PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh has started a new strategic plan that looks to renew the college's identity as it starts to look past the pandemic with more financial certainty.
The college’s new strategic plan, Plattsburgh Next, is based off four parts, President Alexander Enyedi said, — strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results, or SOAR.
Enyedi outlined parts of the college’s plan with the Plattsburgh Rotary Club Wednesday in one of a series of conversations slated for off campus groups.
TALKING WITH LOCALS
In an intentional shift from the college's last strategic plan, Enyedi said that the college will have to get input on how SUNY Plattsburgh can continue in its higher education role for the North Country.
The college plans on also talking with local health care, business and nonprofit groups.
Plattsburgh Next will look to examine the college and where it sits among the competition and attempt to create a flagship college for the North Country, Enyedi said. In its analysis, the college will focus on its strengths and not its weaknesses.
“I think we all know what the threats and weaknesses are,” Enyedi said, “so we’ll be more proactive at looking at how do we take advantage of the aspirations and then look at the strategic plan for metrics and results to demonstrate we’re on the right path.”
KEEP GRADUATES NEAR
One goal of the plan is to find ways to keep students who graduate in the area to revitalize it. Enyedi said he has started talking with local business leaders about it.
“If we’re looking for great talent to do entrepreneurial business roles and have responsibilities in teaching, education and health care, the talent is on our campus,” Enyedi said. “We just have to leverage that talent in the community to drive the prosperity in the region.”
Enyedi said the college will further commit to this new plan as it prepares for its accreditation, which will require a self-assessment that started in 2020 of the educational opportunities it offers and the college’s values.
SUNY Plattsburgh was last accredited in 2012 by Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which will visit the campus in 2022 for reaccreditation.
Despite the financial drawbacks from the pandemic, Enyedi said the college will have an “essentially” balanced budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and a positive balance the following year, thanks in part to campus-wide budget cuts of 7 percent and stimulus money that was given through the American Rescue Plan Act and CARES Act.
“That’s not to say that we won’t have to continue to look at reductions in the budget or in spending,” he said, “but I want to ensure you that it’s not going to happen in a knee-jerk way.”
COVID-19 is a campus-wide conversation every day, Enyedi said, and students are hoping for a back-to-normal semester in the fall. About 50 percent of classes are remote, Enyedi said, while the rest are either hybrid or face-to-face.
By the fall, the college is looking to have 80 percent of classes be offered face-to-face with some modifications to some classrooms so they adhere to CDC guidelines. Enyedi said the wider availability of vaccines has given them that option, but the college will have more clarity on exactly what they can do by the summer.