by Hannah Langley ’21
With 100 years of Providence College in the past begins a new century of PC history waiting to happen. Members of the PC Strategic Planning Steering Committee have already started planning out the future by beginning PC200, an initiative with the goal of improving and developing the PC experience for future generations to come.
The committee is currently working with nearly 1,100 members of the PC community, including 300 whom are students, to create and finalize the PC200 strategic plan. According to Michael Botelho, associate vice president for financial and strategic planning, the committee is focusing on “enhancing the student experience at PC” by improving certain areas, such as affordability and inclusion, while maintaining the Dominican and liberal arts tradition of the school.
Prior to PC200, the school’s most recent strategic plan was enacted in 2011. This plan included developments to the core curriculum, accreditation for the business school by the AACSB, the completion of the Ruane Center, and a successful fundraising campaign by the Office for Institutional Diversity.
As Father Brian Shanley, O.P., stated in an email to the PC community several weeks ago, the goal for the new plan is to create “an inclusive, caring, academically stellar community” that “understand[s], enrich[es], and support[s] the College’s Catholic and Dominican heritage” in both curricular and extra-curricular ways. The PC200 plan is being designed specifically for the next 10 years at PC, but it is also, as Botelho put, “charting the course for continued success and prosperity for the next 100 years.”
The strategic plan has two main goals – to enhance the academic lifestyle of PC by giving students an accessible and affordable education that they can use to be successful in life, and to promote diversity and inclusivity within the school community.
While no clear plans have been finalized about how these goals will be put into action, the committee is working extremely hard on creating a plan that will not only benefit those at PC now, but those who will attend PC in the future. The committee has used this year for research and development, looking into improving common areas of higher learning, such as technological improvements, facility usage, and demographics. Members of the PC student body have been included in the planning through surveys and meetings.
Kevin O’Neill ’18, a member of the Student Advisory Committee, attended a meeting held by the Strategic Planning Committee earlier this year. He noted his enthusiasm about the plan’s goals, saying how he not only appreciates the plan’s focus on Dominican tradition, but also how “it appears […] there will be a large focus on supporting all students through a variety of means.” The committee is hoping for the completion and approval of the plan by the Board of Trustees in June 2018. By this time, clear actions and incentives will be established and be put into effect in the next 10 years at PC.
As previously stated, the committee is using this academic year for researching, creating goals and initiatives, and strategizing ideas that will be implemented in the future. At this time, students can participate in the PC200 strategic plan by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PC200 and filling out a quick five question survey that focuses on the main goals established by the committee.
With the help of PC students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the committee strives to have a successful plan for not only the next 10 years, but for the next 100 years in Friartown.