculum and a proposal.  By December 2015, gain all necessary approvals, including the College Curriculum Committee, ASHA, the accreditation agency, and the New York State Education Department.  Begin recruitment in spring 2016 for a fall 2016 entering class.

Criteria for success:  A first class of 15 full-time students entering fall 2016, and an additional 15 entering fall 2017.  

Goal #4:  Assess programs developed in recent years to determine their viability.

Activity and Timeline: Each program will be assessed by the Academic Policy Committee and the Curriculum Committee over three years beginning in spring 2014, or over the time remaining until the program has existed for seven years (in the case of a major) or five years (in the case of a minor).    

Criterion for success: Completion of program reviews within the timeline indicated above.

Goal #5:  Invest in the majors in Business and the minors in Arts Management, Creative Writing, Journalism, and Music. 

Activity: Transfer full-time faculty lines and other resources (e.g., sections, OTPS) as they become available into these programs.

Timetable:  Add one line per year and other resources to these programs beginning fall 2015 until fall 2017.

Criterion for success:  Transfer or addition of three full-time lines into these programs.

Goal #6:  Restructure the majors in History, Political Science, and Sociology and the minor in Religious Studies.

Activity #1:  Change the Religious Studies minor curriculum.

Timetable:  Complete by May 2014.

Criterion for Success:  Changed curriculum to appear in the 2014-2015 catalog.

Activity #2:  Restructure the majors in History, Political Science, and Sociology.

Timetable:  Complete by March 2015.

Criterion for success:  Changed programs go through all levels of approval and appear in the 2015-2016 catalog or the programs begin phase-out with no students admitted to them for fall 2015.

Goal #7:  Increase average class size by cutting in half the number of classes of ten students or fewer.

Activity and Timetable:  In spring 2014, the Academic Policy Committee, working with department chairs, will establish a plan to increase average class size.

Criterion for success:  In departments with average class sizes below the College mean, an increase in average class size by two students by fall 2015 and by an additional two by fall 2017.

Goal #8:  Achieve a minimum full-time teaching rate of 60% for each department.

Activity and Timetable:  The activities of goals #2 and #4 will lead to this goal being met.

Criterion for success:  Each department’s full-time teaching rate will be at least 60% by fall 2017.



Goal #9: Use benchmark data to compare Administrative offices to achieve greater efficiencies.

 Activity: Marymount Manhattan will obtain benchmark data and compare the College with comparable institutions.

Timeline:  Spring 2014-Spring 2015 – Obtain benchmarks for all administrative offices: Office of the President; the Division of Academic Affairs; the Thomas J Shanahan Library, Media Center, and Archives; the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program; the Bedford Hills College Program; the Center for Academic Advancement; the Theresa Lang Theatre; the Office of Academic Advisement; the Office of Admissions; the Division of Student Affairs; the Academic Access Program; the Office of Disability Services; Campus Ministry; the Office of Career Services; the Counseling and Wellness Center; the Office of Community Service; the Office of Student Development and Activities; the Dow Zanghi Student Health Center; the Office of Residence Life; the Division of Finance and Administration; the Office of Finance; the Center for Student Services; the Facilities Office; the Office of Information Technology; the Office of Campus Safety; the Office of Administrative Services; the Office of Human Resources; the Office of Institutional Advancement; and the Office of Institutional Research.

Criterion for Success: Administrative offices are in line with benchmarks from similar institutions, unless there are compelling reasons that they should not be. 

Goal #10: Reconsider College space within the context of the priorities of this Strategic Plan.

Activity: A taskforce will meet and reconsider space use and needs of College.

Timetable: In January 2014, form taskforce and begin regular meetings.  Make some recommendations by summer 2014 and continue with remaining recommendations by January 2015.

Criteria for Success: Recommendations are acted upon in 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017.

Goal #11:  Strengthen the Office of Career Services so that it can work more closely with academic departments to promote students’ opportunities to obtain valuable internships and help them secure good jobs and enter graduate school.  The Office will also engage in greater tracking and data collection on student post-graduation outcomes.

