March 8, 2019

Dear MCAD Community,

With the spring semester underway, it’s a great time to look at this year in context. The 2018-2019 academic year is the first in a three-year strategic plan that takes us through the summer 2021. MCAD 2021 will guide the college through the transition to a new president, ensuring continuity and stability for the college, while also advancing new initiatives.

Planning for MCAD 2021 began in 2017 under the direction of then president, Jay Coogan. As the Next Now 5-year plan was ending, the president and the president's advisory council laid out a framework, with listening sessions held at all levels of the college. Students, staff, and faculty input was carefully considered, as well as feedback from the board of trustees. Last fall, we have been working on turning that valuable information into a plan, including goals, strategies and tactics, with timelines, areas of responsibility and budgets.

The questions we have been asking ourselves are:

  • While ensuring stability, where can we make change?
  • Where are we already headed, and how can we push in that direction?
  • Where are we behind, and what do we improve to better our standing there?
  • How do we address risk, and what information do we need to make decisions?

These guiding principles lead our thinking and our doing:

  1. MCAD will define the art and design school experience for the future, attracting a community of talented, dedicated, and innovative students who will be the next generation of creative makers and leaders.
  2. MCAD will be an inclusive community, where all can learn and grow together, and where students can become the authors of their own stories (creativity and purpose).
  3. MCAD will engage students in an education that encourages questioning, experimenting, and creative problem-solving to offer art and design solutions to community and world challenges.

There are two main goals, which are interdependent and support each other: Student Success and Institutional Vitality. While some of the strategies are inward-looking, they will be most effective when combined with growth in external strategies.

We will provide an environment that enhances student success by focusing on students’ academic, personal, and professional growth. We will deepen our commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community. Our graduates will begin their professional lives with a strong creative, intellectual and practical foundation, enabling them to shape their own sense of creativity, meaning, and purpose. Our focus is on a holistic student experience including wellness, DEI initiatives, invigorated curriculum, and professional development.

To support our students’ success, we will ensure our institution is thriving academically and financially, with robust enrollment, high-quality facilities, co-curricular resources, and advanced academic and administrative technology. MCAD will be a vital community partner, strengthening its ties to established communities while reaching out to make new connections both locally and nationally. Assessing space, technology, and resources needed to sustain and grow the college are in tandem with developing partnerships and connecting to the wider community.

I invite you to stay tuned and join us where you can. The MCAD community is wide and deep, and MCAD’s success is connected to the neighborhood, the city, and yes, the nation and the world. And you.

Karen Wirth
Interim President

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