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Our Plan

Strategic Plan / Our Plan
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Our Path Forward, Strategic Plan of Rider University

Our Path

A multi-year strategic plan is only as good as the annual divisional plans that support it. Together, they ensure that our mission and vision are fulfilled.

STRATEGIC PLAN

2017-18 Divisional Plans

These plans are the backbone of the Strategic Plan and identify the divisional goals and action plans that are being implemented in the 2017-18 academic year.


STUDENT SUCCESS: OUR UNWAVERING FOCUS ON STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. In collaboration with Student Affairs, the deans, faculty and staff, continue the implementation of the Engaged Learning Program.
  2. Establish a UAPC Task Force charged with creating a credit-bearing FYE seminar that introduces first-year students to the habits of mind of a college educated student.
  3. Establish a UAPC Task force charged with the development of a holistic advising program for all students structured around a team approach.
  4. Working collaboratively with Student Affairs, offer summer experiences for all incoming freshmen as an extension of new student orientation.
  5. Increase the use of evidence-based pedagogical strategies for continuous improvement and student success.
  6. Expand programming within the Academic Success Center.
  7. Build career preparation more fully into the curriculum.

THE ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO

  1. Create new programs and revise existing programs that address the changing needs of industry and society, and achieve distinctiveness.
  2. Strengthen the academic portfolio based upon the recommendations of the Academic Prioritization Task Force.

BRANDING, MARKETING AND PROMOTION

  1. Create awareness, internally and externally, of the pillars of excellence within Academic Affairs.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PEOPLE

  1. Create a more collaborative, trusting, and collegial working environment between faculty and the senior administration.
  2. Create a climate that acknowledges and appreciates the work of those in Academic Affairs.

DIVISIONAL OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES

  1. Ensure successful accreditation for the University, colleges, and programs.
  2. Continue to build a robust assessment process.
  3. Strengthen the use of analytics and reporting through the use of technology.
  4. Create a more formal budget process for the allocation of resources.

SUPPORTING STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. Engage the Student Athlete Advisory Committee in more meaningful ways to improve the overall student-athlete experience.
  2. Complete construction and implement scheduling policies for most effective utilization of the new athletic academic support center, team meeting space, and recruiting lounge in Maurer.
  3. Collaborate with the Student Success Center to increase tutoring options and efficiencies as a result of the new athletic academic support center.
  4. Provide all student-athletes with NCAA mandated sexual assault training.

THE BRANDING, MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF OUR COMMUNITY

  1. Utilize the recent launch of the new athletic website to continue to improve quantity and quality of live video broadcasts, highlight packages and special features.
  2. Prepare facilities, purchase production trailer, lease the required equipment, and train staff and students to self-produce live ESPN3 broadcasts during the 2018-19 academic year.
  3. Collaborate with the Department of Communication and those within the sports media major curriculum to engage students directly in the ESPN3 productions.

A VIBRANT CAMPUS COMMUNITY

  1. Establish comprehensive marketing plans for each sport to engage both internal and external constituents.
  2. Encourage and provide opportunities for student-athletes to be visible on campus and to take part in other non-athletic, events, clubs, and organizations.
  3. Re-establish pep band for home basketball games.

DIVISIONAL OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES

  1. Begin establishing Bronc Backer Athletic Booster Club to enhance the Raise Your Game Challenge and explore options with an external corporate sponsorship firm to increase revenue.
  2. Partner with University Advancement to make progress on the Campaign for Rider Athletics to finish the final phases of the Alumni Gym project.
  3. Explore best options to enhance the track and field with the funds raised to name the track after long-time track coach Mike Brady.
  4. Other facility priorities include improving seating at Ben Cohen Field, establishing a plan to renovate Coppola Pool and the tennis courts, and addressing rest rooms and concessions for field sports.

FOCUSING ON STUDENTS FIRST: OUR UNWAVERING FOCUS ON STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

INCREASING APPLICATIONS

  1. Assess the recruitment funnel to score prospective student engagement and likelihood to enroll to focus and prioritize recruitment efforts.
  2. Target new admission and financial aid communication strategies using the longer recruitment cycle.
  3. Expand digital media and marketing for online programming.
  4. Integrate engaged learning and The Rider Promise throughout the recruitment process.
  5. Expand video opportunities for recruitment.
  6. Begin the process to replace the retiring Communications and Relationship Management (Banner BRM) system.

