Board approves strategic plan

The Northwestern College Board of Trustees voted to approve the college’s strategic plan, “Transforming Learning,” at its fall meeting, Oct. 8–9.

The strategic plan, which is intended to guide Northwestern’s efforts through 2012, was developed over a year-and-a-half period under the leadership of a nine-member steering committee. The plan, which now goes into the implementation phase, is geared toward creating an engaged community of learners. The plan builds on Northwestern’s “Vision for Learning,” which describes the college’s goals of educating students in a way that enables them to trust, love and worship God; engage ideas; connect knowledge and experience; and respond to God’s call.

Other strategic initiatives of the plan include recruiting and retention strategies to maintain a stable and diverse campus community and securing the physical, financial and organizational resources necessary for all members of the college to flourish.

“This was the second board meeting to focus on the strategic plan,” says President Bruce Murphy, “and it was discussed extensively in a plenary session and in committee meetings. The trustees approved the plan’s goals enthusiastically and expressed appreciation to the members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for their diligent work.”

The board also authorized spending up to $500,000 on architectural plans for a new residence hall that could replace Heemstra and West halls. The potential facility is envisioned to have a capacity of 220 to 300 students in two to four distinct living communities. “One of the board’s goals is to retain the sense of close community that our current residence plan offers,” says Murphy.

In other business, the board appointed Wayne Van Heuvelen, a 1974 Northwestern alumnus who is a financial adviser in Urbandale, Iowa, as a new trustee who will attend his first meeting next spring.

The board meeting followed a weekend of celebrating Homecoming and Northwestern’s 125-year anniversary, which included a reunion for current and former trustees attended by more than 50. Among the board meeting’s activities were a lunch with President-Elect Greg Christy and his wife, Michelle, and a farewell event for President Murphy and his wife, Di, who are retiring this fall.