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Letter from President Laackman to Champlain Community: Monday, January 26, 2015

During my Inaugural speech in October, I offered one potential vision of our future and encouraged us all to look through our own spyglass and envision Champlain College's possible futures. The Champlain Futures Initiative is our next step in this process, bringing the Inaugural speech to life. Over the next few months, we will begin defining our vision for 2020 and beyond. We will do this by engaging the whole community and generating ideas for our future. At the same time, we will identify what parts of this process we can institutionalize with the intention of creating sustainable processes that ensure a culture of innovation endures.

Through the Champlain Futures Initiative, Champlain College will bring intentionality and mindfulness to identifying emerging trends and opportunities, understanding our strengths, and building on these strengths to position the College for success as the future unfolds. The underlying hypothesis for the Initiative is that the collective talent of this community will generate better ideas than any one of us individually. Our community is comprised of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, friends of the college and thought leaders. This approach will be more successful when more of us participate.

I have asked Leslie Averill, Vice President of Student Life, to lead the Champlain Futures Initiative. Over the next few months, Leslie will lead efforts to engage the community with the objective of generating as many ideas about Champlain's future as possible. Once again, as I did with my Inaugural speech, we will crowdsource ideas. We want to inspire and capture your best thinking on what Champlain College can become. Please feel free to reach out to Leslie if you are eager to get involved.

Over the coming months, we will also work to identify those activities and processes that can become enduring features of how we operate. Since arriving in July, I have seen the entrepreneurial spirit, nimbleness and innovative culture in this community. This distinctive culture is a defining strength of the College. The Champlain Futures Initiative is the next step in harnessing this energy to pull us forward in our journey to become to finest, small professionally and globally focused college in the country.

I look forward to seeing what we create together.