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  • Strategic Plan 2020-2025




Mission Statement

Strategic Plan


The Harvard Hillel Board of Directors and staff, under the guidance of the strategic planning committee, developed this 5-year plan to direct their efforts to meet the newly crafted [proposed] mission.

The creation of this document is only a first step in achieving Harvard Hillel’s objectives. The next step is to further develop the appropriate plans, action steps, and timeline to meet the goals.

During the implementation of the plan, it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the organization, through the actions of professional staff, is meeting its goals by monitoring progress on a regular basis and evaluating performance against each goal.

This is a working document, a tool to help Harvard Hillel achieve its goals. As such, it may be adjusted and modified as needed to support the changing environment and the needs of the organization.

Harvard Hillel is a Jewish home on campus that seeks to:

Engage the unique opportunities of Harvard and make Jewish thought and culture integral in the life of the University.

Goal 1: Undergraduate Students

Expand undergraduate outreach and engagement to connect with all Harvard College students who have a Jewish identity to inspire and support them in forging Jewish life.

Goal 2: Graduate Students

Build a Jewish community among Harvard graduate students and Harvard-affiliated young adults.

Goal 3: Community Engagement

Raise the profile of Harvard Hillel on campus and beyond.

Goal 4: Facilities and Rebranding

In service of Goals 1, 2, and 3, ensure that our physical space supports our new and expanded offerings and explore rebranding Harvard Hillel.

Undergraduate students who have a Jewish background/identity are the heart of our work at Harvard Hillel. We serve as a home base and hub of activity for all Jewish students. We support students along their unique paths, contributing to a meaningful Jewish life which sustains well after they graduate. We embark on this strategic plan resolved to know every Jewish undergraduate student at Harvard by name, to deepen relationships with and among students, and to use our knowledge of real student needs and interests to continue to offer dynamic programming for the diverse group of students in our care.

Strategy 1: Data Collection

Improve collection, analysis, and use of data to achieve greater understanding of our target population, discern and further develop effective engagement strategies, and sustain engagement with all students we identify.

Strategy 2: Outreach

Increase the frequency and continually evolve the mix of outreach initiatives and programs to identify and involve all Harvard College students with a Jewish background/identity.

Strategy 3: Engagement

Increase the number of Jewish Harvard College students* who have deeper or more frequent involvement with Harvard Hillel.

Strategy 4: Professional Development

Provide ongoing professional development for the Harvard Hillel staff in outreach and engagement to improve effectiveness.

*Note: future references throughout this document to “Jewish” students, or similar terms, are meant to encompass broadly those who have Jewish identity or background.

Approximately 2500 Jewish graduate students are enrolled in Harvard's eleven graduate and professional schools. Transforming this large and currently underserved population of Jewish young adults into a community is a worthwhile objective in itself and will broaden our reach as Jewish enrollment in Harvard College has declined. Creating a graduate student community requires a distinct and robust programmatic approach. In addition, a large local age peer community is greatly enmeshed with Harvard graduate students in Jewish life, presenting a challenge of mission scope, but also the possibility of partnerships with other organizations. The goal of Jewish graduate student community demands the most structural change – to staffing, facility, and funding – but we believe the opportunity is compelling.

Strategy 1: Data Collection

Collect data to better understand the needs and opportunities to engage Harvard graduate students and Harvard-affiliated Jewish young adults.

Strategy 2: Leadership

Create and staff a Council of the Jewish Student Association (JSA) heads from across schools for collaborative planning and programming.

Strategy 3: Programming

Expand our programming and the calendar of events to build community across graduate schools and engage graduate students in Jewish life.

Strategy 4: Partnerships

Explore partnerships with outside organizations who are already working to engage graduate students and young professionals.

