Presidential Statement

Dr. Mauri A. Ditzler officially became the 16th president of Albion College on July 1, 2014.This is a special time for Albion College. Confidence continues to build on campus and in our community, even as colleges and towns like ours face imposing challenges. Our collective confidence comes from an emerging consensus on the path ahead. It comes from a renewed belief that a residential liberal arts college that has clear focus, creative energy, and innovative partnerships can accomplish anything.

We often say that Albion is a microcosm of America, and that Albion's challenges are America's challenges. We know that we are not immune to the social, economic and environmental realities that we face, both as a college and as a community. Indeed, it is these challenges that make our mission all the more timely and important.

Preparation of this Strategic Plan provided us with an opportunity to consider and then articulate a shared understanding of the pillars that will support our work in the upcoming years. While we recognize that the pace of change makes long-range planning exceptionally difficult, these pillars provide the common language through which we will articulate our work.

Past Strategic Plans at Albion defined specific programs and called for detailed projects. We honor those plans and acknowledge their many positive outcomes. However, we are convinced that at this time we will be better served by a plan that allows us to remain nimble and responsive to developing ideas and partnerships. A flexible plan will serve us well because:

  • Creativity is visible on campus and in the community. We must resist the temptation to embrace a strategic plan that is overly prescriptive and tries to impose today's vision on a reality that is just coming into focus.
  • We are aligned on general goals. We must resist the temptation to narrow those goals in a manner that stifles collaboration and creativity.
  • There is a growing appreciation for the power of shared governance. We must tread carefully as we consider emerging pathways for implementing new plans.

Consistent with our liberal arts tradition, we believe it is preferable to apply general principles and creative thinking rather than to memorize and blindly follow a preordained set of rules or plans. With all of this in mind, we have built a plan that identifies shared values and general tools while encouraging creative thinking with respect to specific actions. Wherever possible we have honored existing governance structures and stayed within established decision making processes as we considered implementation. And, above all, we have encouraged audacity in expectation of outcomes.

Mauri Ditzler
Albion College President (2014-2020)