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November 2012 Strategic Plan Update

Strategic Plan Inspires New Initiatives

Linfield’s Strategic Plan calls for integrating learning experiences, investing in faculty and academic programs, and improving access and affordability for students from all backgrounds. In order to meet our goals by 2018, the first initiatives have already been implemented.

New faculty endowed chairs created

The Strategic Plan calls for investment in faculty teaching and scholarship. Two new endowments, established through gifts and bequests from generous alumni, will strengthen our creative writing and political science programs while cultivating the intellectual vitality of our faculty.

Dawn Nowacki, professor of political sciences, has been appointed the Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science, effective July 2013. The late Elizabeth Glicksman ’32 was a longtime generous supporter of the college. This endowment will allow the Political Science Department to add another faculty position.

Nowacki, who currently chairs the department, teaches courses on women in politics, especially in the Middle East, and war and gender. Nowacki’s scholarship, which includes research in Russia, Turkey, Jordan, Canada and China, has been supported by a Fulbright Scholar Award and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This fall, Anna Keesey, associate professor of English, was named the first Renshaw Distinguished Professor in Literature and Writing. The Renshaw endowed chair was established through lifetime gifts and a bequest from Philip Renshaw ’31, who served on the Linfield Board of Trustees from 1957 to 2005. The appointment allows Keesey to continue to teach while embarking on future writing projects. The English Department will also add another creative writing faculty member.

Keesey’s debut novel, Little Century, landed on Oprah’s top reading list and was praised by numerous national newspapers, including The New York TimesThe Christian Science Monitor called Keesey’s book one of four “truly American novels.” Keesey is a former recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and her work has appeared in the Best American Short Stories anthology. 

President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity established

In recent years, Linfield College has become a more richly diverse community. Our student body is more ethnically diverse; last year almost a quarter of students on both campuses were Americans of color. We see other forms of diversity as well, with students varying in age, sexual orientation and economic class. Our Strategic Plan calls on us to actively recruit and support these students.

When a college becomes more diverse, people sometimes encounter discomfort or conflict. On the other hand, diversity provides opportunities for intellectual exploration and personal growth as students learn to negotiate complex social landscapes and befriend those from all walks of life.

In September 2012, the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity at Linfield College was created to promote the advancement of diversity and inclusivity in our community. President Thomas L. Hellie will initially chair the 15-member committee, which includes students, faculty and staff who represent diverse constituencies. The committee will assess what is working, and what is not working, and propose institutional initiatives that support diversity. They will begin by defining diversity at Linfield College, assessing changes in our student population and our response to date, and looking at the implications of changing demographics. They will also look at what we can learn from other colleges and universities. Ideally, their work will also help initiate community-wide discussion about the value of diversity. 

Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE) to create holistic learning experiences

We hope to become more intentional about how we educate students in order to deepen the value and relevance of a Linfield College education. The Strategic Plan reinforces the significance of a liberal arts core and calls for us to provide integrated learning experiences while heightening global and multicultural awareness.

We have made early progress toward this goal by creating a pilot program, the Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE). PLACE identified a broad, campus-wide theme that highlights two or more modes of inquiry within our curriculum. The program provides a platform for the integration of courses across disciplines and offers a focal point for lectures and guest speakers, January Term offerings, conversation and film series, readings, capstone projects, service learning, extra-curricular activities, connections with local and regional partners, and engagement with national and global communities.

Students will not be the only beneficiaries of this theme-driven inquiry. Faculty will have an additional incentive to connect across disciplines and link to the many extracurricular activities on campus. The program will promote the free exchange of ideas and integrated learning experiences. Above all, PLACE aims to promote an even more dynamic intellectual environment and a greater sense of citizenship in the Linfield community and beyond.

This year’s pilot project explores the theme, “Legacies of War.” Wars have constituted perhaps the most defining, important and tragic events in human history. Through integrated course offerings, guest speakers and lectures, and other activities, members of the Linfield community will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss the causes, consequences and legacies of war from a variety of perspectives.  

Transfer Coordinator position created to recruit and support transfer students

In an effort to meet a number of institutional objectives, our Strategic Plan calls for more targeted recruitment of transfer students. 

Linfield’s nursing major is a transfer-only program, meaning that many Linfield students transfer to the Portland Campus after completing pre-requisites on the McMinnville Campus. This migration has opened up capacity in some upper division programs on our McMinnville Campus.

In order to attract more students for those upper division seats, Linfield has initiated more intentional recruitment at community colleges, with a special focus on selected California community colleges. Linfield College is developing articulation agreements with two Bay Area community colleges, and establishing a credit transfer grid in order to smooth the transition for potential students.

The college is in the process of hiring a transfer coordinator, who will focus on recruitment and enrollment, and will work to enhance the satisfaction and success of transfer students.

RN to BSN Program transferred from the Division of Continuing Education to the School of Nursing

The Strategic Plan calls for the college to determine the most effective and efficient administrative structures for our adult degree and online programs, with an eye to enhancing quality, gaining efficiencies and using our resources wisely.

The online RN to BSN nursing program has been moved from the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) to the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. The program, which allows registered nurses to upgrade their skills and complete their four year degrees, will be administered by the dean’s office on the Portland Campus, and the curriculum will continue to draw from the campus-based Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The Division of Continuing Education will continue to provide student services and technological support for the RN-BSN program.