Since March 2019, the Hilbert community, including the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and alumni has been engaged in an intensive planning process involving four distinct elements: “Enhancing our Franciscan Mission and Identity, Growing Enrollment, Strengthening Academic Performance and the Student Experience and Strengthening the Financial Position,” which assessed our overall challenges and opportunities. I am happy to report that the strategic planning process is now moving to the next phase in sharing Hilbert’s vision.
The Hilbert 2025 Planning Group, a 12-member Committee that consisted of a broad cross-section of faculty and administrative leaders, was responsible for guiding Hilbert’s strategic planning efforts and discussion. It was a highly productive and collegial conversation, and it was energizing to work with such an experienced and collaborative group of colleagues.
The Committee was charged with reviewing and prioritizing the recommendations that emerged in the pre-planning process in light of the challenges facing higher education and Hilbert specifically, as well as to integrate other planning efforts at the College. This group then shared their work with the faculty and staff for their valuable input, and will continue dialogue throughout this academic year and into the next to continue the discussion and ensure that Hilbert 2025 remains a living breathing document as we move forward.
I greatly appreciate the time, dedication and hard work that has gone into developing the foundation of Hilbert 2025. I invite you to read the plan and embrace the strategic initiatives to understand how you may contribute your time, talent or treasure in supporting Hilbert and these bold next steps.
My hope is that the efforts of the Hilbert community will position Hilbert to respond to challenges and opportunities in the years ahead, while remaining innovative, engaged, and forward-thinking.
Our intent is to grow enrollment while deepening our Franciscan and Catholic college mission, strengthening our financial position, optimizing our current intellectual and physical assets, and fulfilling our potential as a vital liberal arts institution in Western New York.
We will focus our energies on these areas:
We will enhance our Catholic, Franciscan identity by deepening our engagement with our values and heritage. Our understanding of the dignity and worth of every human being inspires us to serve and develop all members of our community, and to give special welcome and support to those among us who experience marginalization and injustice.
1.1 Foster employee engagement with the Catholic, Franciscan mission of Hilbert College by developing a robust and ongoing orientation and formation program, including a Virtual Assisi experience.
1.2 Develop a hiring program to recruit and support a diverse, equitable, and mission-driven workforce.
1.3 Infuse Catholic Social Teaching and the Franciscan tradition into our academic programs, particularly within the Hilbert Blueprint and online.
1.4 Design and implement a college-wide mission assessment process.
2.1 Foster a deeper appreciation of sacred space and Catholic sacramental life by enhancing St. Clare Chapel with renovations and refreshed liturgical decorum.
2.2 Commission a mural on campus to celebrate our mission, history, and heritage
2.3 Engage the entire campus in a celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph
2.4 Create an interactive Mission & Heritage Exhibit inside Franciscan Hall.
3.1 Ensure appropriate exposure to diversity throughout the curriculum.
3.2 Create a community that respects and appreciates the inherent dignity and uniqueness of all.
3.2.1 Establish a diversity, equity, and inclusion training and development program.
3.2.2 Implement and publicize a biennial cultural climate survey with targets for improvement.
3.3 Develop and sustain a Franciscan Advocacy & Resource Center to support students at risk and in need
3.4 Care for God’s creation by deepening our institutional commitment to environmental sustainability.
3.5 Enhance our service and commitment to the local and regional community in prayer, partnership, and collaboration.
4.1 Develop digital ministry programming to nurture spiritual development and mission engagement among students.
4.2 Affirm our common beliefs by increasing ecumenical dialogue and interfaith engagement.
4.3 Design an annually occurring student retreat experience.
We will diversify and develop our enrollment to strengthen the college’s financial position. In addition to increasing applications for traditional enrollment, we will improve the experience of our prospective students, including application and recruitment processes, communication, services, and visits. We will seek new populations of students, expanding Hilbert’s impact to include online and international student programs, increased graduate programs, and a more robust athletics strategy.
1.1 Increase first-year student enrollment.
1.2 Increase new, transfer student enrollment.
1.3 Increase international student enrollment.
1.4 Increase graduate student enrollment.
1.5 Increase brand awareness in primary, secondary, and tertiary markets with key audiences.
1.6 Improve efficiency in brand/enrollment advertising.
1.7 Increase and improve engagement, involvement, and affinity through storytelling.
1.8 Increase the number of unduplicated student-athletes.
2.1 Create campaigns to improve communication and information flow to increase conversion rates from prospect through deposit/enrolled.
2.2 Deploy new financial aid matrix that leverages institutional aid to better position Hilbert to meet enrollment targets and increase net tuition revenue as well.
