Speed of Change progress and plan for next five years

By Hanna Babek, Alexandra White & Harley Lacardo – 1851 Contributors

Graphic by Felipe Bida

On January 31, President Michael Alexander updated the Lasell community on the Speed of Change plan created in Spring 2021. This plan details what changes the Lasell administration would like to see within the next five years, and the steps they will take to create those changes.

While the plan spans over five years, goals are set for every 12 to 18 months for change to be implemented gradually.

Some of the short-term goals include increasing the use of consortia courses and infusing industry-recognized credentials into all majors. A few short-term goals have already been met within the athletic department.

“We have increased with more full-time coaches, the assistant athletic director, the lights on the field, adding teams, doing additional support for the rugby clubs, and adding more and more recreational and intramural activities,” Alexander said.

Director of the Rosemary B. Fuss Teaching and Learning Center Dean Dennis Frey said the five year plan allows the school to follow a path and adjust it as needed.

Provost Eric Turner was a part of the group that helped create future goals for the university and is focused on academic goals such as developing the First Year Seminar (FYS) program. Plans include grouping students into their FYS by residential housing and having students earn industry-recognized credentials while enrolled.

“We were trying to come up with ideas that were, you know, the most important to the institution,” Turner said. “We vote as a group as to whether or not they are achievable. Will they stretch us far enough? Will they in fact, be something that gets us to where we need to be in five years?”

One change the strategic plan brought was the revision of the Individuals and Society Knowledge Perspective requirement, which now takes the form of Sociology 104: Equity and Intersectionality. A required course for second semester first-years, this class focuses on inequality at various levels.

“We were looking for a structured way to make sure people get exposed to people who
come from different backgrounds and have different lived experiences,” Alexander said.

Frey said the prior classes were mainly focused on the students’ majors, and they were unable to reach the goals of making individual and societal connections on a worldly level outside of their own experiences.

“Our objective is meeting the needs of our students and trying to make sure that our students have a really high-quality experience,” Turner said. “That means everything from the classroom to clubs and activities, to residential life, to the dining hall. The idea is that the whole experience should be educational, and it should be high quality.”

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