Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Five-Year Plan

H.W.T.P.L.? Draft of Strategic Plan 2013 »

A Five-Year Plan, 2002-2007

Calvin College: Distinctively Christian, Academically Excellent, Always Reforming

PDF format "A Five-Year Plan" is also available in PDF format.

PREFACE

As Calvin College celebrates its 125th year, the world enters a new century, and the Christian faith begins the third millennium, we who work at the College are considering our present situation and laying plans to address the challenges of the future. We enjoy a strong common commitment to educating women and men for service in the world of today and tomorrow, for the sake of God’s reign. Through this task of learning, we seek to be agents of renewal in the academy, church and society.

God has blessed Calvin College, and by God’s grace, it stands today as a strong and vibrant institution of higher learning in the Reformed tradition of historic Christianity. The College has a widespread reputation for educational excellence within a hearty Christian commitment. It enjoys the service of a talented and devoted staff and a distinguished faculty. It appreciates and depends upon the support of its sponsoring church and thousands of graduates. Calvin College is well equipped and confidently prepared to meet the challenges of fulfilling its mission in the years to come.

Over the past several years, the College has grown in enrollment and faculty, created new programs and strengthened ongoing ones, added new facilities and made improvements to its existing campus, and expanded its efforts to attain racial justice and reconciliation. It has devoted much prayer, thought and work to becoming more adept at its tasks and more faithful to its calling. The plan that follows is the College’s best current reckoning of the strategic situation it now encounters and the tasks it needs to accomplish in order to meet its goals. God is full of surprises, and even the best of plans will not anticipate all that might be in store for the College. Yet, this plan represents an attempt to be good stewards and practical visionaries with what is at hand and to prepare for what seems to lie just over the horizon.

THE CHALLENGES CALVIN COLLEGE WILL ENCOUNTER

The Cultural Context

  1. Post-modern and post-Christian trends in North American culture.
    Increasing cultural diversity and the erosion of common cultural foundations pose a challenge for organized Christianity. In some important sectors, including higher education, there is a bias against Christianity. Across the culture, the coherence and authority once provided by established institutions are being replaced by individual choice and social fragmentation. As a college that teaches both a coherent Christian value system and a principled respect for pluralism in public life, Calvin offers an alternative to the contending forces bent on either rebuilding the establishment or fostering relativism.

  2. Market Pressures and the Aims of Higher Education.
    College degrees are in great demand, but demands for professional credentials and for product-oriented research are threatening universities’ autonomy and their traditional aims. The broad purposes for higher education, such as searching for the truth, advancing basic knowledge, and preparing students to lead a good life and serve the common good, are losing ground to narrower aims. Consumer values prompt people to think of education as a commodity, and educators are experimenting with ways to repackage the goods and deliver them more conveniently. Colleges and universities, both Christian and secular, are aggressively seeking greater markets for their products.

    Calvin College persists in its aim to provide a broad education that will equip students for their calling as servants of God. This counter-cultural mission may not attract the masses, but it should attract a strong retinue of Christian students. As a leader in Christian higher education, Calvin has a responsibility to model a unified vision for learning and service, both to colleges in North America and to the rapidly growing Christian college movement around the world.

Identity and Tradition of Calvin College

  1. The Reformed Tradition.
    Calvin College enjoys a broad consensus regarding its mission and identity as a Reformed confessional college. Both the College and its sponsoring denomination have come to acknowledge that the Reformed tradition can and should encompass many cultures. Yet our efforts to become culturally more diverse community have raised new questions about the nature of this tradition, and the ways it forms and propels the College in its mission.

    In the past five years, Calvin professors, staff and students have expressed a need for a fresh consideration of Reformed identity and mission. These beliefs cannot remain implicit and assumed; they need to be pondered anew by each generation. The College needs some concerted theological, cultural, philosophical and moral reflection on the Reformed project, and it is blessed with abundant resources for this task.

  2. The Larger Christian Community.
    Calvin College has made important progress in embracing the rich diversity of God's people. Nearly half of the student body now comes from denominations other than the Christian Reformed Church, and roughly half of the new faculty members coming each year have been reared outside the College’s sponsoring denomination. Calvin has become a leader among Christian colleges and universities, and Calvin faculty and alumni play leading roles in the larger arena of Christian discourse. Slower but still very real progress has been made in welcoming students from North American communities of color and from nations outside of the North Atlantic region.