2.3 Begin review of selecting and implementing a new constituent relationship management system (CRM).
2.4 Conduct external brand audit.
3.1 Collaborate with graduate faculty and share admissions data to determine new programs or program modifications that will increase revenue.
3.2 Engage with firm to market, recruit and enroll international students.
4.1 Redesign the campus tour program to take advantage of the upgrades to campus signage and branding initiatives.
4.2 Conduct additional training of Hilbert Ambassadors and tour guides to ensure key messaging and strong features of the Hilbert Experience.
4.3 Continue to engage faculty and staff in all admissions events and with all visitors.
4.4 Work to involve our alumni admissions volunteers in college fairs and campus events.
4.5 Improve “curb appeal” of various areas on campus.
5.1 Reintroduce Men’s Volleyball; Transition/hire a full-time Head Women’s & Men’s Volleyball Coach.
5.2 Review and apply for NCAA grants that provide funding to support females and/or ethnic minorities wishing to pursue careers in college athletics, i.e., NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Internship Grant; NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Strategic Alliance Matching Grant; NCAA Division III Assistant Coaching Enhancement Grant
5.3 Partner with Admissions and Advancement and Alumni/ae Offices to connect with alumni/ae for enhanced student-athlete recruitment and leadership development opportunities. Offer enhanced athletics alumni/ae events.
5.4 Transition/hire a full-time Head Men’s & Women’s Cross Country + Outdoor Track & Field Coach.
5.5 Transition/hire a full-time Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Coordinator of Recreation, Club Sports, and Intramurals through a partnership with Student Life and Student Activities.
5.6 Develop and maintain facilities that will improve the campus athletic experience for students including baseball, softball, all-purpose fields, and an outdoor track.
5.7 Athletic Turf + Track Complex to support Soccer, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track & Field, (Field Hockey).
5.7.1 Hawks Fitness Center.
5.7.2 Hawks Student-Athlete Lounge.
5.7.3 Hafner Recreation Center Gymnasium Scoreboards; Videoboard; Flooring.
5.7.4 Enhancements in Hafner Recreation Center to include: locker room(s); carpeting; baseboard; trophy case(s); storage areas.
6.1 Improve and centralize on-campus event planning and execution.
6.2 Increase revenue from hosting on-campus conferences and events.
6.3 Improve community engagement, with both business and civic entities.
6.4 Enhance and improve conferences related to the Institute for Law and Justice.
6.5 Partner with outside organizations to build conference and event center in the community.
7.1 Develop 2+2, 3+2, etc. programs to establish the College as a regional hub for higher education.
7.2 Hilbert College will develop and deliver high quality online programs that will include online student supports.
7.3 Strengthen community engagement to reduce barriers, strengthen current and build new partnerships that meet the needs of Hilbert College and the surrounding community.
We will strengthen Hilbert’s academic performance and the student experience, resulting in greater student success and retention. A student’s education is dependent on an inclusive living and learning environment, which we will support by increasing the diversity of our staff, faculty, and students, and enhancing our resources for our students. Expanding academic opportunities and educational experiences will help us to be identified as a higher education hub for the Southtowns.
1.1 Develop and implement a comprehensive student retention plan to reach a 75% retention rate and 55% graduation rate.
1.2 Create a support structure to recruit and retain a diverse student body.
1.3 Enhance the student centered advising and registration process.
2.1 Build a dynamic and engaging residence program that will serve 35% of the undergraduate student population.
2.2 Provide students with the skills and resources to become successful leaders on campus and in the community.
2.3 Enhance support of student health, safety, and wellness allowing them to grow personally and develop professionally.
3.1 Increase the number of high enrollment programs.
3.2 Provide internship and engaged learning opportunities for students to gain workplace experience.
3.3 Implement a program review process to identify new programs, improve existing programs and identify programs that no longer serve the needs of students and the community.
4.1 Evaluate and update the Hilbert Blueprint throughout campus so that it reflects the student experience.
4.2 Develop a strong first year-program for undergraduate students.
4.3 Build a strong undergraduate research program to increase student engagement.
5.1 Develop data dashboards and a data governance system to streamline generation and acquisition of information.
5.2 Strengthen professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
5.3 Hilbert College faculty, staff, and administration will participate in a strong shared governance program to support the growth of the College and student achievement.
5.4 Create a retention and recruitment plan to develop a more diverse faculty and staff.
We will focus on philanthropic growth and efficiency, as well as investment in our campus assets, to strengthen, grow, and sustain the college. We will build and grow a strong Annual Fund program and seek appropriate private, corporate, and public foundation and government funding. We will develop and improve our technology infrastructure to meet the needs of today’s students.
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