Goal 3: Community Engagement   

Harvard Hillel engages our community in compelling ways when we create featured programs that leverage the special assets, opportunities and setting of Harvard. Sharing Jewish ideas and culture and Israel with all of Harvard is an essential role; and our setting at the core of the Harvard community, along with our network of thought leaders and accomplished alumni, enable us to create and convene conversations of the highest caliber. Harvard Hillel will build on our current high-profile forums and initiatives to a) engage our University community and increase our appeal on campus by showcasing thought-leadership on relevant issues; b) share this aspect of Harvard Hillel with our widespread alumni and other supporters; and c) increase the renown of Harvard Hillel as a thriving community and center of Jewish excellence. 

Strategy 1: Student Leadership

Amplify students’ voices on issues of the day and increase dialogue among students, faculty, and special guests on critical issues facing the Jewish community and Israel.

Strategy 2: Partnerships and Programs

Multiply and diversify collaborations with faculty, academic departments, offices, and centers of Harvard to consolidate and promote our distinctive platform for featured conversations on important ideas and issues.

Strategy 3: Wider Audience

Share selected high-profile Harvard Hillel programs with our wider constituency of alumni and supporters in convened programming at Harvard and in online modalities that increase our visibility and reach. 

In service of Goals 1, 2, and 3, ensure that our physical space supports our new and expanded offerings and explore rebranding Harvard Hillel.

Strategy 1: Facilities

Decide on the extent of renovations to Rosovsky Hall needed to meet our future needs.

Strategy 2: Rebranding

Determine the advantages and liabilities of rebranding Harvard Hillel, whether in the near term or as programming evolves .

Implementation of this plan, particularly the goal of building a Jewish graduate student community, will require additional funding and staffing as well as modifications to the facilities at Harvard Hillel. It is important to make provisions to secure these resources to ensure the success of the strategic plan. Therefore, a task force with representatives from the Strategic Planning Committee, Development Committee and Building Committee will meet to coordinate their plans.

Human Resources

In order to successfully implement the strategic plan, we will have to reassess our staffing structure. Parts of this plan, particularly Goal 1, can be executed with minor realignment of the current staffing levels. However, some initiatives, such as those in Goal 2 and possibly Goal 3, will likely necessitate additional staffing and/or repurposing of current staff once the amount and types of new programs are determined for each goal.

Financial Resources

The additional programming and staffing needs, along with the required building renovations, have significant associated costs. Fundraising, which has been integral to Harvard Hillel’s success, will become even more of a priority for both the organization and the board.

This strategic plan and the vision for our building necessitate a robust, multi-year fundraising plan to ensure that we have the resources we need and remain sustainable. Year 1 of the strategic plan, when we have relatively few additional expenses, will be spent creating the fundraising plan which will include a major gifts program, outreach to untapped foundations, and an expanded capital campaign. Implementation of the fundraising plan will begin in year 2 when we need more resources to implement Goals 2 and 3.

________________________________________ Timeline

Strategic Plan timeline


Harvard Forest Strategic Plan (2020-2025)

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The strategic plan below was developed in 2020 over a 6-month process by working groups of Harvard Forest staff, with frequent, iterative input from the wider community of staff, visiting research fellows, graduate students, and other stakeholders.

Executive Summary

The Harvard Forest is Harvard University’s 4000-acre laboratory and classroom, with year-round staff dedicated to long-term science and experiential learning.  Our mission is to advance understanding of biological, physical, and human systems in the New England landscape.  We share our research to help guide stewardship of the planet.

Harvard Forest practices an open, inclusive, and collaborative approach to addressing local and global environmental challenges through excellence in science, education, and engagement with society.

Diversity and Inclusion

Learning from the past to inform the future



Action Plan

Harvard Forest is an international leader in forest ecology and conservation. Our research is wide ranging but with a focus on long-term studies, New England forests, and participation in national and international research networks (LTER, NEON, Ameriflux, ForestGEO).  While the Forest attracts researchers from across the country and the world with its generous land base and infrastructure support for long-term experiments, a key feature in its success has been its core team of resident senior scientists. Expanding and diversifying this core team would have the greatest single impact on research and could (potentially) advance other areas, including education, outreach, and DIEB. While expensive, some of the cost might be offset by an increase in research grants. Other priorities identified in this plan include increasing the diversity of research staff, collaborators, and resident fellows; strengthening ties with the university; and increasing and broadening sources of funding.

