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Returning to strategic planning, March 22, 4:30 p.m.

William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe sent the following message to the university community on March 11, 2021. - Ed.

Dear W&M Community,

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the warmer weather and early signs of spring. Among other positive trends, we are beginning to see vaccine distribution increase in our region – with potential for more in coming weeks. In Williamsburg and beyond, the sheer scale of human effort that has kept William & Mary teaching, learning, and working so successfully, thus far, has been extraordinary. Please know your dedication and resilience are appreciated every hour of every day.  

At this moment of hope and commitment, I write to invite you to join me in returning to longer-term planning. This month, William & Mary will restart the strategic planning process we paused 12 months ago. We do so after a year that has been necessarily focused on the near-term thinking required to keep this community safe. We will take this next step by reflecting in a deliberate way on what we have learned and gained, and how we have changed, in this remarkable and difficult year.

Please tune in for a Community Conversation on March 22 at 4:30 p.m. ET as we formally return to strategic planning:

  • We will briefly recap our planning process and introduce a timeline for concluding it.
  • We will share next steps for Phase III, designed to chart a longer-term vision and near-term actions to maintain William & Mary’s positive momentum under pandemic.
  • And we will formally restart the process by seeking your insights into three questions many in this community have already been asking. During pandemic, how have our assumptions changed and matured? What do we want to carry forward from this year? What do we now want to lay aside?

In advance, I invite you to revisit the white papers and framing assumptions meticulously prepared by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. As many will recall, these were published at the conclusion of Phase II, which engaged the campus in scanning the higher education landscape for emerging trends in learning, research, and flourishing. These assumptions have been thoroughly stress-tested under pandemic and will serve as a framework for our discussions over the coming weeks.

Thank you for all you are doing to cultivate a bright future for William & Mary.

Best regards,

– Katherine


Katherine A. Rowe