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Strategic Plan

A Strategic Plan for Clarke University

From the way we interact in the classroom to the ways our students, employees, and alumni create community wherever they go, how we learn, live, lead, and give play a fundamental role in Clarke’s history and future. This strategic plan is a living document, meant to evolve with the needs and possibilities available that align with our mission, vision, and values. Through the actionable goals and objectives outlined in this strategic plan, we seek to create a vibrant and resilient future for Clarke University and the communities we serve.

To create community every day through our learning, living, leading, and giving.
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Goal 1:
Recruit, retain, support, and develop successful students.

Objective 1.1.
Increase participation in CU educational offerings

Priority Initiatives and Activities

1.1.1. Cultivate additional enrollment in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

1.1.2. Design and implement regional and targeted national community college transfer model (i.e. CC Today, CU Tomorrow).

1.1.3. Continue working with local employers and community to refine and maximize enrollment opportunities in CareerPLUS, adult studies, non-credit, and non-degree programming.

Objective 1.2.
Improve student learning

Priority Initiatives and Activities

1.2.1. Complete and continuously assess Compass for individualized and aggregate impact on student learning through integrated co-curricular experiences.

1.2.2.  Build upon and sustain the COVID-19 response to systematic faculty development and IT support actions undertaken to ensure consistent and responsive quality of online and in-person instruction alike.

1.2.3. Optimize use and impact of the Margaret Mann Resource Center (MARC) and other student success support services as an expectation, not an option for student success.

Objective 1.3.
Participate in and lead initiatives that advance student success

Priority Initiatives and Activities

1.3.1. Initiate the systematic review and revision of CU retention strategies and emphasize and support high impact practices.

1.3.2.  Research and respond to student readiness and access; emphasize and support high impact practices.

1.3.3.  Fully implement, measure, and adapt, as needed, CU’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Quality Initiative Plan.

1.3.4.  Maximize opportunities for students to work and learn through federal work-study, on- and off-campus jobs, internships, and cooperative learning experiences that support learning and career readiness.

professional development

Goal 2:
Recruit, retain, support, and develop successful employees.

Objective 2.1.
Provide a diverse and strategic array of professional development opportunities for all our employees

Priority Initiatives and Activities

2.1.1. Identify and offer professional development courses and series that support the needs and expectations of our employees.

2.1.2.  Review and refine staff and administrative job descriptions and evaluation procedures to align with CU career pathways and succession planning.

Objective 2.2.
Compose and implement employment policies, procedures and pathways which facilitate employee satisfaction and success

Priority Initiatives and Activities

2.2.1.  Provide employees with fair and equitable compensation and benefits when compared to peer Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and employers.

2.2.2. Utilize local and benchmarked measures of employee satisfaction and engagement (e.g. Great Colleges to Work For) to inform and revise related CU internal policies, procedures, and practices.

2.2.3.  Intentionally increase recruitment and retention of diverse employees.

Clarke University Campus

Goal 3:
Optimize institutional effectiveness to provide additional stability and build resiliency for long-term financial health.

Objective 3.1.
Promote efficiency and efficacy of human, capital, and fiscal resources

Priority Initiatives and Activities

3.1.1.  Engage fully with alumni, public and private donors, and grantors to sustain support for CU’s central role in providing transformative, mission- and values-centered higher education.

3.1.2. Seek new, significant recurring revenue streams to help start new programs, reinvent others, and be more responsive to innovation needs.

3.1.3. Continuously review endowment and investment strategy and portfolio for sustainable growth opportunities and socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance.

Objective 3.2.
Review existing organizational structure and revise, as needed, for capacity to support and carry out the strategic plan

Priority Initiatives and Activities

3.2.1.  Working within and across work groups, analyze whether our current structures, procedures, and practices are designed to meet the current and future needs of our students, employees, and stakeholders; adjust and implement changes with transparency, timelines, and accountability.

Objective 3.3.
Provide long-term financial stability through multi-year planning and budgeting

Priority Initiatives and Activities

3.3.1.  Provide a framework for long-term maintenance, updates, and repairs to maintain the safety and security of campus infrastructure.

community partnerships

Goal 4:
Cultivate mutually beneficial college, community, and employer partnerships and relationships.

Objective 4.1.
Increase students’ career and community readiness to enhance their competitive advantage and service to Dubuque and beyond

Priority Initiatives and Activities

4.1.1. Establish and measure CU as a premier Dubuque higher education provider and partner in serving underserved populations with education, service, and access.

Objective 4.2.
Identify and develop dynamic, mission-aligned partnerships which encourage cooperation between CU and public and private businesses, education providers, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations (CBOs)

Priority Initiatives and Activities

4.2.1.  Actively engage with local economic development offices and other businesses and non-profits.

4.2.2.  Reestablish and reinvent CU as a Dubuque area center for arts education, performance, and collaboration.

Objective 4.3.
Demonstrate individual and institutional commitment to serve our campus and local communities through living our core values and Catholic identity

Priority Initiatives and Activities

4.3.1.  Implement a long-range strategic plan for marketing and communication, which includes a comprehensive brand awareness campaign.

4.3.2.  Intensify CU external engagement efforts through continuous presentations and presence at community events, volunteer and service organizations, good neighbor activities, and other avenues to build sustainable relationships.