Purchase at 60: Building Our Future

As Purchase College embraces the future, it is the perfect time to take stock of our history and the opportunities still before us.

I am proud to have joined this vibrant community of students, artists, performers, scholars, scientists, activists, faculty, staff members, and the larger Purchase College community that supports us and joins in our efforts.

The Purchase Promise articulates our dedication to providing a world-class public education in the arts, liberal arts, and sciences that emphasizes indepth study, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Throughout the decades, Purchase has demonstrated the power of this promise and the ability of a liberal arts experience to foster meaningful learning that opens up a world of possibilities, skills, and talents. Here at Purchase, we look to capture the dynamism of learning to embolden creativity with a passion for lifelong learning.

Our prior strategic plan set us up well. Utilizing its framework, we were able to complete vital capital projects, create new programs to support our students, and prioritize our students’ changing needs.

We are now on the precipice of many changes to the higher education landscape. We must continue to be prudent, and also to be flexible and— above all—creative.

This Strategic Plan is the launch of the Purchase at 60: Building Our Future campaign. This campaign leverages our strengths while addressing new challenges.

We look to provide opportunities to deepen the connections among faculty, staff, and students by embracing an environment where creativity is boldly applied across and within disciplines. Furthermore, we also take this moment to celebrate the creativity that infuses and informs our campus community as a whole. At Purchase College, creativity imbues our innovative, flexible, visionary approach to arts, performing arts, sciences, humanities, and liberal arts. But it equally drives our day-today work as students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as we continually seek new ways to Think Wide Open, to further our mission, and to make a difference in the world. Our five broad focus areas are outlined in the Strategic Plan. They include:

  • Empowering the Creative Student

  • Transforming with Creative Programs

  • Embracing Inclusion for a Creative Campus

  • Sustaining a Creative Future

  • Expanding the Creative Community

This strategic plan also formalizes the launch of new Institutional Learning Outcomes that enable us as a community of lifelong learners to offer a quality education and to foster an environment that affirms and upholds accessibility, diversity of perspectives, sustainability, justice, and innovation. These Learning Outcomes will inspire us as we continue to work together holistically for a meaningful education and a sustainable future.

Achieving our aspirations and strategic goals will not be an easy path. Yet, our future lies in the Purchase College promise that students will graduate having discovered talents and inner resources that enable their professional success and inspire them to make the world accepting, inclusive, and equitable.

I look forward to working with you and to achieving greatness together.

Purchase College will be a model teaching institution where creativity, boldly applied across and within disciplines, serves as a critically needed response to challenges of increasing complexity, empowering future generations of artists, scholars, scientists, and activists to engage in and make their own meaningful contributions to society.

Purchase College embraces its public mission by bringing together students in the liberal arts, sciences, and conservatory arts programs in a vibrant, creative community where in-depth knowledge grows from open-minded engagement, questioning boundaries, and inspiring possibility.

  • Delivering an exceptional education to a diverse student body

  • Artistic and scholarly achievement

  • Personal and professional creativity, inquiry, and expressiveness

  • Openness to emerging ideas that promote alternatives and variance

  • Free and expressive speech

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Respect for individuals’ liberties

  • Lifelong learning

  • Meaningful collaboration toward shared goals

  • Civic engagement

  • Sustainability (environmental, social justice, economic, health related, etc.)

  • Recognizing the interconnectedness and complexity of all facets of our world, we commit to sustaining an environment of openness and collaboration in which students develop:

  • Critical thinking skills, so they are able to engage a lifelong building of knowledge through observation, reflection, curiosity, dialogue, and the evaluation and synthesis of information.

  • Creative and expressive skills, so they may propose innovative solutions to problems and innovative manifestations of their own thoughts and feelings.

  • Articulation skills, so they are able to communicate their thoughts and choices clearly, carefully, and purposefully, to themselves and to others.

  • Adeptness in multiple research methodologies and in multiple forms of literacy, so they may further expand and enrich their appreciation of the complexity of our world, both within and beyond college.

  • A sensitivity to nuance, to traditional and non-traditional knowledges, and to ideas and experiences different from their own, so they are able to bridge the gap between themselves and others, and between the local and global, while advocating for the importance of diversity in all its manifestations.

  • A commitment to the planet and to the welfare and equity of all of its peoples by respecting the sanctity of the environment and by using the United Nations’ 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for understanding the larger impact of their actions and decisions, so they may actively engage in building a world that measurably promotes equity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

The Mission, Vision, and Values we embrace provide the opportunity to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to another essential part of our promise— nurturing a culture that values diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, social justice, and civic engagement. Purchase College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes provide the institutional commitment to achieve our goals.

Student working in the field

Strategic Plan 2021-2027

As an educational institution, first and foremost is our need to engage intellectually, creatively, and critically, and to better society and the globe through our endeavors. Purchase’s approach immerses students in the dynamic energy that is created when different disciplines, perspectives, and deliveries engage open-ended lines of inquiry so as to foster elasticity in thinking and the multi-varied pursuit of knowledge, problem solving, intellectual and civic engagement, and the cultivation of empathy needed to meaningfully contribute to society and to our democracy.

In service to these values, we are committed to creative education that:

  • Expands the definition of student to include all who learn on our campus or as part of our community.

