On the heels of the institution-wide Strategic Planning process of the past year, a committee has formed to lay the groundwork for a similar planning process for the Hampshire College Farm. Updates on the Farm Strategic Planning process will be posted on this blog regularly.
The Farm at Hampshire College:
Strategic Planning Meeting I
September 24th, 2014
Office of the President
Jonathan Lash, David Grant, Sue Darlington, Beth Hooker, Nancy Hanson, Walter Poulson, Mark Feinstein, Jason Tor (arrived at 9am), Rebecca Szal (8:30-9am), Jess Marsh Wissemann (taking minutes)
The committee discussed its purpose over the next four to five months, which is to organize and conduct “phase one” of a larger planning effort. Our goals are to:
- engage the Hampshire College community in an discussion about the purpose of a farm center at a liberal arts college, and specifically the purpose and mission of the farm at Hampshire;
- get a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current programs and operations, and a shared sense of the opportunities and threats associated with further development of the farm programs;
- better understand the financial dimensions of the farm;
- provide clarity about governance and decision-making in the short-term, as the longer-term vision for the farm is being discussed and decided.
The committee sees its work as “planning to plan;” gathering information, engaging new, current and former stakeholders, surfacing different perspectives, organizing critical issues and decisions to be made, and otherwise laying the groundwork for a planning effort in 2015 that will finalize mission language and make strategic recommendations as needed regarding all aspects of programs and operations of the farm.
The committee decided to gather more information before its next meeting on October 31st in the following ways:
- a survey of faculty, students and staff;
- interviews with a number of stakeholders not on the committee itself;
- outreach at the Fall Festival on October 25th.
The committee will explore the possibility of a Retreat for stakeholders on November 15th, time and structure TBD.