New strategic plan to direct Lees-McRae operations for the next decade

Lees-McRae College has implemented a new strategic plan that enables the institution to build on its strong past while creating a better future.

A committee composed of faculty, staff, students, and trustees collaborated to develop a plan that would build on the areas of strength for the institution and address the potential for growth. The process began in 2019 and continued throughout the last year despite the interruptions of the global pandemic. Planning included a thorough review of the college mission and values; most areas of college operations including academic programs, institutional departments, facilities, and athletics; and performance measures such as retention, graduation, and career outcome rates.

"The future has never been brighter for Lees-McRae,” said President Lee King. “We are already bucking the trends in higher education with growing incoming classes, higher levels of retention and graduation, and stronger academic outcomes. The new strategic plan will help us build on those strengths and set us on a true path of vitality and vibrancy.”

The plan’s title, INEXPRO 2030, refers to the Lees-McRae motto—In Montibus, Ex Montibus, Pro Montibus—or “In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains.” The college is committed to strengthening its community both on and off campus, and each component of the strategic plan is designed to help Lees-McRae continue to embody that motto.

The mission of Lees-McRae is to educate and inspire students to approach life and work from a creative, collaborative, and critical perspective in preparation for diverse careers and environments. The values the college will adhere to are knowledge, opportunity, experience, community, diversity, integrity, flexibility, and excellence. By clarifying the values and refining the vision of the institution, Lees-McRae will be better able to achieve its mission and provide a deep and experiential education to students.

The vision that will guide Lees-McRae for the next ten years is, “Lees-McRae College will be a vibrant, future-focused institution, guided by its distinctiveness and committed to excellence as we focus on the student experience and serve our community. The college will be an institution of choice recognized for experiential learning, promoting lifelong learning, inspiring meaningful interactions, and thriving with purpose.”

Lees-McRae has a long tradition of providing exceptional educational experiences to students thereby inspiring them to reach their greatest potential. The strategic plan lays out the guidelines for continuing this legacy and developing an environment that prepares students to participate in a diverse world and workforce.

The plan focuses on five core strategies that will drive the institution’s progress:

  • Financial Vitality: To manage its resources strategically and responsibly, the college will assess and communicate its financial health. The college will use tools and processes to assist the college's leaders in guiding, managing, and leading those efforts that positively impact the college, and develop and implement a strategic operational and capital budget.
  • Student Experience: To demonstrate fidelity to its mission, the college will focus its resources and work on the education of its students. The student experience will be the foundation for the college’s development and alignment of programs and processes, all aiming to enhance student success, learning, and development.
  • Distinctiveness: To establish its distinctiveness and to differentiate from other institutions, the college will focus upon its experiential learning history, its location, and its niche. The institution’s history, location, and uniqueness will be a primary focus for determining and creating a quality, focused set of programs that will attract and retain students.
  • Responsible Community: To educate its students and be part of a vibrant citizenry, the college will exemplify stewardship, accountability, and concern. The institution will model a responsible community, creating intentional and meaningful connections with its students, faculty, and staff, and serving as a strong citizen and steward through service and outreach.
  • Excellence: To live up to its storied history and to create a vibrant future, all members of the college community will resolve to strive for excellence in all they do. All employees will strive for excellence in their work, upholding shared values, as they serve student needs and accomplish the institution’s mission and priorities.

Specific areas of interest include improving retention and post-graduate employment rates, increasing enrollment through vigorous recruitment efforts, and broadening transfer pathways from community colleges. Campus processes and departments will also be revised to meet student needs more appropriately, and the facilities will be updated for better accessibility. In addition, the plan includes a heightened emphasis on experiential learning, distinctive and appropriate online and graduate studies, and the introduction of new academic programs that capitalize on the distinctive location and assets of Lees-McRae.  

Learn more about INEXPRO 2030

By Emily WebbOctober 20, 2021