  • Expands the parameters of learning beyond the classroom, lab, and studio, to include all college experiences and life after graduation.

  • Fosters within students a conception of the world that our most pressing problems—as encapsulated by the United Nation’s 17 SDGs—are complex, intertwined, and require a multitude of approaches to solutions.

  • Engages each student in the pursuit of personal practices that further social transformation.

  • Promotes institutional action that continually innovates to advance social and racial equity and justice.

We have grouped our strategies into five broad focus areas. They include:

The dynamic energy released when inquiry tackles complex and interconnected questions is the hallmark of academic excellence at Purchase College. Our artists, scholars, scientists, and activists boldly apply creativity across and within disciplines as a critically needed, empowering response to these challenges. Whether in the arts, sciences, or humanities, all of our students are taught to think creatively and to apply unconventional approaches to problem-solving and to do so as a diverse and inclusive community of gifted and creative thinkers, writers, and performers.

We will improve students’ learning and experiences inside and outside the classroom by:
  • Nurturing a dynamic and creative learning community where students are encouraged to become independent global thinkers who are motivated to act collectively for the greater good.

  • Fostering an accepting, open-minded community through integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into campus life.

  • Expanding programs and services that nurture health and wellness and personal, social, and cultural development, especially for students from underrepresented groups.

Interconnected and complex questioning is the defining characteristic of programs at Purchase College. Artists, scholars, scientists, and activists within these programs engage actively in creative and critical inquiry in order to understand disciplinary boundaries, and then move beyond them.

We will support program excellence by:
  • Creating and refining innovative programs in the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and professional conservatory arts training that prepare students to become global citizens empowered to engage the world’s complexities.

  • Inspiring students to be engaged citizens through high-impact learning opportunities away, abroad, and on campus.

  • Using our Institutional Learning Outcomes and our focus on sustainable development as frameworks for dialogue, learning experiences, activities, and initiatives that support and inspire our students.

The multiple and varied perspectives needed to fuel our creative Purchase College education require an inclusive and equitably accessible campus for all. To embrace this value requires new and innovative critical responses spanning the entire College community.

We will recruit, support, retain, and nurture our dedicated faculty and staff by:
  • Actively supporting and promoting shared responsibility for creating a community that honors our values and benefits from a more diverse workforce.

  • Committing ourselves to meaningful change by deploying intentional recruitment and retention efforts targeting faculty and staff from underrepresented communities.

  • Supporting pedagogical, artistic, and scholarly work, enrichment opportunities, and professional development.

  • Developing strategies to increase employee development, satisfaction, and campus engagement, including promoting shared governance and building a campus community founded on a culture of mutual respect.

  • Providing and promoting a climate of health, wellness, safety, and security for all members of the campus community.

The cause of creative education cannot be fueled without the continued wise steward-ship of today’s resources (natural and material) and the sustaining of tomorrow’s resources for future generations. We must also harness the same multi-varied approach that furthers educational excellence to advance the innovative and dynamic resourcing of elements that sustain Purchase College, and the entire world.

We will foster a sustainable campus by:
  • Growing our endowment, annual fund, and other gifts to support students, faculty, and innovative campus activities and areas of high need.

  • Refining and supporting entrepreneurial and innovative ideas for generating new revenue streams.

  • Maximizing effectiveness and efficiency while reducing costs and risks in all College operations.

  • Investing wisely in the people, infrastructure, and technology that will help us thrive as a forward-thinking institution.

If creative education expands how we think about the world, then our students, faculty, and alumni also take that expansive thinking out into the world through their actions, innovations, and creations. Conversely, we encourage the dissolving of borders by welcoming the world onto our creative campus, to collaborate and share in cultural, recreational, and academic learning activities. Finally, we challenge members of the college and surrounding communities alike to engage in innovative, inclusive, and solution-driven activities that address our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact.

We will engage the wider community by:
  • Taking greater advantage of our partnerships at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

  • Providing new creative and collaborative learning opportunities that unite constituencies within and beyond the college.

  • Expanding our engagement and interaction with alumni, parents, friends, and donors across the country and globally, by leveraging their efforts as ambassadors, mentors, and stewards of the college.

  • Building on our success in providing the public with varied creative, cultural, and recreational spaces, including the Neuberger Museum of Art, The Performing Arts Center, and athletic facilities.


The goals for this Strategic Plan and the Institutional Learning Outcomes are bold and reflect our Purchase College Mission, Vision, and Values. To anchor this plan, concrete actions appear in an operational version of this document that identifies responsibilities, tactics, metrics, and funding required to accomplish our goals.

Our success depends on the entire Purchase community working together in support of an institution that nurtures a culture that values diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, social justice, and civic engagement.

Delivering on our promise is a commitment to our present as well as our future. Our promise calls us to commit to strategies and investments impactful for our students, our community, and our future. This Strategic Plan is a bold embrace of our college motto and clarion call to “Think Wide Open.”

We ask you to join us in realizing this Strategic Plan with your support. In doing so, as laid out here, we are joining together in empowering creative students, transforming Purchase College with creative programs, embracing inclusion for a creative campus, sustaining a creative future, and expanding opportunities for our creative community.

For more information or to get involved, please contact the Purchase College Office of the President at: pre.office@purchase.edu.