Gustavus Acts Co-Chairs on Making the Plan

Co-chairs of the Strategic Action Team on the process and promise of developing the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan.
Posted on January 23rd, 2017 by

The Gustavus Quarterly interviewed Siri Erickson and Alisa Rosenthal, co-chairs of the Gustavus Acts Strategic Action Team, on the thought process behind developing the new strategic plan.

Alisa Rosenthal is an associate professor of political science and director of the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning.

Gustavus Quarterly: What were your thoughts around leading the Strategic Action Team?

Alisa Rosenthal: Excitement…and some trepidation. The planning process was an opportunity for the community to collaborate on a vision and plan for the College’s future. Gustavus is a special place, and our goal was to envision a future where we live into the best version of the College. You don’t want to screw that up.

Siri Erickson: I was grateful for the opportunity to help President Bergman and the College set an agenda for the next 10 years. And I was also excited for the opportunity to work with Alisa.

A: Working with Siri wound up being one of the best parts of the process. We have complementary strengths and senses of humor–and we needed both!

GQ: What about the process affirmed or reaffirmed your faith in Gustavus?

A: The Gustavus Acts gathering in September of last year really blew me away with the number of people who came and the palpable energy. It felt like the community really took ownership of the process that afternoon.

Rev. Siri Erickson is a chaplain of the College.

S: As we went forward, Alisa and I sat in a lot of team meetings, feedback forums, and strategic visioning sessions. It was inspiring to hear so many ideas, hopes, and dreams from people who care deeply about Gustavus. And it was energizing to put all of these pieces together.

GQ: What, in your opinion, are the plan’s most distinctive features?

A: Flexibility, room for experimentation, direction without proscription. There’s a recognition that we’re going to try different things, assess them, and incorporate the findings into next steps. It’s a living document that provides direction and focus without locking the College.

S: Its distinctiveness comes not from any one feature but from aligning an integrated liberal arts learning experience with the plan’s vision. This plan will drive change, and that will impact future students for the sake of the greater good of society and of the planet.

To learn more about the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, visit the Gustavus Acts website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


One Comment

  1. Pamela Jambeck says:

    As an “elder” Gustie graduate, I am very impressed with the process by which you developed the forward thinking vision for the next 10 years! I congratulate you! Gustavus continues to use the democratic process of involving all levels of people to help determine it’s future: elders, recent graduates, as well as active students. This is what makes this institution so strong! I support the goals that emerged as you visioned this future: Excellence, Justice, Community, Service, Faith…all wonderful pillars for being a responsible citizen in our currently ailing society!