A PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE EXCELLENCE

Sweet Briar celebrates and cherishes its heritage as a small, residential, liberal arts college for women, preparing students to fulfill their academic, professional and personal aspirations by providing excellent academic and co-curricular programs on an expansive and inspiring campus.

In the second decade of the 21st century, we dedicate ourselves to increasing the currency and sustainability of this tradition and to putting Sweet Briar on a more sustainable financial footing. Increased enrollment, expense curtailment, preservation of the endowment, productive fundraising and new revenue streams must all play a role in bringing the College into a state of financial equilibrium. Because enrollment growth extends the impact of our mission while advancing our financial sustainability, it is a primary focus of the current strategy.

Our goal is to make sure Sweet Briar becomes the most dynamic, focused and effective possible version of itself – larger than at present but still among the nation’s smallest and most personal campus communities; streamlined but still offering an appealing range of academic and co-curricular programs; “both market-smart and mission-centered.”

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Cornerstones

Serving an Expanded Student Body

Serving an Expanded Student BodyWe believe more women can and should benefit from a Sweet Briar education. While remaining intentionally small and intimate in scale, Sweet Briar will benefit greatly from increased enrollment and greater diversity among the student body. This not only supports a more sustainable financial model but also increases the intellectual diversity and vitality of both academic and co-curricular life.

The strategic plan also calls for enrollment growth among non-undergraduate-degree seekers. Sweet Briar wishes to provide excellent, educationally meaningful programs to such students through the creation of new programs for secondary students, additional graduate programs, and increased enrollment in Sweet Briar’s signature Junior Year in France and Junior Year in Spain programs.

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A Landscape for Learning

Landscape for LearningSweet Briar possesses a very nearly unique asset in the beauty and extent of its landholdings. Making the most effective use possible of the campus for recruiting and for academic, athletic and co-curricular programming as well as for revenue generation is a pervasive element of the strategic plan.

Faculty are encouraged to consider ways in which both curriculum and pedagogy can engage the immediately local environment as well as the broader implications of environmental sustainability, incorporating elements of social and environmental justice and viewing economic and political systems in the larger context of the natural world

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Community of Entrepreneurial Educators

Entrepreneurial EducatorsSweet Briar can set the example of how not-for-profit, mission-centered higher education can benefit from incorporating elements of an entrepreneurial mindset. The strategic plan proposes an “Entrepreneurial Educator” program that facilitates and rewards faculty and staff initiative by supporting and recognizing those who advance financially sustainable educational initiatives that attract enrollment or revenue to the College.

Sweet Briar also seeks entrepreneurial opportunities to generate revenue from its existing assets, especially its landholdings, through business or other revenue-generating activities that are consistent with our educational and environmental values.

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Digital Sophistication

Digital SophisticationThe ability to work effectively with digital information and media is important to women’s achievement in the 21st century. Sweet Briar graduates increasingly need to engage with digital and networked information and tools to adapt throughout a professional lifetime of technological change.

Technology also offers great benefit to an institution located in a relatively remote geographical area through access to disciplinary experts, guest performers, unique documents and images, remote instrumentation and powerful analytic tools.

Our strategic plan envisions a more digitally sophisticated Sweet Briar through extensive renovation of learning spaces, expansion of instructional technology and support staff capacity, curriculum review with “digital sophistication” as a priority, strengthened administrative technology infrastructure, and a program of support and recognition for faculty pursuing technologically-enabled instructional innovations.

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