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Knox Together: A Plan for Fall 2020 Give Now
Members of the Knox Jazz Ensemble practice a piece in Kresge Recital Hall.

Knox 2022

Contact

Office of the President

Teresa L. Amott, 19th President of Knox College

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

309-341-7211

teresa.amott@​knox.edu

Download the Knox 2018 Plan
Ford Center for the Fine Arts

An Update from the President, Summer 2020

Knox 2022 builds on the College’s previous strategic plan, Knox 2018. The new plan expands on strategic priorities that are already well under way, refines and refocuses priorities that have changed, and retains as an ongoing priority those that have not yet been achieved. A draft of the plan was presented to all faculty and staff in two open forums, and the Board of Trustees reviewed the plan during its fall 2019 meeting. During spring 2020, however, every institution of higher education moved into a very different planning mode to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic situation. The parameters of “the new normal” are only now beginning to come into focus, but it is clear that every element of the College’s operations, from our educational delivery to our residential character, will be revisited as we evaluate the pandemic’s impact and develop flexible strategies. In addition, the events of recent months have brought into very sharp focus the imperative to address matters of equity and to act more intentionally to address areas of systemic racism.

—Teresa L. Amott, President

The Knox 2022 Strategic Plan

More than eight years after Knox first began to pursue the goals laid out in Knox 2018, the College finds itself in a contradictory position—financially and academically stronger than at virtually any other moment in its history, but facing challenges that, while not unique to our institution, represent potentially serious risks. 

Knox enjoys a strong and growing national reputation for its teaching quality, its role as an engine of upward mobility, and the diversity of its student body. At the same time, however, the COVID-19 pandemic and the correspondingly necessary move to virtual and hybrid learning environments has made it more difficult to maintain the parts of our academic program—close collaboration between students and faculty, as well as opportunities for experiential learning beyond the classroom—that make a Knox education distinct and valuable. Meanwhile, with the cost of a college education rising and a greater number of prospective students facing financial challenges, sustaining the College’s historic mission of access has become increasingly expensive. Finally, as the nation once again reckons with racism pervasive throughout its history and its political and economic systems, and within its communities, it is vitally important that the rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, identities, and points of view that comprises the Knox community be reflected in all that we do.

It is in facing challenges like these that the value of a Knox education is most evident. We need more citizens with the critical acumen to navigate an information environment rife with hidden agendas. We need more leaders with the ability and willingness to consider the ethical, social, and economic consequences of new technologies. Most importantly, we need more people who are invested in the well-being of people who might seem to have little in common with them.

As long as the world needs the changemakers who are Knox graduates, it needs Knox College. Thus, It is heartening to recognize, though the world has changed profoundly since we first shared the broad outlines of Knox 2022 with the Knox community in late 2019, its three strategic goals continue to provide a solid road map for moving forward: 

Goal One: Advance Knox’s Distinctive Approach to Liberal Learning

  • Identify new areas for study and new degree programs of strategic value while embracing our foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. Extend the use of the campus through the entire year by developing new programs for when Knox is not in session, such as summer camps and residencies. Explore the viability of summer programs for alumni and/or enrichment programs for high school students that build on the College’s strengths.
  • Expand the number and variety of distinctive immersive experiences, both faculty-created and student-initiated, including research opportunities, study away, internships, and civic engagement.
  • Expand and enhance the College's comprehensive career services program to attract, engage, and prepare Knox students and alumni for career achievement and satisfaction.
  • Complete a thorough review and assessment of the academic calendar to weigh the costs and educational benefits of the current 3-3-3 calendar against alternative organizations of the academic year.

Goal Two: Engage Our Diverse, Vibrant Campus Community

  • Make a Knox education affordable to students of all financial means.
  • Expand and deepen the College’s comprehensive retention plan to better address the academic, financial, wellness, and social needs of our students from admission to graduation.
  • Actively examine and remedy the ways that racism and other forms of injustice exist and persist within our campus community.
  • Develop and support programs that enable campus community members with diverse identities, viewpoints and life histories to undertake respectful and meaningful dialogue.
  • Enhance campus approaches to recruitment and retention of faculty and staff to enable the College to effectively compete for and retain the diverse workforce of the future and become a “great place to work” by achieving competitive compensation and professional development for all categories of faculty and staff.
  • Create a Galesburg community advisory board to provide counsel and feedback on campus-community matters and enhance relationships with our community partners. Identify shared goals and avenues for collaboration. Increase programming that strengthens relationships between students, faculty, staff, and members of the Galesburg community.

Goal Three: Ensure a Knox Education for Generations to Come

  • Grow the College’s revenues through enhanced fundraising, new revenue streams, improvements in retention and growth of the endowment.
  • Identify and implement changes to the operational model used to deliver a Knox education, including potential changes in program offerings, strategic partnerships, pricing strategies, year-round campus utilization, and other innovations. Reimagine our cost structure to be more consistent with projected revenue streams based on current and anticipated market conditions, identifying ways to provide a distinctive Knox education at a more competitive net price to our students.
  • Continue progress toward a 21st century campus that embodies contemporary approaches to teaching and learning and advances sustainability and accessibility of campus facilities.

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Printed on Tuesday, September 22, 2020