Trinity University's Strategic Plan and Curricular Proposal Taking Shape

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Sep. 27, 2012

Trinity University's Strategic Plan and Curricular Proposal Taking Shape

Comments accepted through Oct. 31 to continue transparent, inclusive process

By Lisa Jasinski

SAN ANTONIO - Trinity University is moving on two fronts to reimagine the educational curriculum and to develop the school's first strategic plan, known as Trinity Tomorrow.

The plans incorporate ideas from faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees, and community leaders, and a committee overseeing the process has invited the Trinity community to review and comment on the strategic plan proposal through Wednesday, Oct. 31.

The Trinity Tomorrow concept was initiated by President Dennis A. Ahlburg upon his inauguration in 2010. The plan addresses all aspects of Trinity's future from academic programs, to opportunities for alumni engagement, to effective administrative structures. The curricular proposal was written by a faculty committee during the summer of 2012 and is the first wholesale review of the general education curriculum in a decade.

Michael Fischer, vice president for Faculty and Student Affairs and co-chair of the Trinity Tomorrow committee, noted that the plans represent "a very exciting and important moment for Trinity" because it will "reposition Trinity in the competitive higher education marketplace."

That will happen "by maximizing our unique institutional resources, including the mix of pre-professional and liberal arts degree programs, our urban location, exciting interdisciplinary initiatives, unusually strong internationalization efforts for a school of our size, and exceptional co-curricular offerings," Fischer said.

In September, Trinity's Board of Trustees endorsed the strategic planning process and adopted the working draft Strategic Plan as a direction forward for the University.

Through the end of October 2012, the Trinity Tomorrow committee will accept feedback on the strategic plan from several University constituencies, including department chairs, the Faculty Senate, chairs of interdisciplinary programs, the Association of Student Representatives, the National Alumni Board, and key staff members. All members of the Trinity community can provide input using an online form. These responses will inform future revisions to the plan and shape the forthcoming budget and assessment metrics. These items will be presented for approval to Trinity's Board of Trustees at their February 2013 meeting.

Under the guidance of the Coordinating Committee for Curricular Review, chaired by Murchison Professor of Classical Studies Erwin Cook, faculty members will continue to discuss and refine the curricular proposal this fall. Once these suggestions are fully incorporated and logistical challenges have been resolved, a revised plan will be presented to the faculty for an approval vote as soon as December. The proposal focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives; the development of core capacities including written, oral and visual communication; and experiential learning opportunities for students in the San Antonio community and beyond. The review process also allows faculty to consider student course loads and the academic calendar.

"A curriculum has emerged that we feel can address the needs of students in the 21st century," stated Cook, adding, "The majority of faculty have given input at various venues... this has been a transparent and inclusive process."

To read the draft reports or to follow the progress, visit

Lisa Jasinski is the special projects coordinator for the Trinity Tomorrow committee.