The following considerations address important matters that came up frequently in response to the President’s Green Paper and must be part of our planning.
Refresh Wheaton’s Mission Statement
The Board of Trustees will lead a formal review of the current mission statement in appropriate consultation with leaders of the campus community. Attention should be given to more clearly emphasizing our educational mission and its relationship to the liberal arts; to determining if “whole and effective” are the best, most biblical terms to describe the graduates we hope to send out into the world; to considering whether more explicit mention should be made of the Community Covenant; and to clarifying the relationship between graduate and undergraduate programs.
Nurture Vibrant Christian Community
The President will devise means of identifying our core values for life together as a learning, living, working community of grace; of regularly assessing progress in honoring those values; and of working collaboratively to improve the quality of Christ-centered community campuswide.
Wheaton remains committed to keeping its education affordable for students from the broadest range of economic backgrounds. In part, we will achieve this goal through securing scholarship funding, including funding that advances our strategic priorities for global education and ethnic diversity. In addition, as a principle for sound financial management, the College will fund strategic initiatives through tuition-neutral gifts, endowments, reallocations, and budget reductions.
Strengthen Graduate Education
As part of a larger strategy for improving and expanding facilities for graduate education, the Biblical and Theological Studies department is moving to the fifth floor of the Billy Graham Center. Further, the Provost is working with the Academic Affairs Committee to provide the Trustees with a regular report and review of graduate education.
The administration is also moving forward with a comprehensive plan to strengthen faculty governance for graduate education, as drafted by the Graduate Restructuring Task Force. Such a plan is needed before any further consideration could be given to expanding the Graduate School. To ensure that it coheres with the mission of the College and clarifies the vision of graduate education, the plan must:
- Go through an approval process that includes broad collaboration with the full graduate faculty.
- Provide strong leadership through a dean whose primary responsibility is to oversee graduate education.
- Remain grounded in Wheaton’s strengths as a liberal arts institution, yet affirm advanced degree programs as a legitimate complement to a liberal arts program.
- Place primary attention for vision-setting and marketing at the level of individual or thematic clusters of programs.
- Provide sufficient horizontal integration to maintain academic excellence across programs and foster the spiritual and material welfare of our students. Improving these elements of the graduate student experience may include addressing tuition costs; increasing financial aid opportunities in order to decrease student debt load; and enhancing and developing programs that take into consideration the unique needs of graduate students (health care, career services, parking, housing, meal plans).