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Dr. Douglas Searcy, Barton’s new president, shared his new strategic plan for the school during his inauguration April 15. “BartonBold” is Searcy’s plan that will be implemented in the school over the next four years.

BartonBold Strategic Plan’s purpose is to expand and improve the school’s academic programs and services offered to students. The school community will be looking for changes in every aspect. Searcy said the plan is dividing it into five themes: Exceptional Academics, Vibrant Campus, Accelerated Growth, Robust Infrastructure and Healthy Finances.

He explained each of these themes in detail and how they will have different strategic objectives to accomplish his ultimate expectations for BartonBold.

The first theme, Exceptional Academics, is based on achieving academic growth and excellence, and on developing the faculty and staff. Searcy highlighted his goals of starting new undergraduate and graduate academic programs and investing in employees for their professional development.

The second theme, Vibrant Campus, will be focused on the development of students as future professionals, increasing the school’s retention rate and incorporate high impact practices for the growth of the student body.

Some of the most important strategies he mentioned was the development of extracurricular activities for students to interact outside of class, community involvement, growth of internship and job opportunities sources available for students, expansion of living communities and expand opportunities for those interested in work-study.

On themes three and four, Searcy referred to the expansion of programs, academics and athletics, and the improvement and expansion of the campus infrastructure. The section of Accelerated Growth aims to increase the number of academic programs, invest in new sports programs such as swimming and lacrosse and improve the athletic facilities, expand non-traditional programs and create a stronger brand and influence for Barton College as a school.

Theme four also aims to the improvement of academics but from a perspective based on infrastructure and technology. Under Robust Infrastructure, Searcy explained his plans on improvement of the learning environment and development of more advanced technological systems, and his future plans of investment on new and enhanced facilities.

The last section of the new strategic plan specifies the strong impact finances has in a school community and the importance of affordability. Theme five, Healthy Finances, aims to make the school more affordable for students by reducing costs of enrollment, compensation for the staff and faculty through the improvement of salary and benefits, incorporate fundraising as a method of financial aid and improve Barton’s financial system and fiscal outlooks through a budget model and partnerships respectively.

Barton Bold’s Strategic Plan aims to improve the education services given to students and grow the school as a whole by implementing many tactics. Through this plan, the Barton community will be looking for changes in every aspect including academic programs, faculty and staff, graduate opportunities, athletic programs, infrastructure and many other categories.

By Lorraine Chon-Qui

Contributor