Planning for an Even Brighter Future

Emerson College has embarked on an inclusive, inspiring, and transformative endeavor to create and execute a new strategic plan. This six-year plan, which will coincide with Emerson’s 150th anniversary in 2030, will help us update our mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities to ensure that Emerson continues to lead the way in the study and practice of communication, the arts, and the liberal arts to make a difference for society and the world. 

Through the process of collaborating on a new strategic plan, our community will prioritize current objectives as well as envision new goals to achieve. An effective strategic plan will unify students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends around a common vision and shared values, align resources to critical priorities, and outline a clear roadmap for meaningful action in the future.

Community Involvement

To ensure that the College’s strategic plan reflects our community members’ varied perspectives, Emersonians will be engaged in the design and implementation process. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni will have multiple opportunities to provide suggestions and feedback through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The College started these conversations in December 2023, and they will continue through the end of 2024.

Community members are encouraged to provide ideas and questions via a feedback form and to view regular updates on this strategic planning website.


Phase 1: Community Engagement and Visioning

December 2023–February 2024

Community input is a cornerstone of successful strategic planning. Huron Consulting Group, the College's strategic planning partner, will facilitate a variety of listening sessions, including interviews and focus groups with senior leaders, Trustees, faculty, staff, and students. Every Emersonian is welcome and encouraged to share their personal feedback, ideas, and perspectives using the Feedback Form. Huron also will conduct a market scan to identify higher education trends on a national and international scale that should be considered as context for the plan.

Phase 2: Strategic Initiative, Mission, and Values Development and Prioritization  

February–May 2024

Key findings from the community engagement phase will be summarized to identify action items that will be prioritized based on the needs and goals of the College. Community engagement will continue as needed.

Phase 3: Strategic Plan Drafting

June–August 2024

The steering and executive committees, with strong support from the Huron Consulting Group, will write, develop, review, and refine the new strategic plan for Emerson College and prepare it for community presentation. All of the community input and other data will be synthesized to create an outline, and then a draft of the strategic plan will be developed. From there, the draft strategic plan will be shared with the community and refined with the additional feedback.

Phase 4: Strategic Plan Completion and Presentation

August–October 2024

Following the careful review, refinement, and approval of the Board of Trustees, the steering committee will schedule and plan community meetings to present the new strategic plan.

Phase 5: Strategic Plan Implementation

October–December 2024

An implementation plan will be developed for successful project management of the strategic plan’s execution.

Strategic Planning Steering Committee

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee was created to oversee the design and implementation of the strategic plan, with community input. Members were invited by President Jay M. Bernhardt.


  • Maria Koundoura, Interim Dean, School of the Arts, & Assistant Provost
  • Jim Hoppe, Vice President and Dean, Campus Life


  • Brian Basgen, Chief Information Officer
  • Nydia Bou, Senor Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence and Chair
  • Shaun Clarke, Associate Professor and Chair 
  • Jon Honea, Associate Professor and Director of the Honors Program
  • Brooke Knight, Associate Provost, Faculty Affairs
  • Jennifer Lamy, Associate Director, Sustainability 
  • Jamie Montgomery-Hyde, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Ronee Penoi, Interim Executive Director, Office of the Arts
  • Anthony Pinder, Vice Provost, Internationalization & Equity
  • Shaya Gregory Poku, Vice President for Equity & Social Justice
  • Charlize Silvestrino, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Brent Smith, Dean, School of Communication 
  • Paul Raglow-DeFranco, Graduate Student Representative

Strategic Planning Executive Committee

  • Jay M. Bernhardt, President
  • Jan Roberts-Breslin, Interim Provost 
  • Paul Dworkis, Vice President, Administration, and Finance/Chief Financial Officer
  • Melissa Richards, Vice President, Chief of Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key components of a strategic plan? 

Key components include the mission, vision, and values of the College. This information is used as a foundation for developing strategic priorities, goals, and initiatives to successfully actualize these priorities.

Who is involved in the process? 

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is leading the development of the strategic plan. Throughout the process, we will also engage faculty, staff, students, alumni, industry and community partners, and more through focus groups, interviews, and surveys.

How can I participate? 

We appreciate your interest and invite you to participate in the many stakeholder engagement events that will be scheduled throughout the Spring 2024 semester! We also encourage you to provide your ideas and questions via this feedback form and to view regular updates on the strategic planning website.