At the third Student Council meeting of the 2020-21 academic year, President Sean Decatur asked the governing body to find student candidates for Kenyon’s new steering committee, a group that will determine the College’s goals and mission for the next five years.
The previous steering committee disbanded in 2014 after formulating the College’s 2020 Plan, which took effect in 2015. With 2020 nearing its end, Decatur entrusted the Student Council to start the planning process once again.
Six members from the Board of Trustees have already joined the steering committee, according to Decatur, and he hopes to “sample a broad cross section of the Kenyon community” in filling the committee’s three to four remaining positions.
Student Council will review applications in the coming weeks for student members. Decatur would like for the committee to start its work by next month, and said its work would last the entire academic year.
In his presentation to the Council, Decatur said that the College’s new strategic plan will be pretty similar to the last one. The 2020 Plan saw major efforts towards inclusivity, including the formation of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Decatur expects this work to continue, especially in the wake of renewed calls for social justice reform across the country. He stressed the urgency of the College’s anti-racism work. “It’s not a five- or six-year issue,” he said. “It’s a response that really needs to happen now.”
The new strategic plan will not update the Master Plan, but will instead focus on enhancing social experience and sustainability, according to Decatur.
Decatur also hoped to implement a larger international component in the College’s new strategic plan. He noted that the last few years missed out on this opportunity, mainly because the College focused more closely on local relations. “It would be great, looking forward, [to] put that same kind of energy and effort into thinking about Kenyon’s position more globally,” he said.