Dear Babson Community:
Over the past several months, I have had the privilege and extraordinary opportunity to reengage with the Babson community. The transformative experience and return on investment Babson delivers to the world's brightest entrepreneurial students, and the impact of our programs and research, is impressive. I am inspired by the skills and passion our faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends have for Babson.
Through your hard work and intelligence, Babson continues to be the No. 1 school for entrepreneurship. Teaching entrepreneurship and being entrepreneurial may be the antidote for higher education’s malaise. Therefore, I have come to believe that Babson is one of the most important colleges in the world. Every day, I grow more excited about the College’s future.
To ensure our continued success, we must diligently and creatively plan for the future. Profound disruption is occurring across higher education. Colleges and universities are contending with serious headwinds, including—among other challenges—unfavorable demographic trends and declining enrollment, especially in MBA programs. In the last three years, more than 100 colleges and universities have closed, and some experts predict that nearly half will disappear or merge in the next 10 years.
Babson is not immune from these market forces. It is essential that we capitalize on our strengths and set in place the conditions that will allow us to remain the global leader in entrepreneurship education. Change is fertile ground for Entrepreneurial Thought & Action.®
With the full support and encouragement of the Board of Trustees, today we are launching a strategic planning effort with a clear goal: to engage the entire Babson community to rapidly develop a shared strategic plan for Babson to thrive in a changing environment.
This exercise will inform several pressing decisions, key to maintaining our position of strength. We must work together to accomplish this goal on an accelerated timeline. I have committed to delivering a strategic framework to the Board of Trustees by October and a final Strategic Plan by early February.
In formulating a vision and plan for the future, our strategy will address several crucial questions, among them:
- How will Babson play a role in shaping the future of entrepreneurship and business education globally?
- What new skills, competencies, resources and structures will be required of our organization to ensure Babson is a disruptor and delivers a high value, transformational experience to an increasingly diverse student population?
- What educational needs will our students have in the future in order to continue to create economic and social value—everywhere?
- Given disruption in higher education, how do we develop the delivery systems, faculty of the future, and administrative skills to ensure Babson continues to lead and thrive in rapidly changing conditions?
- What does it mean for Babson to be a truly "global" college?
- How will we ensure Babson continues to make an outsized impact on business and society?
Guiding and shaping the strategic planning effort will be a group of task forces. These task forces will include stakeholders representing the full spectrum of the Babson community, and will focus on the following areas:
- Student Experience
- Global Leadership in Entrepreneurship and Business Education
- Ecosystem Engagement
- Sustainable/Thriving Business Model
- Building a Global Brand
- Faculty and Staff of the Future
Broad engagement by the Babson community is critical to achieving our goal. We have designed a multimodal communications and engagement program to ensure that the strategic planning process is inclusive, collaborative and transparent. As you will see, there will be many ways and opportunities to participate, and this program will continue to expand and evolve throughout the process.
I implore you to share your ideas, feedback, and concerns. Your contributions will be part of a considerable effort to collect and analyze data and insights that refine our mission, purpose, and vision, and chart a bold course forward. Your first opportunity to help shape this effort is to identify community members interested in volunteering and getting involved with the six task forces. Please share your thoughts via email@example.com by Friday, May 31.
Babson's pioneering history and ongoing innovation will pave the way for our continued leadership. The success of this initiative is inextricably linked to the broad participation of our Babson community here on campus and around the world. I ask all of you to join me. Please help ensure that Babson continues to blaze new trails, create value, and have a positive impact on the world.
Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD
President-elect, Babson College