A foundation for success
In 2006, when we embarked on our Lynn 2020 strategic plan, our vision was to be recognized as one of the most “innovative, international and individualized” small universities in the country.
Since then, we’ve:
- Revolutionized teaching and learning with the nationally recognized Dialogues core curriculum
- Transformed the campus with enhanced technology and nearly 200,000 square feet of new facilities
- Created new learning pathways, including accelerated degree programs and academic partnerships
- Won six Fighting Knights national championships with an unwavering focus on spirit, service and strength
- Helped students become successful global citizens with expanded study abroad, service learning, internship and career opportunities
- Enhanced the Lynn experience with 24/7 campus dining, peer mentor and leadership development programs, and a new student orientation called Lynn Launch
- Added 27 new undergraduate majors and 11 new graduate majors
- Increased graduate enrollment by 55 percent
- Improved student retention by 7 percent and graduation rates by 10 percent
- Acquired Digital Media Arts College, adding new majors in animation, design and media
- Raised over $100 million in capital and scholarships to invest in Lynn’s future
Hosting a U.S. presidential debate and iPad-powered learning weren’t in the plan, but we did those, too. Lynn brought the 2012 presidential debate on foreign policy to our internationally diverse community. It generated more than $13 million in positive economic impact and $63.7 million in earned media for our region.
The technology infrastructure enhancements for the debate also enabled us to become one of the first schools in the nation to implement tablet-based learning. It was a bold move that put a transformational learning device into the hands of every student, improving engagement and saving up to 90 percent on the cost of textbooks.
This blend of experimentation and strategic opportunism is a hallmark of the Lynn way: experiment, evaluate outcomes and remain open to strategic opportunities that embolden us to learn and thrive.
“We haven’t heard of you either” was Lynn University’s catchphrase during the 2012 presidential debate. It’s a label hardly fitting today—even in jest.
Since we began our pursuit to be recognized as an innovative, international and individualized university, we have received national recognition in these areas and more. Lynn has consecutively been named an Apple Distinguished School, a Great College to Work For by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and a U.S. News & World Report Most Innovative College, among others.
In fact, we have so successfully achieved our Lynn 2020 vision, these attributes have become an inherent part of our ongoing mission to prepare students for success in the world.
As proud as we are of the successes of Lynn 2020, we’re just warming up for even bigger things ahead.
Designing Lynn’s future: 2025 priorities
For several months during the 2016–17 academic year, students, staff, faculty, alumni and administrators engaged in design thinking. The goal: to write our next chapter, establishing priorities through the year 2025.
Lynn’s approach, which was modeled after the process taught at Stanford’s d.school, began with a focus on “end users” and their unmet needs and priorities. It provided a framework for our community to work collaboratively to solve problems and develop creative strategies to further improve our university.
The interactive, hands-on design thinking sessions resulted in impactful ideas and different perspectives:
- Among alumni, students and employees was a call for more engagement and a desire to further foster our culture of pride, loyalty and support.
- Faculty and staff had exciting ideas for new academic programs and a drive to expand innovative learning models to more students.
- All offered suggestions for building on Lynn’s strong foundations to continually improve and adapt, elevating services, programs and facilities to the next level.
Combine these priorities with our style of intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness, and the result is an ambitious plan with clear direction and approach for accelerating Lynn’s evolution.
Lynn University’s mission is to provide an innovative, global and personalized education that enables students to realize their potential.
Our strategic priorities: engage, elevate and expand
- We will engage with our constituents to further foster a culture of pride, loyalty and support.
- We will elevate the Lynn experience, building on our strong foundations to continually improve and adapt.
- We will expand our programs, services, opportunities and capabilities.
Our approach: experimentation and strategic opportunism
We experiment, evaluate outcomes and remain open to strategic opportunities that embolden us to learn and thrive. We will achieve our mission through innovative curriculum, technology and campus design.
Priority 1: Engage with our constituents to further foster our culture of pride, loyalty and support.
To do so, we will:
- Create and implement models to support students and improve retention and graduation rates.
- Personalize student services with improved processes, training and tools.
- Develop virtual and physical service hubs to provide resources for students, alumni, faculty and staff.
- Appoint champions for each academic program and student service department who will foster connections among faculty, staff, students and alumni.
- Measure and celebrate employee performance based on high-quality service.
- Evaluate and enhance the residential experience to promote personal and community connections.
- Enhance campus event experiences to create opportunities for traditions and school spirit.
- Better support the transition from student to alumni.
- Mobilize alumni to participate in activities that support our mission.
- Cultivate relationships with donors and engage community members to invest their time and talents in Lynn.
- Retain our small-college atmosphere with a maximum full-time enrollment of 3,000 on our main campus.
- Launch a new brand campaign to increase awareness and rally students, employees, alumni, parents and donors to become ambassadors who support our strategic priorities.
Priority 2: Elevate the Lynn experience, building on our strong foundations to continually improve and adapt.
To do so, we will:
- Identify and cultivate the next generation of academic leaders and difference makers throughout the university.
- Create and deliver new academic models and formats.
- Review and update the Dialogues core curriculum and other academic programs.
- Add a global component to graduate curriculum.
- Develop and promote signature programs across the university.
- Promote programs for high-achieving students.
- Identify and report student achievement metrics and outcomes.
- Review and update the campus master plan, including wayfinding and parking solutions.
- Develop long-term student housing strategy and enhance residential facilities.
- Complete the athletics master plan.
- Improve campus facilities through timely renovations.
- Evaluate and implement cost-effective program, tuition and financial aid models.
- Identify cost savings and make investments to accomplish key objectives.
- Increase graduation rates to align with industry benchmarks.
- Identify consistent key performance indicators to track progress on university objectives.
Priority 3: Expand our programs, services, opportunities and capabilities.
To do so, we will:
- Add partnerships, acquisitions and programs (both on and off campus) to create new opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
- Develop and implement social impact lab and social entrepreneurship curriculum.
- Provide new learning pathways for students.
- Create new academic spaces for faculty, instruction and collaboration.
- Add sports teams, intramural clubs and student organizations.
- Set and achieve fundraising goals to support university objectives.
- Expertly invest endowment to support the mission of the university.
- Recruit members to the board of trustees and other advisory groups who play an active role in supporting our mission.
Call to action
Design thinking recognizes that the best ideas are built from diverse insights. Creating this plan was a university-wide endeavor. Successful implementation requires the ideas and effort of the entire Lynn University family.
How can each of us embrace the challenges and opportunities facing our organization? What can we all do to help our students gain the intellectual flexibility and global experience to fulfill their potential in an ever-changing world?
Lynn’s people have long been pioneers: from the dedicated nuns who broke ground on a new campus in uncharted territory, to the entrepreneurs who believed that a young startup would someday become the top-ranked university that it is today. We are at heart defiantly optimistic.
As we forge ahead, we should remain proud of this heritage. Our resilience is rooted in our belief in the potential of every student, and it has earned Lynn its place among the best independent universities.
To leverage this success and to continue to lead our industry, we must again draw upon our pioneering spirit to explore new programs, new markets and new approaches that will position Lynn University and its graduates for a prosperous future.