Franklin & Marshall College has completed an inclusive process of strategic planning that was conducted during the 2012-13 academic year. Coordinated by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the College’s faculty, students, professional staff, alumni, trustees and friends developed a set of strategic priorities for sustained national excellence. Those priorities were then endorsed by the faculty and approved by the Board of Trustees in the spring of 2013.

Path to the Strategic Priorities

Before the adoption of the current strategic priorities, the Board of Trustees of Franklin & Marshall College ratified the College’s last strategic plan in 2004. This previous plan outlined the following key priorities: 1) deepening the College’s relationship with Lancaster; 2) investing in academic/intellectual spaces, including what became our College House system 3) internationalizing the institution; and 4) increasing the College’s visibility. The College made great strides under that plan, and it is now time to develop a new plan to build on the successes achieved under the last.

College President Daniel R. Porterfield convened in the summer of 2012 a steering committee to facilitate a series of F&M community conversations around several priority areas and to seek the input of faculty, professional staff, students, alumni and leadership groups.  The committee met periodically over the course of the year.  Community conversations started in late October 2012, lasting into 2013. The College aimed to have a strategic plan in place by June 2013 for ratification by the Board of Trustees. The board approved the strategic priorities at its May 2013 meeting, along with endorsement of the creation of a streamlined version of the document to make the priorities accessible to the College's many publics in a succinct format.

Strategic Priority Areas

The goal of the document was to outline Franklin & Marshall’s strategic priorities in three broad areas:

  • Strengthening F&M’s academic quality by providing both a rigorous liberal arts education and a stimulating environment for knowledge discovery;
  • Enhancing our ability to foster holistic growth and development of our students;
  • Developing a long-term business model predicated upon generation of new revenues while controlling costs and enhancing value.

The College expected several key themes to resonate across all three of these areas, including:

  • Creating a 10-year zone of impact that supports F&M alumni into early adulthood;
  • Making a difference in the nation and the world;
  • Engaging alumni and parents in the life of the College

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee


A Strategic Planning Steering Committee made up of representatives for Franklin & Marshall's faculty, professional staff and students shepherded the development of the College's Strategic Priorities, endorsed by the faculty and approved by the College's Board of Trustees in spring 2013. To assist the committee, the College retained the services of Dr. Larry Hirschhorn and Ms. Carey Huntington of the Center for Applied Research.

Steering Committee Members:

  • David Brennan, Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Budget Priorities Committee (BPC)
  • Alan Caniglia, Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Planning, Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Economics
  • Cass Cliatt, Vice President for Communications
  • Andrew DeWet, Associate Professor of Geosciences and Chair of Faculty Council
  • Matthew K. Eynon, Vice President for College Advancement
  • Janet Fischer, Associate Professor of Biology
  • J. Samuel Houser, Ph.D. ’89, Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College
  • Joseph Karlesky, The Honorable and Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government
  • Daniel Lugo, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
  • Dorothy Merritts, Professor of Geosciences
  • Scott Onigman '15, Student representative
  • Michael Penn, Professor of Psychology
  • Noah Pickus, ACE Fellow and Nannerl O. Keohane Director, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Associate Research Professor for Public Policy Studies, Duke University
  • Robyn Piggott, Executive Assistant to the President
  • Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., President
  • David Proulx, Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Amelia Rauser, Associate Professor of Art History
  • Kelly Ressler, Project/Office Administrator for Facilities Planning and Capital Projects
  • Katharine Snider '99, Associate Dean of the College and Prefect of Weis College House
  • Ann Steiner, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and Shirley Watkins Steinman Professor of Classics
  • Carmen Tisnado, Professor of Spanish and Associate Dean of the Faculty
  • Kent Trachte, Dean of the College
  • Frances Donnelly Wolf '96, Liaison to the Board of Trustees 
  • Alumni Board Representative, to be appointed