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A Message from the Clark Board of Trustees Chair

Dear Members of the Clark Community,

As Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, I am writing on behalf of the full Board following a special two-day meeting we held this past weekend dedicated to strategic planning for Clark’s future.

During this session, and as part of our regular meetings throughout the past year, the Trustees have been considering development of the University’s strategic framework. We have undertaken this work in tandem with all of you, as our faculty, students, and staff have been likewise actively engaged in the community-wide process. We have, for many months now, been in regular discussion on the emerging areas of opportunity and growth for the University, and have been working with President Fithian and members of the leadership team to ensure that the University is well-prepared to move forward on implementation as the strategic framework evolves.

We are tremendously excited about the course we are setting, together, for Clark’s future.

The Board sees the strategic planning process and the specific initiatives that have thus far emerged, as formative. Ultimately, the strategic framework will lay the groundwork for achieving greater aspirations for the University and simultaneously greater strength and success.

The Board greatly appreciates the high level of engagement by members of the University community. That continued collaboration is essential to both developing and refining the framework, and implementing it over the years to come.

During our recent special session, the Board:

  • Unanimously endorsed the overall strategic framework — including the identified five areas of strategic priority and the nine emerging academic and foundational pillars, and expressed general support for the initiatives that have been proposed to date. We understand that a robust process for finalizing those initiatives is underway.
  • Concurred that there is urgency in taking bold action across all five strategic areas and agreed that now is the time to reinvest in our people, our programs, and our physical plant for the University. Realizing the full potential of the framework will depend upon it.
  • Committed to expanding available resources. Some of those resources will be generated through assertive fundraising; some through debt financing; and some through more strategic use of existing funds.
  • Recognized that the strategic planning process is designed to be iterative, to be responsive to changing circumstances and conditions, and to be relevant for more than just the next few years.
  • Enthusiastically embraced the progress thus far and committed to being an active and supportive partner.

Our sincere thanks to all of you who have contributed to this work thus far and who will do so over the coming months. It is vitally important. As you engage in the strategic planning process know that we, as a Board, are actively and enthusiastically engaged along with you. We look forward to the exciting steps ahead.


Ross D. Gillman ’81