INCREASING YIELD

  1. Integrate engaged learning and The Rider Promise throughout the enrollment process.
  2. Launch an affordability web and video campaign.
  3. Expand the Outcomes of a Rider Education video series.
  4. Revise the online virtual campus tours.
  5. Explore new technologies to assist in completing admission decisions including, but not limited to, document imaging, integrated text messaging with Banner, and electronic transcripts.
  6. Review financial aid policies to award merit aid to further strengthen yield among students likely to persist.

INCREASE ENROLLMENTS

  1. Explore opportunities for new corporate partnerships to increase graduate and CCS enrollment, similar to Bancroft and Bank of America affiliations.
  2. Expand international recruitment in both China and India to increase enrollment, despite declining trends in international enrollment.
  3. Increase international enrollment for undergraduate and graduate degree programs using internal resources and external partnerships to expand feeders.
  4. Expand communication with the Retention Committee and departments on campus to provide intervention for students.
  5. With Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, implement and communicate an early warning system for freshmen based on survey results and financial aid data.
  6. Expand digital media and marketing for online programming.

REVITALIZE OFFERINGS

  1. Collaborate with the Provost to develop new academic programs and delivery methods, including online enrollments, that are in high demand and economically and socially relevant, as well as revenue producing.
  2. Continually review external data from, but not limited to, the federal, state, and local governments and external testing agencies to determine market demand.
  3. Continually review the competitive landscape to determine gaps in meeting market demand where Rider can be a trailblazer in the higher education arena.

SUPPORT ENGAGED LEARNING

  1. Provide support to the Provost, Academic Deans, and Student Affairs to build awareness and recognition for the program to prospective students, families, the guidance community, and other key stakeholders.
  2. Showcase successful student engagement, experiences, and learning throughout the recruitment process.
  3. Continue to develop digital marketing materials/videos to promote the Engaged Learning program.
  4. Restructure the Financial Aid budget allocations to expand financial and engaged learning opportunities across all clubs, organizations, special populations, research positions, resident advisors, community services, etc., on campus that contribute both to the University and to the surrounding community.

STRENGTHEN PERSISTENCE

  1. Provide support to the Provost and Academic Deans to plan and publicize community college articulation agreements and engage prospective transfer students academically and socially on campus to positively influence transfer recruitment.
  2. Offer unique admission programming to prospective transfer students enrolled in courses at Rider, including, but not limited to, application fee waivers and more personalized recruitment events.
  3. Continue to grow the population of Mercer County Community College students residing on the Lawrenceville campus.
  4. Holistically assess applications to admit the most promising, though challenged, new freshmen class to the Milestone Scholar Program.
  5. Increase awareness of financial literacy and student loan debt management.

RAISING RIDER’S PROFILE: PROMOTING OUR IMAGE AND VALUE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD

  1. Create a Director of Marketing position to coordinate marketing efforts including staff support in digital marketing and website oversight.
  2. Participate in an external brand study as it relates to the prospective student market.
  3. Promote The Rider Promise throughout admission marketing materials, digital media, and Rider’s website.
  4. Continue to revise marketing and communication plans to expand brand awareness, student centeredness, academic quality, and outcomes to prospective students, parents, employers, and business leaders.
  5. Continue to produce marketing materials that comply with University branding and standards.
  6. Promote the pillars of excellence in print and digital media and expand the website video library to highlight engaged learning, outcomes, affordability, vibrant campus life, and lifetime fulfillment.

INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE: STRATEGIC CULTIVATION, MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT OF OUR RESOURCES

  1. Maintain a responsible discount level for all enrolled populations.
  2. Research and consider new innovative pricing models and strategies for accelerated programs and CCS.
  3. Support Student Affairs to develop alternative residential pricing models.
  4. Establish online payment options for inactive students.
  5. Provide additional new payment plan options for current students.
  6. Decrease the overall accounts receivable by 3%.
  7. Increase in-house collections by 5%.
  8. Increase external collections by 4%.
  9. Integrate enrollment projections with the new financial forecasting software to streamline financial analysis.
  10. Support Facilities and Operations in prioritizing facilities needs and improvements based on prospective student feedback.
  11. Develop a divisional committee to generate efficiencies across reporting units and standardize reporting schedule and presentation.
  12. Support the increased need for data in the academic prioritization process.
  13. Expand the reporting repository for more broad campus and external access to include longitudinal data, annual regulatory reports and surveys, and relevant external research/whitepapers.