    The College still has great challenges ahead in addressing the tensions that arise with diversity, especially while combating racism and transforming the campus into a more just and inclusive place for persons of color. Other tensions, notably those involving gender concerns and between Reformed Christianity and other Christian traditions, are also close at hand and personal. Campus dialogue about differences requires more attention to cultivating mutual respect and a humble and gentle approach.

  3. Calvin College.
    The Calvin campus provides a warm, supportive ethos and an encouraging environment in which to work. The source of this communal atmosphere is the College’s heritage of serving a particular denomination, and that church’s historic location within a community of immigrants and their native-born children. This heritage provided many links of familiarity, customary ways of thinking and acting, and a strong sense of belonging, even if it often tended to exclude those not reared in Dutch Reformed ethno-religious communities.

    The makeup of Calvin College’s student body, staff and faculty is now changing rapidly. The College is in the midst of a historic movement from a community setting where the basis of its common work was understood implicitly to one where this basis needs to be very explicit, carefully articulated, and graciously modeled. Reformed Christianity and its cultural mandates must remain at the core, but the current generation must own the shape and texture of its expression.

    Calvin College is not a church. It is a confessional Christian community of learning. Just as professors’ duties, tasks and relationships need to be addressed afresh, so do the demands that this community may impose on its various members. The competing obligations of family, church and civic life must be taken into account, along with models of Christian learning drawn from a long history.

Faculty and Staff

  1. Faculty.
    Calvin College has a faculty of high achievement and promise. Its professors approach their profession as a divine calling, and their educational work as a mission. They are devoted to excellence in teaching, scholarly engagement, advising and mentoring, and service to the campus and the wider community. Calvin faculty members are more productive as scholars than are their peers in American church-related colleges, more satisfied with their job situation, but also more stressed.

    The “Christian Scholars” movement in North America is now a generation old, and it is producing a large cohort of highly talented young scholars, from which Calvin College can now recruit new faculty members. This generational change is bringing diversity in professional expectations as well as personal backgrounds. Faculty members struggle to balance professional commitments with other dimensions of their lives. This struggle, plus increasing demands for faculty to perform nonacademic tasks, is introducing a variety of tensions and personal stress. It is incumbent on College leaders to maintain high levels of encouragement, respect and support for faculty members as they work to reshape common patterns and expectations into careers that are both fruitful and sustainable.

  2. Administrative Staff.
    The staff of Calvin College is highly skilled, well prepared, and deeply devoted to the institution and its mission. In each of their professional tracks, administrative staff members are looked to by their peers at other Christian colleges for models of programmatic innovation and excellence. The beauty, efficiency and integrity of the College is a direct result of the skills, convictions and hard work of the support staff.

    Staff members are deeply aware that they are here to serve, but they need recognition and support as well. They are eager to learn more about the Reformed tradition and its educational mandate, and to stay abreast of changes in their respective fields.

Teaching and Academic Programs

  1. Teaching.
    In recent years, college education has experienced a variety of changes. There is greater recognition than ever before that a well-taught course will use several approaches in order to bring the full range of cognitive and sensory tools to the task of learning. Meanwhile, constructivist theories of learning are prodding professors to find ways to encourage students to learn through active investigation and synthesis of ideas and discoveries. Professors are recognizing that they need to understand cultural and emotional differences among students as well.

    Staying abreast of the revolution in pedagogy can be exciting, but taxing as well. Years of investment in course materials may need to be reconsidered and new insights and approaches adopted. The College needs to continue to support professors in their development as teachers, show patience as they retool their courses, and reward them for their successes.

  2. Technology.
    The ongoing revolution in information technology has brought new tools and media to the classroom and has extended learning far beyond the “seat time” in class. Academic institutions and commercial corporations alike are investing heavily in the development of support systems for distance learning as well as on-campus learning. Technology budgets are soaring on campuses nationwide.

    Calvin College has made major strides to provide students, faculty and staff with the infrastructure and services they need for communication, computation, record keeping, research and teaching. The College will continue to be challenged, however, by the proliferation of possible uses for computer-driven technology. Not only are there costs of equipment, software and service to contend with, but very real human costs in time and energy spent on learning to work with new systems. These costs tax already full schedules and already hard-to-balance priorities. Calvin has done a reasonable job of weighing such costs to date, but the task has no end in sight.