Harvard Forest will use its knowledge, resources, and social influence to hear and empower stakeholders, create new ways for diverse audiences to utilize and benefit from the Forest’s land base and research findings, and share research results that guide policy, improve livelihoods, inform land stewardship, and address environmental challenges.

Goals and Actions

Harvard Forest operates several complementary educational programs to provide experiential learning opportunities for students ranging from elementary school to graduate students and beyond.  Our plan seeks to enhance and expand these opportunities by striving to recruit, train, and retain talented and diverse students at various stages of their academic careers. We use our field sites, resources and long-term datasets to engage Harvard undergraduates in immersive courses and field trips. HF supports a diverse population of undergraduates in our long-standing summer residential program, providing training, mentorship and research opportunities. We provide interdisciplinary research and networking opportunities for Graduate students and post-docs. To connect with and inform the next generation of earth stewards, we engage with elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students and provide opportunities for hands-on data collection and face-to-face interactions with HF scientists. 

Harvard Forest will leverage and develop its educational programs to be an international leader in recruiting, training, and retaining talented and diverse students who will become the next generation of civically engaged ecologists and earth stewards.

Engagement and Outreach

Harvard Forest utilizes a variety of techniques to accomplish engagement and outreach goals in support of science, education and stewardship. At present, our programs reach approximately 2,500 individuals annually through guided and self-guided tours, events, and workshops. Participants include university students, K-12 students, stakeholder/land professional groups, and other public adult groups. We welcome an additional 600 visitors to the Fisher Museum each year and coordinate a team of 40 local volunteers to support the Fisher Museum. This plan seeks to continue and expand many of our current activities, as well as incorporate new engagement goals. Priorities include elevating Harvard Forest’s visibility, leadership, and collaboration within Harvard University, enhancing the reach and impact of the Fisher Museum and conference center, and continuing to offer scientific programming in ecology and conservation relevant to diverse audiences and stakeholders.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Harvard Forest’s physical resources include 19 residential units (45,000 sf); 55,000 sf of administrative, lab, museum, library/archive space plus mechanical facilities; a fleet of 17 vehicles and heavy equipment; a multi-spurred primary electrical line running 1.5 miles into the woods to support experiments and facilities operations; 40 miles of woods roads; and almost 4,000 acres of forested land, pasture, ponds, and wetlands. Network resources include a 100 Mbps optical fiber connection to the university, 8 networked buildings, a field wireless network, and a VOIP telephone system. Online resources include the HF website, Data Archive, Document Archive, Bibliography, and administrative database. In 2020, facilities human resources include a full-time team of 5 Woods Crew staff members as well as two part-time temporary staff who care for the land and facilities.  HF staff also support networking, telecommunications, field research infrastructure, and local computers, as well as scientific information management, the administrative database, and the HF website. Our strategic plan includes the continued execution of our land use plan and maintenance on existing facilities while working towards greater accessibility, sustainability, safety, and inclusion. We strive to maintain an adaptable organization and infrastructure to support the growing and changing needs of the research, education, and outreach programmatic areas of Harvard Forest’s mission.  

Harvard Forest will maintain an adaptable physical and digital infrastructure that supports its research and education mission, balancing stewardship of the past with respectful modernization for safety, accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability.

The Harvard Forest is a department of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts & Sciences and a member of the U.S. LTER Network supported by the National Science Foundation . Learn More about Our funders .

©2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College . All rights reserved. Faculty of Arts and Sciences  of  Harvard University Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy

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Strategic Planning

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This fall 2022 marks the beginning of the second year of this three-year strategic planning project, which was launched last fall to define the structures and resources needed to support long-term excellence in teaching and research within and across the many fields and disciplines of FAS.

