Work in Progress

Alumni and family engagement (1.6)

Engage alumni and families more fully with the life of the college.

  • Bates was one of five small liberal arts colleges (the others are Carleton, Middlebury, Wellesley, and Williams) selected to participate in the Schuler Initiative, a grant-funded effort to study and increase engagement, volunteerism, and philanthropy among millennial alumni (Classes of 2002–2017).
  • The engagement of alumni, parents, and families has increased across a variety of domains, including social media, attendance at on-campus and regional events, and volunteer opportunities. The Bates Fund alumni volunteer network has expanded by 25 percent.
  • Seniors have participated in the senior class gift campaign in increasing numbers over the past four years. This type of giving by current students historically leads to increased engagement as alumni.
Support for the economic, social, and cultural experience of all members of the Bates community (1.7)

Examine and strengthen support for the economic, social, and cultural experiences of all members of the campus community.

  • A new vice president for equity and inclusion will build on recent efforts to consolidate and facilitate institution-wide initiatives to ensure that all members of the Bates community can reach their full potential.
  • With dynamic new leadership and increased staffing, the Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) has become a central hub for equity and inclusion programming to improve the Bates experience for underrepresented students.
  • A variety of programs directed toward supporting underrepresented students have been developed or enhanced, such as the Bobcat First! program and the growth of the OIE Fellows program.
  • Hundreds of members of the Bates faculty and staff have participated in new racial equity, inclusive practice, and social justice training programs.
  • The Multifaith Chaplaincy is a national leader in building community participation in religious, spiritual, and secular activities.
  • A new Breaks at Bates program includes a meal program for low-income students during academic breaks.
Innovation in teaching and learning (2.1)

Elevate a culture that promotes creativity, intentionality, and reflection in teaching and learning.

  • Faculty Commons offers strategic programming that allows faculty to develop evidence-based teaching strategies reflecting national best practices.
  • The Harward Center for Community Partnerships offers a Publicly-Engaged Pedagogy (PEP) Faculty Learning Community designed to encourage pedagogical innovation through the development of new community-engaged learning courses, and to provide a community of shared practice and reflection around innovative pedagogy. Since its launch in fall 2016, 25 faculty representing 18 departments/programs have completed the PEP program.
  • A learning assessment specialist hired in 2018 works directly with faculty, using formative assessment to help them reflect upon and improve teaching practices.
Community-engaged learning, research, and practice (2.5)

Strengthen our institutional commitment to community-engaged learning, research, and practice.

  • More than 25 faculty across 18 departments and programs have completed the recently established Publicly-Engaged Pedagogy (PEP) Faculty Learning Community, while a new Community-Engaged Research Learning Community begins in 2019.
  • Since the Fall of 2016, 34 new community-engaged learning courses have been developed and taught.
  • The new general education model did not integrate community-engaged learning, nor have experiential transcripts been adopted. Additional efforts will be needed to make progress on these two goals of the priority.
Critical engagement with technology (2.7)

Engage critically with technology as a force reshaping intellectual work and social relations.

  • Bates continues to incorporate courses that ask students to examine the role of technology in historical, social, and cultural contexts.
  • Bates designed and launched the Digital and Computational Studies Program. Among the program’s goals is to “interrogate the values and assumptions of a digitized world.” DCS faculty are creating increased opportunities for academic paths where students can explore how technology intersects with their disciplinary expertise.
  • The Bates Communications Office restructured workflows to substantially increase social media volume and engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and prospective students.
  • Faculty increasingly incorporate technology into their teaching and research, which has been supported by college investments in high-end software and hardware for spatial analysis, digital video and audio production, animation, photography, 3-D printing, high-performance computing, and XR/AR technologies.
  • Student Affairs has leveraged new information technology systems to improve the student experience and operate more efficiently and effectively, implementing new software systems for Accessible Education, Athletics,  Campus Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Housing, Purposeful Work, Sports Medicine, Student Conduct and Title IX, and Student Support.
Short Term innovation (2.8)

Optimize Short Term as a distinguishing feature of a Bates education.

  • Course redesigns and practitioner-taught courses are now distinctive features of Short Term.
  • 118 students have participated in one of 23 course redesign classes since 2014. Ninety-eight percent of student survey respondents agreed that the program was a good addition to the options available during Short Term.
  • Since the program was implemented in 2014, more than 430 students have taken one of 29 practitioner-taught courses, and 98 percent of student survey respondents believe that the program has been a good addition to Short Term.
Science education including support for underrepresented students (2.11)

Fortify the distinctive elements of science education at Bates.

Athletics (including facilities) (3.2)

Strengthen institutional support for athletics for students, faculty, and staff at all levels of participation and ensure that this important area of the college has an inclusive climate and is welcoming to all.

  • A new director of athletics has strengthened the management team of the Department of Athletics. New organizational structures are in place to better support the student experience. Work continues on policies and procedures to support departmental success.
  • Significant investments have been made in athletics facilities, including a new boathouse, renovations to Alumni Gym, and a resurfacing of tennis courts. We have engaged an outside firm for planning efforts on new athletics/fitness facilities, which are dependent on fundraising.
  • An external review of Sports Medicine led to the implementation of national best practices, and a renovated Sports Medicine rehabilitation facility will open in fall 2019.
  • The compensation and benefits of assistant coaches have been enhanced significantly to ensure a fair employment structure.
Student life facilities (3.6)

Optimize facilities that support student services, co-curricular endeavors, and social life.

  • Student-centered services have been relocated to highly student-frequented locations, such as the Office of Residence Life and Health Education relocation to Chase Hall and the Office of Accessibility Education and Student Supports relocation to Ladd Library.
  • Additional investments have been made to student-centered spaces in Chase Hall, such as adding air conditioning and enhanced audio/visual capabilities to Memorial Commons and improving the Little Room.
Facilities renewal (4.2)

Maintain consistent and appropriate investment to address deferred maintenance needs.

  • Bates has made substantial investments in campus facilities enabled by a 19 percent increase to the annual capital budget over the past two years.
  • Significant deferred maintenance projects have been completed, including the replacement of Ladd Plaza, a new roof at the Village, and major utility upgrades under North Bardwell Street.
IT infrastructure (4.3)

Prioritize investments in technology infrastructure.

  • A comprehensive audit identified critical technology deferred maintenance and an implementation timeline was developed.
Financial decision-making (4.4)

Rigorously evaluate new proposals that entail significant expenditures to ensure that they are aligned with key college priorities.

  • The college’s annual budget planning process has been enhanced by integrating a new software solution that better aggregates financial information and allows more sophisticated analysis.
  • All proposals that require significant monetary investments are carefully assessed for necessity and alignment with mission, and can now be more rigorously evaluated within the context of the overall college budget through the software solution.
Efficiency and flexibility of physical resources (4.6)

Leverage resources efficiently and maximize the flexibility of physical resources.

  • Classroom-based technology has been standardized so that classes and meetings can be more easily scheduled to meet user needs.
  • Audio/visual and projection capabilities have been added to Memorial Commons to increase the utility of the large function space.
  • Classroom utilization data has informed the STEM capital planning process, resulting in more planned flexible spaces in the new facility.