Letter from the Task Force Chairs

Dear colleagues,

Phillips Academy’s 2014 Strategic Planning effort is now officially underway. Members of the Strategic Planning Task Force met for the first time on June 20 to work through a robust agenda. Although unofficial in her new role, Rachel Skiffer, dean of policy and strategic planning, was able to join us on campus for this inaugural session before returning to the west coast. We wish her all the best as she crosses the country once again to arrive at Andover for her first official day, July 15.

We write today to share preliminary information, including some of the ways in which we will keep the community informed throughout the planning process.

In order to centralize our communications, we have set up a webpage
( that will evolve as we make progress toward a draft and then a final Strategic Plan in the next academic year. Currently, the site includes a chronology of correspondence to the PA community, bios for each task force member, and our charge. Additional resources and background materials will come later, along with a strategic planning blog that will highlight progress and invite public comment.

In addition to keeping the website current, we also plan to make full use of PA’s existing modes of information sharing, which include mass e-mail, Andover e-news, the Parent Bulletin, the Gazette, Andover magazine, social media and the Phillipian. As John Palfrey has stated in previous communications, we will engage PA colleagues, as well as students, parents and alumni in multiple ways; surveys and focus groups as well as town hall style meetings and events will likely be part of the mix.

Many have already contributed to the early phases of this planning by answering John’s call for thematic ideas and input — by working on the NEASC progress report, by serving on groups such as Access to Success and the Athletic Council, and by taking part in trustee-facilitated discussions on topics that have included technology in teaching, residential life, and athletics. There will be many more opportunities to share constructive feedback and innovative ideas in the coming months.

Meanwhile, we welcome your input at any point in the process. Please use the following email address:, or feel free to email individual task force members.

Our timeline is ambitious. We hope to present a draft plan to the Board of Trustees next spring. To get us there, the task force is committed to facilitating a collaborative and transparent process that will result in a well articulated vision connected to innovative ideas and aspirations that will guide Andover for the next 3 to 5 years.


Bob Campbell and Catherine Carter

Cochairs, Strategic Planning Task Force

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