This is an opportunity for the current generation of faculty to be founders for a future FAS. There is an appetite for these conversations and an imperative for change. Claudine Gay Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has launched a broad, three-year strategic planning process to define the structures and resources needed to support long-term excellence in teaching and research within and across its many fields and disciplines. We anticipate that the 2023 academic year will be a year of designing and piloting solutions to the challenges—and opportunities—that surfaced over the course of our first year, which was focused on listening and discovery. The process puts a particular focus on a forward-looking vision for excellence in:

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Academic Communities

harvard strategic plan 2020

Faculty Support and Development

harvard strategic plan 2020

Graduate Education

The FAS strategic planning process benefits from insights achieved through a number of distinct review and planning efforts across the Academic Divisions. It draws particular inspiration from the  FAS Study Group , a faculty group convened in November 2020 by Edgerley Family Dean Claudine Gay, to define a vision for how to position the FAS for broad-based academic excellence, innovation, and sustainability.

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Vision Statement

From November 2021 through February 2022, the FAS convened nearly 200 faculty members for small group conversations to create a shared vision for the future of the FAS.

A  strong, intellectually vibrant, creative FAS  ready to steward the future of the liberal arts and sciences through cutting edge research and teaching. An FAS that can:

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Faculty Workload Committee

The Faculty Workload Committee was charged with examining the non-research workload of faculty at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Allied Administrative Efforts

Alongside the above academic strategic planning efforts, there are a number of allied administrative efforts under way to ensure that our operations are effectively supporting the core teaching and research mission of the FAS. This includes efforts to reimagine budgeting led by Scott Jordan, FAS Dean for Administration and Finance. That work is structured into five working groups that will tackle (1) workforce planning, (2) space and capital planning, (3) multi-year planning, (4) the annual budget process, and (5) reporting and accountability to make recommendations that will be implemented for the FY24 budget process. For more information on this effort please contact Katherine Gates at  [email protected] .

A comprehensive technology landscape study is being led by Vice President and University Chief Information Officer Klara Jelinkova, who also serves as FAS Chief Information Officer. Overseen by an FAS Steering Committee, the study will produce an in-depth mapping of technology usage and needs across the FAS community, as well as strategic recommendations for a cohesive, future-facing technology ecosystem that enables the FAS’s teaching and research mission. The Steering Committee, which reviews study design and data analysis, includes Professor Deidre Lynch, Dr. Chase Harrison, Professor Amanda Pallais, Professor James Waldo, Mike Holmes, Dean Mary Ann Bradley, and Dean Russ Porter. For more information or to participate in this study, please reach out to  [email protected]

For questions, comments or more information on FAS Strategic Planning, please contact  [email protected]

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IT Strategic Plan

Download the 2018 IT Strategic Plan

In 2012, the CIO Council defined—for the first time—a shared vision for IT across Harvard's schools and departments, and a unified IT Strategic Plan to guide our collective efforts. The plan outlined a bold set of initiatives that taken together aimed to  transform ,  modernize , and greatly  simplify  our IT landscape. The current IT Strategic Plan was launched in 2018, and features eight CIO Council Initiatives and eight University IT Priorities that represent areas of continued investment.

Download the 2015 IT Strategic Plan

CIO Council Initiatives

University IT Priorities

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Informed by the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, our office will guide Harvard’s culture toward inclusive excellence by convening stakeholders, serving as a catalyst for strategic efforts, analyzing University-level progress, optimizing investments, and facilitating University-wide coordination

Presidential task force on inclusion and belonging.

In March 2018, the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging released its final report to the Harvard community . A PDF of the full report, including accompanying materials for the community and report appendices, is available here:  Final Report of the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging:  Pursuing Excellence on a Foundation of Inclusion

Our Strategy

“ “

What are we trying to solve?  

“ “

What does it look like?  

“ “

How are we measuring success?

The Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging facilitates the collective decision making and localized implementation process in our pursuit of inclusive excellence.

These efforts, working with stakeholders and partners across the institution, will exponentially grow the impact of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) work across Harvard.


Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Leadership Council

The Harvard University Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Leadership Council consists of leaders at Schools and those within central administration dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work across the University.

People sitting in chairs in Harvard Yard meeting together in a circle

Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Leadership Network

The Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Leadership Network will gather twice a semester to convene members of the Harvard community to discuss University strategies and local implementations around diversity, inclusion and belonging. 


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