  3. Programs.
    The broad range of high quality programs that Calvin offers enhances the College’s attractiveness to potential students. However, the College has reached its enrollment cap, and the cost of new programs can no longer be covered via enrollment growth. Calvin has added great value to its curriculum, but without a commensurate increase in tuition. The proliferation of courses and programs adds variety and appeals to student interests, but it also adds complexity and strains efficiency. Within a no-growth enrollment scenario, programs must compete internally for funding and students.

  4. Governance.
    Calvin College has a strong tradition of collegial governance and deliberate, consensual decision making. The faculty has the primary responsibility for policymaking, administrators for implementation, administrative officers for leadership and planning, and the trustees for oversight and accountability. In practice, however, these patterns of responsibility and action overlap considerably. Calvin’s communal governance does not have a neat and clean separation of powers. The operative mood is to be mutual respect and the operative pattern of work is collaboration.

    Some observers think that the rapid rate of change in higher education calls for more responsive, fast-acting, top-down models of management and governance. Calvin’s faculty and administrators insist on shared governance and point to the shift in managerial wisdom toward collegial planning and action. Nevertheless, the proliferation of duties and changing expectations about teaching and scholarship put pressure on faculty to resist committee work and policy development. In an atmosphere of uncertainty about governance roles and responsibilities, tensions between faculty and administration have grown. The College needs to address these issues and find ways to foster mutual trust, respect and task sharing.

Students

  1. Recruiting Environment.
    Competition for students is becoming more intense. Many Christian colleges have improved their academic standing and are becoming more able to compete with Calvin for students. State universities, both the premier institutions and convenient regional campuses, also continue to contend with Calvin for admissions. Calvin enjoys tremendous alumni loyalty and strong support from Christian Reformed families, but the percentage of Christian Reformed young people enrolling in Calvin has slowly decreased. At the same time, the percentage of students from other churches continues to increase.

    The College does not easily fit into standard categories in North American higher education. It has a lower price than other colleges of comparably high quality. It has a reputation for academic rigor, but its admissions percentages do not rate it as “highly selective.” Calvin insists that it is distinctively Christian, but it does not enforce all of the conservative evangelical mores. Calvin advertises its distinctly Reformed character but attracts students and faculty from other Christian traditions. It has the breadth of undergraduate programs of a small university but insists that the liberal arts are central to a Calvin education. These “mixed messages” have made it more difficult for Calvin to explain itself to prospective students and their parents, but at the same time they may actually be “assets” that make Calvin unique. Can we find ways to promote them as such?

  2. Demographic Trends.
    Although the number of high school graduates nationwide is expected to grow throughout the ensuing decade, Calvin’s traditional sources of students, the Christian Reformed Church and its related high schools, are likely to produce fewer graduates. Calvin must continue to attract students from other churches, and recruitment of these students must become more systematic.

    Because of projected demographic trends, there should be growing opportunities for the College to become more faithful to God's will for just and inclusive communities. In a few decades the United States will no longer have any majority racial-ethnic grouping. At the same time, evangelical movements are growing in North American communities of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American descent. Calvin must continue its successful recruitment of Christian Reformed students and students of other churches, become more successful in recruiting and retaining students of color, and aim especially at the points where these traditions, movements, and communities intersect.

  3. Student Characteristics.
    Students come to Calvin College for many reasons, but it is reasonable to assume that many come because they want a distinctly Christian education with a liberal arts emphasis. The Calvin student body has grown stronger academically over the past decade, and it has been more actively engaged in worship, devotional life and service. These changes may well be signs of a generational shift in outlook and orientation. A number of observers note that North American young adults are becoming less suspicious of major social institutions, more inclined toward structured teamwork and more accustomed to high academic expectations than their parents and their "Gen-X" predecessors.

    At the same time, our students cannot help but be influenced by the consumerist values of North American culture, and by the increasing emphasis on visual and computer-driven means of communication. Both the academic and the Student Life programs must address students’ changing needs and expectations as well as the social, cultural, spiritual, and technological environment which they inhabit.