A VIBRANT CAMPUS COMMUNITY

  1. Through the facilities master planning process, develop a series of projects in conjunction with Student Affairs, Athletics and the Provost's office that will have immediate positive impact on the campus community.
  2. Through Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, create informal gathering areas that will foster interaction amongst all members of the campus community. These spaces could be internal in the buildings in the form of open lounges or small rooms with glass walls to invite activity. On the campus grounds, these areas could be surrounding a central focus like a fire pit, sculpture or canopy of buildings to promote and support interaction between students, faculty and staff.
  3. Work closely with Student Affairs to develop a short-term and long-term strategy for the renovation and or construction of residential facilities on campus that both retain and support students.
  4. In conjunction with the athletic director, renovate or build facilities that create high-quality varsity competition spaces to support student athletes and increase school spirit. These could include renovation of Alumni Gym to enhance seating capacity, improve fan amenities and enhance locker rooms for student athletes.
  5. Continue to develop, in conjunction with Student Affairs, recreational programs and facilities that serve the campus community by delivering exercise and wellness programs that enrich the campus experience.
  6. Begin planning and construction of the bond-supported renovation and construction projects.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PEOPLE / DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

  1. Develop programs in conjunction with Human Resources that recruit staff from organizations that may increase the opportunity for underrepresented populations.
  2. Train staff on how to use recruiting tools to use a broader-based approach to hiring.
  3. Continue to be a division that is supportive and demonstrates the commitment to all employees.
  4. Conduct surveys intended to evaluate and enhance the service provided by both Facilities and Auxiliary Services. Utilize databases to analyze trends and develop programs that are proactive.
  5. Attend meetings and solicit feedback through the Student Government Association, Deans' Council, Cabinet and campus unions AAUP and AFSCME.
  6. Continue the proactive approach of notifying the campus community regarding upcoming projects, events and activities that might alter the routines of the day.

THE STRATEGIC CULTIVATION, MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT OF OUR RESOURCES

  1. Maximize the use of the trigeneration plant by engaging an energy management firm to operate it at maximum efficiency to the university. This will result it enhance energy savings for the university.
  2. Develop a long-term energy strategy that incorporates sustainable methods and enhances the service to the campus community. These methods could include a cogeneration plant, solar panels or microgrids to power the campus and continue energy service in the event of a crisis.
  3. Monetize the unused portions of land either in the front of campus or rear of campus to generate additional revenue. Projects could include preservation, a housing development, cell towers, a cogeneration plant or a partnership with a third party for a corporate entity.
  4. Continue the growth of Auxiliary Programs to increase revenue 3% to 5% annually. These programs include summer conference services, study tours, King's College language education, vending and dining services. These areas must continue to be reviewed as entrepreneurial opportunities that can creatively bring additional funds to the university.
  5. Develop requests for proposals and rebid service contracts that include beverage and vending, dining services and energy procurement. Successful negotiations of these agreements will yield significant savings to the university operating budget while not decreasing services to the campus community.
  6. Continue to reduce the carbon footprint. This past year the university saw a nearly 9% decrease in this area. Sustained progress of 5% annually in this area will reduce costs through reduced travel, efficient energy systems on campus and increased awareness of green programs.
  7. Complete the facilities master planning process for approval by the Board of Trustees in February 2018. Planning will focus on land use, energy management, architectural services for both buildings and landscape, civil engineering and mechanical services.

OUR UNWAVERING FOCUS ON STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. Support University efforts that address tuition, housing and other quality-of-life aspects for students.
  2. Actively engage in the campus facilities master planning and residential life master plan process to enhance spaces that facilitate student engagement.
  3. Partner with Academic Affairs to implement technology tools that enable student success, such as the Engaged Learning Transcript and Student Success Management System.
  4. Assist Academic Affairs with revitalizing curricular delivery methods such as the selection of a Distance Learning Provider and other requirements as necessary.

THE BRANDING, MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF OUR COMMUNITY

  1. Support the process to assess current marketing / branding agencies and associated spend and select the best partners with solid metrics, follow-up and accountability.
  2. Focus on all divisional communication within the University and with the outside community that promotes and portrays the University in professional manner.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PEOPLE

  1. Promote efforts to support, develop and appreciate the Finance staff by implementing formal goal-setting and consistent communication, and recognition of exceptional work or accomplishments.
  2. Invest in tools such as the new Axiom budget/forecasting tool that will improve efficiency, skills and knowledge of the team as well as their deliverables. Promote professional development to enhance staff expertise and service capabilities.
  3. Sustain a diversified workforce where similarities and differences are celebrated and embraced.

