About the Commission Process

Commission Gustavus 150 is the next step in the College's strategic planning process.

The Gustavus community developed a Strategic Plan in 2007–08 that was approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2008. The College now is engaging a broader constituency, developing action steps, and implementing its Strategic Plan in addition to preparing to celebrate its Sesquicentennial in 2012.

The Gustavus Adolphus College Strategic Plan affirms the College's identity as an undergraduate, independent, liberal arts, residential College of the Church.

Gustavus is poised to secure its rightful place among the leading liberal arts colleges in the nation.

Gustavus Adolphus College is a learning community, rooted in its Swedish traditions and the Lutheran faith, committed to excellence in all it does and determined to ensure justice and fairness through lives of leadership and service.

Commission Gustavus 150 received the support of the Faculty Senate at its September 2008 meeting and was approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees in October 2008.

The Commission Task Forces worked from November 2008 through April 2009 to made specific recommendations for the future advancement of the College to the Board. Input on these recommendations came from a wide variety of on campus and off campus constituents. The Board of Trustees in August 2009 will prioritize recommendations made by the Task Forces. The recommendations will become the strategic priorities of the College, providing the foundation for the implementation of the Strategic Plan, and the basis for the next comprehensive fundraising campaign.


The goal of Commission Gustavus 150 is to create a road map for building the Gustavus of the future guided by the College's Strategic Plan

Defining Success

  • Engage broad-based constituent groups of significant size in charting the future of Gustavus.
  • Utilize the knowledge and expertise of all Commission participants to develop the recommendations.
  • Maximize the time and productivity of all Commission participants so they feel an increased sense of ownership in the future of the College.
  • Gather input through a transparent process, and openly communicate with faculty, students, administrators and staff to ensure a broad sense of ownership in the future of the College.
  • Communicate effectively with all constituents to demonstrate there will be actionable items that will be funded and implemented as a result of the process.
  • Implement the recommendations by launching a major comprehensive fundraising program.
  • Celebrate the College's Sesquicentennial.

Creating the Strategic Framework

The Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees has developed this report outlining a framework to implement the College's Strategic Plan. In October 2008, the Board established Commission Gustavus 150 to engage all of the College's constituent groups in developing recommendations for the future advancement of Gustavus. The work of the Commissions eight Task Forces resulted in a final report outlining 439 recommendations.

In May and June 2009, faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni, and other Commission participants provided input from a survey of constituents on the level of importance of each recommendation for the Board to review.

Substantive Categories

During the summer of 2009, similar recommendations from the Task Forces were merged resulting in 385 recommendations which were then regrouped into seven substantive categories. The substantive categories were designed to draw together common themes among the eight Task Forces.

  • Cultural Perspectives
  • Lifelong Engagement
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Quality-Enhancing and Innovative Initiatives
  • Spiritual Growth and Development
  • Tangible Resources

Placement in Tiers

At a three-day workshop in August 2009, the Gustavus Board of Trustees reviewed the recommendations in substantive categories and placed each recommendation in a tier based upon its relative urgency to the Colleges future advancement.

Tier 1 Initiate as soon as possible with substantial progress demonstrated over the next three years. Tier 2 Initiate as soon as possible with substantial progress demonstrated over the next six years. Tier 3 Initiate when appropriate with substantial progress demonstrated over the next ten years.

The tiers do not represent the intrinsic value of the individual recommendations. The urgency is a judgment the Board ultimately made after reviewing the results of the survey of constituents regarding a particular recommendation and when it should be initiated.

Creating a Framework

Prioritization of the recommendations based upon the level of urgency provides a framework for initiating the goals established by Commission Gustavus 150.

The framework will provide a foundation for a major fundraising campaign and will indicate what Gustavus needs to accomplish as the College strategically aligns for its future advancement.

For the purposes of this report, similar recommendations within the same substantive category and tier were merged resulting in 263 recommendations. The original recommendations listed by Task Force (439) and by substantive category (385) will be listed in their entirety on this website.


Date Event
October 2008 Launch of Commission Gustavus 150 at President Ohle's Inauguration
November 2008 First meeting of each task force
Summit meetings in Twin Cities (November/December)
January 2009 Task Force meetings
National Summit meetings
February 2009 Task Force meetings
National Summit meetings
March 2009 Task Force meetings
National Summit meetings
April 30, 2009 Task Force recommendations complete
May and June 2009 Faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni, Task Force members, and Summit participants provide input on priorities regarding recommendations
June and July 2009 Recommendations are moved into new substantive categories, moved out of Task Forces. Recommendations that are essentially the same but written by different Task Forces are merged.
Input gathered from constituents is analyzed.
August 2009 Strategic priorities outlined by the Gustavus Board of Trustees
Friday, October 9, 2009 Homecoming/Family Weekend
Commission Gustavus 150 Celebration Dinner
Report final priorities to all Gustavus constituents
2009–2010 Academic Year and Beyond

Gustavus Vice Presidents receive recommendations relevant to their division and work with on campus community on implementation.

The campus community works on implementation of recommendations.