Community Relationships

  1. Constituency.
    Calvin benefits from the strong loyalty and support of the Christian Reformed Church. This support is demonstrated in the number of students who come from the denomination, the gifts and regular support that are provided, the prayers and the commendations the College receives for its work, and indeed, even the critical questions and expressions of concern. The College’s traditional constituency does it a service by holding it accountable, both formally and informally. In recent years College officers have appreciated the spirit of trust and appreciation with which Calvin College is treated in denominational circles, and the College has made concerted efforts to strengthen connections with this constituency.

    At the same time, however, the percentage of Calvin students from the Christian Reformed Church continues to decline. This trend seems to be less a measure of declining appreciation for Calvin than a reflection of the broader array of choices that contemporary families in the denomination are willing to countenance. The Christian Reformed Church and Calvin College alumni remain the most reliable sources of students and financial support.

    The College has also developed an important new “constituency” among evangelical students, their families, home churches, and sometimes their own schools as well. This constituency is not yet well defined and institutionally articulated, although College representatives are working hard to identity and cultivate pockets of interest and support. The College’s admissions, alumni and development strategies must sustain their fruitful efforts within the traditional Christian Reformed community, but also develop ongoing interest and loyalty among a much more scattered and non-denominational constituency.

  2. Community Partnership and Service.
    Calvin faculty, staff and students are involved in a myriad of civic and community service activities in West Michigan and beyond. Yet, the College still faces the widely held stereotype of isolationism. Given the limits to the number of interns and volunteers the business and civic communities in greater Grand Rapids can absorb, and given the demands for increased cross-cultural engagement in the new core, the College must develop a more comprehensive and coordinated plan for community partnership and service.

Economic and Financial Context

  1. A volatile economy, but a vibrant region.
    After years of unrivalled growth, the North American economy is slowing down. West Michigan, however, has a vibrant civic and cultural life and an economy that shows more resilience than many other regions. This setting makes the College attractive to students, faculty and staff alike. At the same time, the recent volatility of the national economy underscores national values of consumerism and competitive self-interest that run counter to Calvin’s emphasis on self-giving and service.

    Despite a recent dampening of the stock market, a tremendous amount of wealth will pass from one generation to the next in the coming decades, and the long-term prospects for fund-raising are very promising for the College. Since the economy doubtless will continue to expand and contract, it is important for the College to find ways to make itself less vulnerable to economic forces that may affect enrollments and annual income.

  2. Cost of higher education.
    Although Calvin is less expensive than most comparable private institutions, it is vulnerable to the escalating cost of higher education generally and to public perceptions of these cost increases. Although the traditional constituency of the College has grown in wealth more rapidly than the national population, it seems more resistant to Calvin’s stated price than are other North American families seeking private higher education.

    At the same time that Calvin is trying to control prices and offer a strong financial aid program, competitive pressures and internal drives for self-improvement result in an increase in value-adding academic and co-curricular programs. Other private colleges comparable to Calvin offer facilities, services and courses of study that, unless Calvin can counter with enhanced educational value, might attract students who would otherwise choose Calvin. The College has reached the limits of its ability to offer more programs and services without any significant changes in pricing or endowment.

  3. Financial Stability.
    Calvin continues to benefit from a history of fiscal responsibility and stable financial support. Its annual giving base continues to grow, as does its endowment. The College’s unfunded debt is very low, and it has a sound salary and benefits structure. Nevertheless, it has some vulnerability. Dependence on federal and state funding for students makes the college susceptible to changes in law and public policy. Heavy dependence on tuition revenue, coupled with relatively low tuition pricing, leaves limited flexibility in planning and budgeting for the future. Faculty and staff salaries do not appear to be keeping up with comparable institutions. Calvin also has relatively low endowment resources for a college of its size and quality. All of these challenges must be addressed in the near future.

Campus Environment and Facilities

The Calvin College grounds and physical facilities are attractive, efficient and well maintained. They contribute to a pleasant learning and working environment and are significant factors in the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and donors. It will be important going forward to preserve the high standards of service that the College has enjoyed and to minimize disruptions due to renovation and new construction. In comparison to competing institutions, we appear to lack some facilities that are important for students’ quality of life, and these needs must be addressed. As the campus ages and building uses change, it is equally important to develop effective funding for ongoing maintenance and renovation of existing facilities.

