By Victoria Alvarez
When Lynn first embarked on its Lynn 2020 strategic plan in 2006, the Fighting Knight community could not have predicted what was to come. Fast forward to today and Lynn has not only completed and surpassed expectations for its 2020 vision two years early, but the institution has also continued the ahead-of-schedule pattern and has announced its next steps.
On Tues., May 1, Lynn officially announced its newest strategic plan, Lynn 2025: Design for the future.
Over the years, when working toward the 2020 goals, the university dedicated itself to becoming known as an innovative, international and individualized school. Through achievements such as becoming an Apple Distinguished School, hosting a U.S. presidential debate and being named one of the most innovative colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Lynn made it a point to make a mark while achieving its visions.
Through these successes, Lynn was able to build a foundation for a learning environment and community that prepares students for the world around them.
When nearing the end of the 2020 strategic plan, students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni came together in the 2016-17 academic year to engage in design thinking for Lynn’s next steps.
Lynn prides itself on the contributing ideas from those that are part of the Lynn family and due to this, implementing these ideas was vital to creating the 2025 plan.
“We are defiantly optimistic about the future and we’ve always been that way. We believe that we have a better future ahead of us, but it’s not just going to land in our laps. It’s our job to create it,” said Kevin Ross, president of Lynn University.
Chief Information Officer, Chris Boniforti, led the meetings and exercises with the Lynn community and modeled the approach after the design thinking process that is taught at Stanford’s d.school. The purpose of the approach is to identify a person’s unmet needs and priorities while identifying opportunities and creative strategies to solve problems.
The group sessions included discussions of campus engagement and Lynn culture, new academic programs and innovative learning models as well as new facilities and programs to take the university further than it has ever gone before. The discussions led to the creation and now execution of the 2025 strategic plan and its priorities.
The 2025 plan has three integral parts to achieve its mission. These three parts are focused on the principles of elevation, engagement and expansion.
The first part of the vision is to engage with Lynn’s constituents to “further foster a culture of pride, loyalty and support,” as the plan’s mission states. In order to achieve this goal, Lynn will not only make efforts to personalize the services that are offered to Lynn students, but also enhance event and residential experiences, launch a new brand campaign and better cultivate relationships with donors and alumni.
With all of these goals in mind to reshape and revitalize the community culture, Lynn does not plan to lose sight of its family-like feel. The university will retain its small-college atmosphere with the maximum full-time enrollment of 3,000 students on its main campus.
“Lynn has an enormous opportunity because it is better adapted than any place I could easily imagine to pioneer a new paradigm for education in the United States and around the world,” said James W. Guthrie, presidential fellow and professor in the Ross College of Education. “This is the only place I know where everyone is truly someone.”
The second priority of the 2025 plan is to elevate the overall Lynn experience by “building on strong foundations to continually improve and adapt.” The university acknowledges that in order to grow, they must identify and cultivate the next generation of academic leaders as well as review and update the core curriculum in the various offered programs.
However, the Lynn experience is not limited to just academic excellence, but campus life as well. Over the next few years, the institution aims to complete the athletics master plans, improve campus facilities through renovations and develop long-term student housing strategies.
Finally, the third and last priority of the new strategic plan focuses on the importance and need for expansion. By expanding their “programs, services opportunities and capabilities” the institution hopes to develop, implement and provide new opportunities for Lynn students and faculty.
These new developments provide pathways for success in the student body through the creation of new academic spaces, the addition of new sports teams and intramural clubs and the establishment of new fundraising goals.
In order to embrace these three priorities and the overall vision for Lynn, the university hopes to gather together in this push for change while still paying homage to the heritage of the university.
“Lynn’s people have been long been pioneers: from the dedicated nuns who broke ground on a new campus in unchartered territory, to the entrepreneurs who believed that a young start-up would someday become a top-ranked university that it is today,” said President Ross.
Overall, the 2025 strategic plan to design the future of Lynn is a call for action. In order to successfully reach future goals, President Ross believes that the Fighting Knight community can “draw upon that pioneering spirit to explore new programs, new markets and new approaches that will position Lynn University and its graduates for a prosperous future.”
By using design thinking to lead the future successes of the university, Lynn hopes to create an environment that allows students to gain intellectual flexibility and global experience during their time on campus.
Some information received via Lynn Marketing.