Amherst is a place where purpose forms, where we are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and to the exercising of intellectual curiosity and exploration.

As we look to the future of our institution, we seek to build on our extraordinary history in three core areas: strengthening student culture, community, and belonging; making Amherst an extraordinary place to work; and redoubling our commitment to serving the greater good. By investing in these three priorities, we can foster an even stronger sense of shared purpose and help to shape a better future for our community and the world.


PRIORITY 1: Strengthen Student Community & Belonging

Cultivating a purposefully small residential community is essential to the Amherst College vision of liberal arts education. Every student is valued for what they bring to our community, and for their wide range of lived experiences. Every student has a place at Amherst.

Through our commitment to cultivating a stronger sense of belonging, and advancing equity and inclusion, we create a healthy and supportive campus community that celebrates all types of diversity and drives student success inside and outside of the classroom.

STRATEGIES:

  1. Develop and implement a framework for student engagement across the College, based on the principles of equity, leadership, belonging and wellbeing.
  2. Collect and utilize more proactive, thoughtful data for decision-making.
  3. Invest in leadership development and salient community- and affinity-based engagement, including programs for first-gen students, athletes, and the "sophomore summit”.
  4. Partner with student leaders and student government to create more College-wide engagement opportunities.
  5. Promote a culture of wellbeing in an engaged residential community.
  6. Build a vibrant campus community, with a priority on fundraising for the construction of a new Student Center and Dining Commons.

PRIORITY 2: Make Amherst an Exceptional Workplace

At Amherst, we are committed collectively to a mission that gives our work meaning, and connected to colleagues not only by our shared sense of purpose but also by close collaborative relationships that make our work engaging and joyful.

We are committed. We are curious. We are connected. These sentiments will inform the future of staff and faculty work life at Amherst College and enable us to build and maintain a great work culture.

STRATEGIES:

  1. Utilize and act on information from faculty (COACHE) and staff (ModernThink) surveys.
  2. Make College leaders more accessible and develop opportunities for input on key decisions.
  3. Reform internal communication systems that support consistent, clear and timely distribution of relevant information to the broader campus community.
  4. Create a culture in which supervisory skills are taught continuously, and where multidirectional feedback becomes the norm.
  5. Establish and implement effective space policies that ensure we are using our existing space to best serve the College mission.
  6. Articulate core values that drive decision-making to support the core academic mission.

PRIORITY 3: Serve the Greater Good

The Amherst College community is dedicated to building and promoting a culture that links the Amherst experience to a lifetime of advancing democratic principles and contributing to society beyond our campus. 

We are working together to build a community that makes room for both true disagreement and true connection, one that practices the kind of recognition and robust negotiation that the everyday life of democracy requires, and one that explicitly prepares our students to work for the greater good in their professional and personal endeavors.

STRATEGIES:

  1. Develop and sustain curricula that explicitly connect the liberal arts to democratic practices and contributions to the greater good.
  2. Support faculty and staff engagement in community organizations and local governments.
  3. Create a culture of civil dialogue and democratic engagement on campus.
  4. Support career exploration in non-profit, government, and social impact fields.
  5. Embrace our civic responsibility to support local communities.
  6. Make visible the complexity of our own institutional history.

Learn more »


Questions & Suggestions

These priorities will evolve and change as we implement our ideas and respond to feedback. There will be opportunities for the entire Amherst community to engage in this important work together in the months ahead. In the meantime, please send your questions to president@amherst.edu