Conclusion

Calvin College is a strong institution, well positioned to meet the needs of the rising generation of college students, and it exists in a favorable regional environment. Its greatest challenges are rather subtle, long-term and certainly addressable. The first is to renew and advance its Reformed Christian identity and mission during a time of generational turnover in faculty and administration. A second is to consolidate and sustain its engagement with the revolutions in collegiate pedagogy, curriculum, and technology. A third major challenge is to understand and effectively connect with a changing constituency while building new partnerships that advance its commitment to justice, reconciliation and partnership throughout society and across racial and cultural divides. The College also must focus attention on the meaning and character of community within its own gates, and on the closely related matter of vocation—for students, faculty, and administrative staff alike. Finally, the College must work more strategically at funding the panoply of programmatic improvements it has made in recent years, as well as providing ongoing support of excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, facilities and staff. To organize these major goals and a substantial number of subsidiary objectives and tasks related to them, the following plan states five major goals:

  1. Strengthen the College’s vision and practice as a Reformed Christian community of teaching and learning.
  2. Fortify the College’s role as a Center for Christian Scholarship.
  3. Make the College a more effective agent of God's shalom in its educational partnerships, both at home and abroad.
  4. Foster a communal environment in which the College’s students, faculty and staff are encouraged and supported in their efforts to discern, declare and pursue their callings.
  5. Enhance the College’s performance and reputation by improving the quality of its services, facilities and financial base, while sustaining its affordability.

Revised: November 20, 2001
Approved by Faculty Senate: December 3, 2001
Approved by Board of Trustees: February 15, 2002

GOALS, STRATEGIES AND TASKS, 2001 - 2006

Calvin College will pursue five major goals over the next five years, by means of a number of strategies. These goals and strategies will shape the annual work plans of each division of the College, which will include concrete tasks, the allocation of responsibilities, and budgeting implications. Each year’s work plan will begin with an assessment of the results of the year just past.

1. Strengthen the College’s vision and practice as a Reformed Christian community of teaching and learning.

1.1 Extend the curricular reform begun with the new core curriculum to re-examine and revitalize the College’s programs of study.

1.1.1 Develop departmental statements of Reformed Christian perspectives for study and practice in each field and strategies for integrating them into courses.

1.1.2 Encourage departments to develop strategic plans for the improvement of their courses and programs, research and formation of students.

1.1.3 Revise major and minor concentrations to extend core learning objectives.

1.1.4 Develop and implement the Cross-Cultural Engagement component of the core curriculum.

1.1.5 Conduct an overall review of academic programs and concentrations based on costs, benefits, and fit with the liberal arts mission of the College.

1.1.6 Generate fresh ideas for teaching and learning, programs of study, service and research via reading groups and other faculty-initiated task groups.

1.2 Develop a more concerted program of professional development in teaching and learning.

1.2.1 Form a team of master teachers to inform the teaching and learning program and to coach faculty on improving their teaching.

1.2.2 Offer faculty development seminars in pedagogy that focus on the central virtues to be transmitted by a Christian college education.

1.3 Reaffirm and promote Christian formation as an integral part of a liberal arts education.

1.3.1 Conduct an “audit” of current practices and opinion concerning spiritual development and campus religious programs.

1.3.2 Develop and employ a comprehensive plan for enhancing Christian formation (e.g. chapel, living-learning communities, worship).

1.3.3 Engage faculty in a study of current best practice for incorporating Christian formation into the classroom and develop some corresponding faculty workshops.

1.4 Encourage the current generation of faculty and staff members to find fresh ways to affirm the Reformed Christian tradition and to apply it to contemporary issues.

1.4.1 Develop a cluster of initiatives (e.g., study projects) to “ponder anew” the claims of the Reformed tradition and its implications for campus community and for the study of contemporary issues.

1.4.2 Assess the need for publications that promote Reformed thought and cultural commentary.

1.5 Develop some Reformed approaches to racial justice and reconciliation, gender equity and partnership, persons with disabilities and the search for truth in a pluralistic world, and weave them into the daily practice of campus living and learning.

1.5.1 Work with Calvin Theological Seminary and the Christian Reformed Church to develop a Reformed approach to racial justice and reconciliation, especially in institutional settings.

1.5.2 Develop a program of education and training to address gender relations and the problem of sexism, particularly in institutional settings.

1.5.3 Sponsor a study of how to sustain the pursuit of truth, dialogue and the common good in a world of plural truth-claims and communities in conflict.

1.5.4 Conduct a study of the basic questions about the nature of disability and the responsibility of the College to serve people with disability.

