President's Updates

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.

Mauri Ditzler
Albion College President (2014-2020)

Forging Ahead in 2019

“Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?” Some may remember that as a recurring line from the popular if ridiculous 1980s television show The A-Team. But I use that quote here because the A-Team and the Albion team actually have some similarities. Five years ago many so-called experts told me that the City of Albion was too far gone to ever come back and that colleges like Albion were doomed. But an eccentric cast of characters refused to accept that scenario. They had a plan.

Rites of Spring

On March 22, we celebrated our first “Albion Everywhere” event with alumni events in 53 locations that included more than 650 alumni. These events included one at The Philadelphia Center, a fifty-year-old program started by the GLCA, of which Albion College took stewardship this year. As a mark of how enduring our impact can be, alumni of The Philadelphia Center who are not also Albion alums took part in the event and were heartened to hear of Albion College’s plans to invest in the program and its people. I was fortunate to stay here in Albion and be part of the great turnout of local alumni who have kept roots in the city since their graduation.

Springing Forward

Our strategic plan is built to guide us into an uncertain future, one in which we seem to spring forward by leaps and bounds as often as by slow, steady progress. My latest post offers some reflections from the last few weeks about how we keep our eyes on the past and future without losing sight of what William James called “the specious present.”

More Connections, More Results

Last month I had the opportunity in New York and Washington to update our alumni and give broader presentations to industry colleagues and higher-ed media about the many recent projects we have going in partnership with the City of Albion.

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