Three Strategic Priorities

Under President Clayton Spencer, three key priorities are the college’s guiding lights. Read more about the strategy and programming now being developed in support of these priorities.

Purposeful Work

The Electric Grid
Purposeful work is a college-wide initiative built on the premise that preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission. When fully developed it will include: (1) a co-curricular program involving cycles of exploration, reflection, and skill-building; (2) practitioner-taught courses during short term, and (3) a highly-structured Bates-specific network of internships, with the hope to guarantee every Bates student a paid internship that is either employer- or Bates-sponsored.

Learn more about Purposeful Work at Bates.

Engaged Liberal Arts


The “engaged liberal arts” means delivering a rigorous and highly personalized education that centers on deep and sustained interactions among students, faculty, and community. It also means engaging the forces — intellectual trends, demographic changes, and technology — that are transforming higher education and the world into which our students graduate. It means making a virtue of our scale; creating a diverse and motivated community of students, faculty, and staff; and embracing innovative and evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning.

Opportunity and Excellence

Mount David Society Scholarship Luncheon, 2014
A commitment to opportunity and excellence grows directly out of Bates’ history and mission and responds to contemporary geographic, demographic, and economic realities. It means recruiting talented and motivated students from a broad range of backgrounds, providing them with the financial aid that will enable them to enroll, and supporting them for academic and personal success once here. It also means creating a campus community and climate that capitalize on diversity and inclusion as necessary and powerful dimensions of preparing our students to live and work in an increasingly interconnected world.