Strategic plan provides direction for MU’s future

Marina Boyle, Editor-in-chief

The 2021-2024 Mission Inspired Future Ready Strategic Plan for Mercyhurst University has been created and is now available for review by the Mercyhurst community. The Strategic Plan is a blueprint for how the University aims to proser and grow in the next phase of its existence.
An original timeline called for the plan for the next three years to be approved at the October 2020 board meeting, but due to the disruption to our lives by the COVID-19 pandemic, the timeline was pushed back.
The Strategic Plan is now set to be approved by the Board of Trustees at their May 2021 meeting.
The goals of the plan were developed through the comprehensive evaluation of shared values, vision and mission.
Goal 1 of the plan calls for the University to be mindful of our liberal arts foundation and the entrepreneurial Mercy spirit, while adapting academic programs to a changing market.
This includes ensuring flexible pathways for all student types and investing in new programs, with particular attention to online graduate offerings and the liberal arts.
Goal 2 focuses on students and calls on us to strengthen our resources for holistic wellness and career preparedness. Special attention is given to the most vulnerable students, including a renewed focus on justice, equity and inclusion.
Lastly, Goal 3 highlights a commitment to thriving beyond the Mercyhurst centennial in 2026 and securing the most fundamental foundations, such as our connections to the Sisters of Mercy, our supports for employees, our campus and the University’s financial health.
Each goal is accompanied by a list of initiatives and possible action steps to deploy.
For example, for Goal 2, the university will continue to invest in the university’s plans for equity, inclusion and justice through “robust, ongoing antiracism training for all University stakeholders while expanding co-curricular opportunities for student engagement.” The plan also highlights dialogue concerning multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, antiracism and social justice.
For Goal 3, the university will continue to offer strong employee and student Mercy Emissary programs and establish a centennial planning committee to begin planning a “set of celebrations that will commemorate Mercyhurst’s storied past while projecting a clear vision for the future.”
Once the strategic plan is approved, it will serve as a guide for making key institutional decisions and allocating resources. Metrics to determine progress in meeting the plan’s goals will be identified in the coming months.
The plan will be reviewed by the Mercyhurst community on an annual basis and its objectives and strategies will be revised as the University evolves and the environment in which it operates changes.
“The strategic plan serves as a guide for making key institutional decisions and allocating our resources. The plan also enables the community to focus on the same goals and path to improvement,” chief information officer, Jeanette Britt, said.
With a solid plan set, Mercyhurst will be poised for success until 2024 and far beyond. Here’s to the future of the Hurst!