Innovation Task Force

Background: The Recession and its effects on families has accelerated already intense competition among small, tuition-driven colleges such as ours. Faced with the need to develop new, sustainable sources of operating revenues, in 2012, the College launched the School for Professional Studies. In 2013, the College partnered with Elmhurst Memorial Hospital to create a unique learning environment for students in the health professions, and launched new graduate degrees aimed at students entering these fields. Going forward, Elmhurst College seeks to create new institutional opportunities that will generate significant, sustainable net revenues for years to come.

Charge: The Innovation Task Force will generate and develop ideas for initiatives that will simultaneously advance the College’s mission and strengthen us financially. New ideas generated or developed by the Task Force should advance our Strategic Plan and position us to realize our ambitions over the next 20 years. These ideas must be mission-aligned: aimed at student learning and success, service, and the growth of knowledge and the arts. They may call for feasible investments. They must build on and expand the potentials of our existing good ideas, and avoid going off on un-remunerative tangents. They should be collaborative when working with other entities will yield better results for the College, and should, to the greatest extent possible, transcend departmental and administrative silos. They should call on new technologies where appropriate. They should encompass the arts and sciences as well as the professions. They can be large or small, but they must be bold, affirming that our institutional structures serve our dreams, not the other way around. Most of all, they must excite and unite our College community. The Task Force, which will be composed of faculty, staff and students, should eagerly solicit ideas from all sectors of our College community and imagine initiatives that take us well beyond our conventional institutional boundaries. To coordinate its work with similar planning bodies, the Task Force will be in frequent dialogue with the ACSP. The Task Force will submit its recommendations to the President by no later than March 1, 2014.

Composition: The Innovation Task Force will consist of College community members who have demonstrated the capacity to think large but think practically - grounded dreamers. They will be very familiar with the College’s Mission, Vision and Core Values as well as our internal faculty and administrative structures and politics, and the sensitivity of our constituencies to change. They will possess strong familiarity with the world of academe outside Elmhurst College and the larger world outside academia.