1.6 Strengthen the faculty development program, especially to attend to the varying situations of faculty at different career stages.

1.6.1 Develop a more concerted and intensive mentoring program for early-career faculty, with special attention to the situations of women, those with young children, and persons of color.

1.6.2 Improve the retention of women and persons of color on the faculty.

1.6.3 Promote and produce a series of summer reading seminars on topics germane to teaching, scholarship and faith-learning integration.

1.7 Coordinate and strengthen campus programs of postgraduate and continuing education.

1.7.1 Continue to strengthen the M. Ed. program by reinforcing its teaching, promotion and administrative direction.

1.7.2 Implement and assess some experiments in web-based graduate education and develop a plan for their ongoing use.

1.7.3 Link and strengthen the various informal and continuing education programs.

1.7.4 Explore opportunities to collaborate in the graduate programs of Calvin Theological Seminary.

1.8 Conduct a review of the College's experiential learning programs in order to assess new opportunities and improve coordination.

2. Fortify the College’s role as a Center for Christian Scholarship.

2.1 Increase support for faculty engagement in the larger scholarly world.

2.1.1 Increase faculty conference travel funds.

2.1.2 Encourage faculty to seek out opportunities for teaching and research exchanges and support their applications.

2.2 Develop a more robust and sustained research support base for faculty and students.

2.2.1 Obtain additional endowment and expand annual funding for the Calvin Research Fellowships (CRFs).

2.2.2 Endow multi-year research awards to support longer-term projects.

2.2.3 Expand and endow the student summer research assistantships programs.

2.2.4 Expand and redirect the work of the Center for Social Research.

2.2.5 Develop a more proactive program to encourage and assist faculty seeking external support.

2.3 Build the program for inviting and supporting visiting scholars.

2.3.1 Revive Intercultural Lectureship, giving priority to international scholars outside of North Atlantic region.

2.3.2 Increase support for departments and offices to host lectures by leading scholars.

2.4 Develop endowments to sustain and enhance a variety of active scholarly initiatives.

2.4.1 Endow six chairs and three programs/centers (Communication, Science, Teaching).

2.4.2 Establish an endowment to support the Meeter Center.

2.4.3 Establish an endowment to support the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship.

2.5 Strengthen the support, promotion and operation of scholarly conferences and summer seminars hosted by the College.

2.5.1 Coordinate existing academic conference protocols with the projected and proposed use patterns and protocols of the Prince Conference Center.

2.5.2 Develop plans and obtain funding for sustaining the Summer Research Seminars.

3. Make the College a more effective agent of God's shalom in its educational partnerships, both at home and abroad.

3.1 Develop strategies to make Calvin the college of a growing number of students, faculty and staff of color and their supporting communities.

3.1.1 Continue anti-racism workshops and expand their availability for students, staff and faculty.

3.1.2 Strengthen the current Pathways pre-college programs for persons of color in West Michigan, and replicate them in other sites.

3.1.3 Enable the Office of Pre-College Programs to be a catalyst for turning other college-sponsored programs for children and youth toward serving communities of color.

3.1.4 Strengthen the Bridge Program in Sun Valley, California and consider implementing similar first-year programs (study center) in other sites.

3.1.5 Evaluate efforts to attract and support students of color.

3.1.6 Develop supportive relationships with the schools, churches and community organizations that now are sending students of color to the College.

3.1.7 Enhance the efforts of the President’s Multicultural Advisory Council to include more local leaders and more accountability to local and denominational communities of color.

3.1.8 Improve recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color by developing stronger working relationships with communities of color.

3.2 Increase opportunities for cross-cultural learning and service outside of the region.

3.2.1 Develop service-learning and internship opportunities with the cross-cultural ministries of the Christian Reformed Church and other Christian agencies.

3.2.2 Develop sister university relationships with Christian institutions in several major regions of the globe.

3.2.3 Strengthen sister institution ties with North American agencies serving communities of color such as Knoxville College and the Red Mesa Foundation.

3.2.4 Evaluate Off-Campus Programs’ current scope and character, determine the optimal level of student participation; develop a strategic plan for program development and funding, such as endowment to increase support for student and faculty participation.

3.2.5 Increase the contingent of international students on campus to promote cross-cultural partnerships in learning.

3.3 Strengthen partnerships with the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and related ministries, notably the Reformed Christian day schools.