Activity: Examine the resources of the Office and draw up a goal-oriented plan to strengthen it; re-direct support (e.g., OTPS, staff, space) to the Office.

Timetable: Examine and plan in 2014; obtain and implement support in 2015.

Criteria for success: Increased number of post-graduation jobs and/or graduate school attendance; increased number of internships. 

Goal #12: Examine divisional and departmental structure and support resources.

Activity: The Academic Policy Committee reviews divisional and departmental structure and academic support resources with respect to number of faculty, number of majors and minors, number of students in classes, and special needs (e.g., studios, laboratories), and makes recommendations.

Timetable:  Fall 2014

Criteria for Success:  Recommendations are acted upon in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

Goal #13: Update the College’s deferred maintenance plan with an eye toward the priorities identified in this Plan.

Activity: The Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration will work with key administrators and staff to examine their maintenance plans to maximize efficiency in line with the goals of the strategic plan

Timeline: Report updates on the deferred maintenance plan twice a year to the Strategic Plan Committee.

Criterion for Success: Progress on the deferred maintenance will happen regularly within this five-year period.

Goal #14: Evaluate the resources of the Library and recommend improvements.

Activity: A taskforce will meet from December 2013 to June 2014 and make recommendations for better use of the Library’s resources.


2013-2014 and fall 2014 - Taskforce meets and makes recommendations by end of fall 2014.

Spring 2015 and 2015-2016 - Implement taskforce recommendations

Criterion for Success: Changes in library resources will be implemented by September 2016.


 Goal #15:Solicit an external review of the Information Technology Department.

 Activity: External evaluators will review the IT area to improve its service orientation to the rest of the College.

Timetable: March 2014

Criterion for Success: Accepted recommendations are acted upon in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

Goal #16:Review and invest in academic and instructional technology, addressing the place of academic technology in an IT culture that is primarily administrative, and ensuring support for technology at the departmental level.

Activity: Offer faculty and students opportunities to engage in training in new technology to enhance learning. The Faculty Technology Committee will review in-class technology to make recommendations to enhance learning. The College will develop additional hybrid and blended courses.

Timetable: Beginning January 2016, the College will offer several hybrid courses in addition to those already being offered.  In the fall 2015, the Faculty Technology Committee will review class technology and begin making recommendations for upgrades and training. In spring 2016, students and faculty will be offered training in technology that can enhance learning.  By fall 2016, decisions will be made whether to place academic technology in an academic branch of the IT office or whether to create a separate academic technology office.

Criteria for Success: Yearly recommendations from the Faculty Technology Committee and training will commence in 2015 and continue for the duration of the five year plan.

Goal #17: Explore ways to expand the use of Colleague

Activity: Acquire new modules, schedule trainings, and determine unknown features through outside assistance if necessary.

Timetable: Starting January 2015, begin investigating Colleague options and continue through January 2016.

Criterion for Success: Administrative offices and faculty will begin using new features within registration and advising within one year from implementation of plan.

Goal #18:Pursue technology upgrades that create College-wide gains in efficiency and productivity and space.

Activity: Upgrade telephone system and consider digitization and cloud options to reduce files and increase office space.

Timetable: In 2016-2017 the College will see implementation of new phone system and digitization.

Criterion for Success: Increased digitization and new phone system are implemented.

Goal #19:Embark on specific technology initiatives

Activity: Acquire on-line technology for transfer students, expand digital library resources, and Career Insider/Vault and a NACELink Kiosk with card swipe capability for Career Services and other offices.  Of lower priority but still important are the acquisition of integrated smart cards that could serve needs in Student Financial and Registration Services, Security, and other offices; and programming for students to be able to update their MMC profile information via the web.


January 2015: Acquire on-line technology for transfer students, expand digital library resources, and Career Insider/Vault and a NACELink Kiosk with card swipe capability for Career Services and other offices

2015-2016: acquisition of integrated smart cards that could serve needs in Student Financial and Registration Services, Security, and other offices.

2016-2017:  arrange for programming for students to be able to update their MMC profile information via the web.