STRATEGIC CULTIVATION, MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT OF OUR RESOURCES

  1. Complete the transition to a fully automated, online open enrollment system that offers employees an opportunity to make fully informed decisions, optimizing our benefits choices to best match individual needs, while providing a much more efficient process.
  2. Prepare for and complete the process of renewing the AFSCME labor agreement, meeting established organizational goals while maintaining appropriate equity among employee groups and recognizing the many important contributions of our support staff and their role in supporting University strategic initiatives.

OUR COMMITMENT TO PLANNING, IMPLEMENTATION AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

  1. Regularly benchmark University financial performance and develop strategies to support improvement.
  2. Implement robust process to streamline financial activities relating to conference services, Study Tours and the Kings program.
  3. Complete the Information Technology Strategic Plan to guide institutional priorities for innovation.

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PEOPLE - STRIVING TO BE AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE

  1. Promote efforts to support, develop and encourage professional development through employee training opportunities and leadership programs, while strengthening appraisal processes in ways that connect performance with recognition and rewards programs.
  2. Support meaningful ways for employees to engage actively with students, prospective students, alumni and each other across divisions.
  3. Revise the new employee onboarding process for all new faculty and staff in order to best orient new hires to the University mission, vision, values and strategic initiatives.
  4. Strengthen commitment to the employee experience by providing excellent service in every interaction with current employees, job applicants and retirees.
  5. Strengthen campus spirit and further a sense of community, place and belonging through various family-oriented programs such as hosting Take Your Child to Work Day, and considering opportunities to adopt policies that encourage work-life balance.
  6. Establish mechanisms, both formal and informal, that allows for open, honest and respectful dialogue among employees and promotes a common understanding. Establish a variety of approaches to keep the University community informed of important institutional progress and strategic and operational goals (such as the establishment of a strategic planning microsite), while allowing for two-way communication.
  7. Assess opportunities to strengthen a culture of appreciation, revitalizing awards recognition programs and adopting additional approaches for top-down and peer-to-peer recognition, formal and informal.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

  1. Partner with others on campus, contribute to institutional efforts of establishing an inclusive community.
  2. Sustain a diversified workforce where similarities and differences are celebrated and embraced.
  3. Complete the upgrade of the online applicant tracking and position control system to enhance recruitment tools, assuring an inclusive and efficient process that reflects our commitment to strive to be an employer of choice.
  4. Develop and conduct Title IX training for faculty and staff, covering the University policy and procedures and responsible employee obligations.
  5. Support efforts to enhance civic engagement of our employees.

STRATEGIC CULTIVATION, MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT OF OUR RESOURCES

  1. Secure appropriate funds to support University renovations such as the expansion of academic buildings, residence halls and community common areas.
  2. Reduce operating cost by establishing sound procurement practices that emphasizes transparency, one-Rider, metrics and 'best value'.
  3. Establish University-wide teams to accurately assess current state and holistically/strategically assess the best way to implement cross-divisional purchases of services, enterprise software tools, and processes.
  4. Source and implement more varied and more efficient financial and other offerings to students that will result in administrative process improvements, reduced fees and enhanced student experience.
  5. Reduce cyber security and other risks by continuing to implement the 2015 Cybersecurity Audit recommendations and ensuring newly engaged vendors are PCI and other risk compliant as exemplified in the eCommerce initiative.

A VIBRANT CAMPUS COMMUNITY

  1. Strengthen campus spirit and further build a sense of community, place and belonging.
  2. Actively engage in the campus facilities master planning process to enhance spaces that facilitate student engagement.
  3. Support meaningful ways for student to engage actively with alumni.
  4. Strengthen commitment to the student experience by providing excellent service in every student interaction.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

  1. Develop intentional co-curricular opportunities to engage students in multicultural education across the Student Affairs organization.
  2. Promote intentional engagement with and support of marginalized students, including minority populations by race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, social class, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, age, ability, and all other identities.
  3. Partnering with others on campus, contribute to institutional efforts of establishing an inclusive community.
  4. Sustain a diversified workforce where similarities and differences are celebrated and embraced.