3.3.1 Co-develop, with other Reformed colleges, a variety of faculty development initiatives and leadership development for Christian educators.
3.3.2 Work with leaders of the Reformed Christian day schools to enhance leadership development and continuing professional education for teachers.

3.3.3 Assist the Christian Reformed Church in reviving congregational education in the Reformed tradition, combating racism, and communicating the Reformed faith in North America.

3.3.4 Build closer relations with Calvin Theological Seminary by supporting joint programming.

3.3.5 Secure sustaining support for the Calvin-CRC Campus Ministries joint venture, the Calvin Lectureship.

3.4 Strengthen relationships with alumni and other friends of the College, and build ties to new constituencies.

3.4.1 Strengthen alumni chapters’ “ownership” for the advancement of the College, including major participation in the ensuing capital campaign.

3.4.2 Integrate alumni from other Christian traditions more fully into the life and leadership of alumni chapters.

3.4.3 Develop new institutional friendships with high schools, youth ministries, and individual congregations that have sent students to Calvin College.

3.4.4 Develop special-purpose alumni and “friends” groups, such as a Korean chapter, international groups, and profession-specific networks.

3.4.5 Review and make new plans for the continuing education services to alumni, such as summer programs, faculty lecture tours, and the Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning.

3.4.6 Take advantage of opportunities to make Calvin known and be of service to other faith communities.

3.5 Develop a partnership program with nonprofit and commercial organizations in West Michigan for the sake of civic renewal.

3.5.1 Plan, develop and execute a more coordinated program for educational partnerships with organizations in the West Michigan region.

3.5.2 Accomplish the goals of the recent partnership formed with eight community development agencies in the Burton Heights neighborhood.

3.5.3 Explore producing a “year of the city” to educate the college community and the greater Grand Rapids public as well.

3.6 Expand internships and other cooperative relationships with the West Michigan business community.

3.6.1 Broaden the internship program to serve more students who are not majoring in business or engineering; link it to the “vocations” project outlined below.

3.6.2 Use the John and Judy Spoelhof Family Institute for Christian Leadership in Business to serve the expressed needs of business leaders, and to expand externship opportunities for faculty.

4. Foster a communal environment in which the College’s students, faculty and staff are encouraged and supported in their efforts to discern, declare and pursue their callings.

4.1 Examine the competing demands on faculty and staff and develop sustainable career models that balance productivity, collegiality, and the multiple callings and tasks of an academic vocation.

4.1.1 Conduct a study of faculty responsibilities, Calvin community expectations, and work patterns and bring recommendations for sustaining a balanced work and family demands and decreasing faculty stress.

4.1.2 Explore partnerships for developing a child care center for staff and faculty subscribers.

4.1.3 Conduct a study of committees at the College and develop a plan to relieve overworked ones, disband declining ones, and empower others to be more effective.

4.2 Expand opportunities for the ongoing development of the administrative staff.

4.2.1 Establish a Reformed worldview seminars program for administrative staff.

4.2.2 Expand the training opportunities for staff professional development, both in their areas of professional competency and broader areas such as cross-cultural communication, race relations, gender concerns and conflict resolution.

4.3 Assist students in discovering and embracing a lifelong commitment to a Christian calling.

4.3.1 Conduct a cross-divisional effort to develop a program on vocation, with support from the Lilly Endowment.

4.3.2 Coordinate with the ministry recruitment efforts of Calvin Theological Seminary and possibly other seminaries as well.

4.3.3 Expand opportunities for departments to expose students to speakers discussing issues of vocation in their fields.

4.4 Develop effective strategies to make the College more just and inclusive with regard to race and gender relations.

4.4.1 Use the findings from institutional data, assessment results, and special focus studies to propose changes in mandates, governance structures, programs and practice.

4.4.2 Implement revised Comprehensive Plan's features for faculty and staff development.

4.5 Examine current faculty reward structures: salaries, teaching and research support, promotions and awards.

4.5.1 Conduct a comparative study of faculty salaries, and develop a plan to keep faculty compensation competitive with that of peer institutions.

4.5.2 Assess the balance in support for teaching, advising, service and research, and their respective roles as criteria for promotion and other rewards.

5. Enhance the College’s performance and reputation by improving the quality of its services, facilities and financial base, while sustaining its affordability.

