On a beautiful day in February, the Whittier College community came together to usher in a new era. As I said on that day, an inauguration of a new president is not about any one individual, it is about honoring a collective vision for the going-forward mission of this wonderful institution.
Over the past year, I have travelled more than 35,000 miles and met thousands of Poets. I have championed our three strategic initiatives: a focus on equity and inclusion in support of student success, finding new sources of revenue to invest in our mission and make us financially sustainable, and aligning our resources to our mission. And I have heard a consistent theme from you that Whittier College is a place that finds the unique passion in every student which enables them to grow and thrive.
In the pages that follow, you will read more about what makes this College a special place, one that is poised for an innovative future. Whether it’s bringing a unique art collection from China to the Whittier campus, installing a coffee orchard as an outdoor learning lab that engages our students in sustainable agriculture, supporting student scientific research both locally and abroad, or inspiring creativity on the stage and beyond, we are embracing a culture of change.
Cultural change is about people and is built on a vision of equity and inclusion. At Whittier, we are intentionally seeking to create an environment that allows for the diverse voices and perspectives that we need to sustain our future. Whether it’s our faculty, administrative leaders, staff, students, or external stakeholders, “who’s in the room” matters. It is only through diversity of perspectives and ideas that we will develop a culture of innovation. Culture change is the foundation of innovation.
As we look forward to the coming year, we will continue the work of finding ways to think differently about the markets we serve, the academic programs we offer, the ways we deliver and support student learning, and our role in ensuring that a college education continues to be affordable. Specifically, our faculty are continuing their work to refresh and renew our curriculum, while finding ways to leverage our strength as an institution that provides education in the liberal arts and sciences. We are also initiating an institution-wide strategic planning exercise, the results of which will serve as the road map for making our vision operational for the next decade. We are launching several non-degree programs that will leverage our strengths while providing new diverse sources of investment. We are sharpening our fundraising priorities to support student success and working to develop new strategic partnerships and relationships. All of these efforts will provide the scaffolding on which we will build a sustainable future.
I am proud of the future we are building at Whittier College, and am pleased to have all of you as partners in our future.
With warm regards,
Linda Oubré, Ed.D., MBA