Criterion for Success: The College has purchased the recommended new technology to make its administrative areas more effective.


 Goal #20: The College will rebrand itself and market itself more aggressively and in line with the new focus as a niche college focused on the performing, visual and media, and liberal arts.

Activity 1: Seek assistance from outside experts in branding and marketing to build a cohesive public image and seek out publicity opportunities.

Timeline: In January 2014, conduct research to hire outside consultants to work with college on branding opportunities

Criterion for Success: By September 2014, have a branding plan for the College to embark on for next five years.

Activity 2: Achieve a more integrated approach to link the College’s publications, website, and marketing tools.

Timeline: In spring 2015, various administrative offices, including Admissions and Institutional Advancement, will meet to discuss ways to more effectively integrate marketing.

Criterion for Success: By 2015-2016, the College will have a more cohesive message and offices will be working together more effectively.

 Goal 21:  The College will build a greater sense of community among and between different constituents in the College.

 Activity:  Create more structured forums and opportunities for regular interface between students, faculty, staff, and administration to effectively disseminate and share important institutional information.

Timetable:  To be implemented in the beginning of fall 2014.

Criterion for Success:  Increased opportunities for partnerships between organizations and individuals within the College; use of an annual college-wide community climate survey to assess and track the effectiveness of internal institutional communications. 

APPENDIX: Methodology

This plan was drafted by a Strategic Planning Committee composed of representatives of faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, and students.  Faculty were both appointed by the President and selected by their divisions. 

 The Committee considered self-studies from academic departments and administrative offices, as well as institutional data pertaining to enrollment, graduation, and finances. 

 The Committee developed this plan through a collaborative process welcoming participation and feedback from members of the College community. It met weekly during the academic year, twice weekly in June, and several times in July and August.  Minutes from each meeting were posted on the internal college drive and on the website.  Five open Town Halls were held to exchange ideas with members of the College community and a retreat was held for department and division chairs and administrative directors.  At the latter, the consulting group AKA / Strategies presented its report on the College’s challenges and potential for growth.  The Plan was also the subject of discussion in several meetings of the Faculty Council.

 The plan represents the thoughtful, reflective, and collective thinking of those deeply committed to both serving the College’s mission while also insuring its vitality and future.

The Strategic Planning Committee members:

  • Ann Aguanno, Associate Professor of Biology (September-December 2013)
  • Susan Behrens, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Jill Beier, Assistant Professor of Accounting
  • Lauren Brown, Assistant Professor of History (February-April 2013)
  • Paul Ciraulo, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Michael Colvin, Associate Professor of Spanish (February-August 2013)
  • Maria DeInnocentiis, Assistant Vice President, Center for Student Services
  • Millie Falcaro, Associate Professor of Art
  • Sister Teresita Fay, Trustee
  • Mary Fleischer, Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Theatre Arts Department
  • Colin Gallagher, Student
  • Paul Grayson, Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center
  • Bradley Herling, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (July-December 2013)
  • Carol Jackson, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Stella Keitel, Student (February-July 2013)
  • Caitlin Kirklin, Associate to the Vice President and Director of Institutional Advancement Operations
  • Hope Knight, Trustee
  • Katie LeBesco, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Vladimir Martinez, President of the Student Government Association (March-December 2013)
  • Phil Meyers, Professor of Mathematics (February-August 2013)
  • Maria Ordonez, Science Representative, Student Government Association (September-December 2013)
  • Natasha Pearl, Trustee
  • David Podell, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty (co-chair)
  • Melissa Richman, Associate to the President for Operations
  • Jason Rosenfeld, Professor of Art History, Faculty Council President (June-December 2013)
  • Michael Salmon, Dean of Academic Advisement and Retention
  • Rebecca Sperling, Associate Professor of Social Work/Sociology, Faculty Council President (February-June 2013)
  • Laura Tropp, Professor of Communication Arts and Chair of the Communication Arts Department (co-chair)
  • Marilyn Wilkie, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • Kenton Worcester, Professor of Political Science (April-December 2013)