5.1 Manage undergraduate enrollment in order to stabilize planning and strengthen the student body.

5.1.1 Reinvigorate interest of Christian Reformed families in a Calvin College education.

5.1.2 Establish stronger ties to other communities and agencies that have contributed students, especially within communities of color, and in pockets of alumni strength.

5.1.3 Establish priorities for selecting an entering class in the event that demand for admission continues to grow.

5.2 Conduct a major capital campaign to increase endowment and enhance campus facilities.

5.2.1 Increase endowments for the operation and maintenance of campus facilities,

5.2.2 Increase endowments for faculty salaries and the enhancement of research and teaching,

5.2.3 Increase endowments for centers, institutes and programs.

5.2.4 Increase endowments for student scholarships and assistantships.

5.3 Address space and facilities needs by funding and constructing the facilities proposed in the Campus Plan.

5.3.1 Fund and construct a facility to accommodate the Communications and Political Science programs.

5.3.2 Fund and construct a conference center and an ecosystem interpretive center.

5.3.3 Fund and construct a renovation of the Commons according to a Campus Center model.

5.3.4 Fund and construct a renovation and major expansion of the Knollcrest Dining Hall.

5.3.5 Fund and construct a new facility for exercise, indoor practice and wellness programs, and renovate the existing facility.

5.3.6 Assess, evaluate, and renovate campus housing for improved accessibility, capacity, and programming.

5.3.7. Fund and complete renovation of the Science Building's first floor.

5.4 Maintain high levels of service and attractiveness while remaining cost-effective.

5.4.1 Conduct regular needs assessments and other program-driven kinds of planning for facility remodeling and renovation.

5.4.2 Establish priorities for the use and retrofitting of current facilities.

5.4.3 Develop plans, including cost implications, for the maintenance, infrastructural support and renovation of campus facilities.

5.4.4 Conduct regular reviews of physical plant and campus services to monitor student satisfaction, cost-effectiveness, inter-departmental communication and cooperation, and opportunities for improvement.

5.5 Review faculty, staff and student use of information services, and develop a plan for the ongoing improvement of infrastructure, applications, and support services.

5.5.1 Expand and enhance the on-line community (KnightVision) by the addition of services, organizations, and new members.

5.5.2 Strengthen the integration of information services with teaching and learning by upgrading faculty support, installing additional technology-enhanced classrooms, and increasing faculty participation in the development of services and the acquisition of resources in the Hekman Library.

5.5.3 Re-engineer and more fully automate the strategic business practices of the college to gain increased efficiency, accuracy and reliability, and to improve the quality of customer service.

5.6 Establish campus standards for both environmental stewardship and environmental health and safety, and develop a monitoring system to assess their impact.

5.6.1 Conduct a comprehensive study of current environmental practices and develop standards for safe and stewardly campus operations.

5.6.2 Develop an ongoing monitoring system to assure compliance to environmental health and safety standards.

5.7 Develop a pricing and financial aid strategy that sustains the College’s affordability while alleviating some of the tensions between quality and costs.

5.7.1 Ascertain where the College’s current pricing places it among comparable institutions and decide whether that is an appropriate placement.

5.7.2 Fine tune financial aid to sustain affordability for those qualifying for aid.

5.8 Strengthen the College’s program of assessment, institutional research and planning.

5.8.1 Complete and publish an annual fact book.

5.8.2 Close feedback loops between assessment and institutional planning with regular reports and digests designed to assist in planning and priority setting.

5.8.3 Conduct a mid-course review of this plan in 2003 and develop a new plan in 2005, following on the accreditation self-study and evaluation.

5.8.4 Start preparations in 2001 for an accrediting visit and evaluation by the North Central Association in 2004. Conduct a self-study in 2003.

5.9 Improve the College’s regional and national visibility by highlighting and promoting its achievements and services.

5.9.1 Develop the College's regional and national branding by highlighting and promoting its achievements and services.

5.9.2 Increase public knowledge of the College’s achievements in academics and student life. Reassess deployment of staff in order to bring about this change.

5.9.3 Improve the links between campus programs and media relations staff.

5.9.4 Promote the academic and civic use of the new conference facilities, so as to strengthen the College’s role as a regional and national convening center.

5.9.5 Find additional ways to get extra benefit from campus events, perhaps via a web-based weekly “magazine.”