STUDENT SUCCESS: OUR UNWAVERING FOCUS ON STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. Contribute to development of a comprehensive University-wide first-year experience (FYE) for all freshmen and transfer students.
  2. Actively contribute to institutional goals associated with persistence and timeliness to graduation.
  3. Promote the health and well-being of students in support of their holistic development.

CO-CURRICULAR LEARNING: OUR UNWAVERING FOCUS ON STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. Provide support for the implementation of the Engaged Learning Program beginning with the fall 2017 entering class.
  2. Develop and implement a comprehensive assessment strategy for services, programs and co-curricular learning experiences delivered by Student Affairs.
  3. Strengthen the opportunities afforded by living learning communities.
  4. Expand efforts to enhance civic engagement of students.

DIVISIONAL OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES

  1. Review staff capacity/org structure for Student Affairs informed by internal evaluation and national benchmarks. Evaluate and align organizational resources to meet needs and priorities.
  2. Evaluate organizational fiscal resources, expenditures and needs. To address institutional fiscal concerns, continue to consider opportunities to achieve cost savings and explore additional sources of revenue.
  3. In support of strategic goal focused on importance of our people, intentionally design efforts to support, develop and appreciate the Student Affairs staff.
  4. Evaluate the use of technology to more effectively and inexpensively deliver services and programs. Evaluate staff technology competency to promote skills to advance these efforts.

UNIVERSITY MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

  1. In support of the distribution of the Strategic Plan, we will develop and guide a communications plan for year-long rollout of the Strategic Plan.
  2. In support of the Strategic Plan goal to "Define and implement key messaging around the Engaged Learning Program," we will develop and implement Year 2 of a branding advertising campaign with primary focus of engaged learning.
  3. Lead and manage PR/communications process pertaining to sale of WCC to protect and promote university's image and reputation.
  4. Fill remaining open positions in the department (i.e., Communications Coordinator and Administrative Specialist).

DEVELOPMENT - CAMPAIGN-RELATED

In support of the Strategic Plan's goal to "embark on a multi-year Comprehensive Campaign," we will:

  1. Draft campaign prospectus (based on Strategic Plan and Presidential Vision).
  2. Conduct a feasibility Study to determine size of seven-year campaign.
  3. Recruit campaign chair and other members of a campaign cabinet.
  4. Hire Associate VP for Campaign Operations; finalize campaign budget.
  5. Begin to cultivate trustee and "inner-circle" lead gifts.

DEVELOPMENT

  1. In support of the Strategic Plan's goal to increase unrestricted giving to the University to $1.6 million by the end of the campaign, we will raise $1,550,000 for the Annual Fund. The Women's Giving Challenge (led by Joan Mazzotti '72) will take center stage and will contribute significantly to this objective.
  2. Secure $12.5M in gifts and pledges. (That total would be Rider's best year ever, eclipsing FY12's $11.4M.)
  3. Bring in $8M in cash (a 50% increase from FY17).
  4. In support of the Action Plan to "Confirm new bequest intentions…," we will confirm a minimum of 15 new bequest intentions.

ALUMNI RELATIONS

  1. In support of the Strategic Plan's goal to "Engage … alumni in the Engaged Learning Program," we will develop a comprehensive plan to support opportunities for alumni to volunteer and support the University's Engaged Learning Program.
  2. In support of the Strategic Plan's goal to "… utilize alumni as mentors," we will create a student mentoring program (connecting young alumni with current students) in partnership with the Office of Career Development.
  3. Continue to develop plans for our BOLD program (Broncs of the Last Decade, '07-'17) in conjunction with the Office of Annual Giving.
  4. In connection with the Action Plan to "Engage … parents early and frequently throughout (their) students' time at Rider as the starting point for lifelong engagement," we will work with various University divisions (especially Enrollment Management and Student Affairs) to develop a comprehensive Parent Relations program.

ADVANCEMENT SERVICES

  1. In support of the Strategic Plan's goal for the successful rollout of "a multiyear Comprehensive Campaign," we will draft appropriate campaign counting and gift acceptance policies.
  2. Manage the phaseout of NetCommunity and implementation of Online Express. In collaboration with OIT, identify a PCI-compliant platform for accepting donation through Online Express.
  3. Support the transition of data, documents, and other materials needed to ensure a smooth transfer of Westminster Choir College to a prospective buyer.
  4. Explore best practices for gathering and maintaining parent information.