Strategic Plan

DSL's 2014 Strategic Plan

DSL Values

DSL Values

  • Collaboration is fostered through outreach and partnerships across the division and Institute
  • Community is evident through civility and care for ourselves and our students
  • Excellence is achieved through experimentation leading to innovation
  • Inclusion is manifested in the affirmation of identities within the context of mutual respect
  • Integrity is demonstrated through clear communication, effective planning  and accountability
  • Leadership is inspired at all levels through guidance and reflection


The formal process of the Division of Student Life Strategic Plan concluded in 2014. Started in 2011, the initial focus was on the foundational elements—the Mission and Values—and in a systematic outreach to DSL staff and stakeholders. In all, there were over twenty sessions involving more than 250 people. These were variously termed Environmental Scans or, when done with students, Visioning exercises. The participants included graduate and undergraduate students, housemasters, house managers, emergency response personnel, alumni, and many DSL staff. The results of all these listening sessions were transcribed and replayed to each of the audiences, then saved as reference material for the developed of the Strategic Themes.

In the spring of 2012, several Strategic Theme Teams were formed and DSL staff were invited to join. Some forty-five staff members ultimately did so. Four teams produced detailed plans consisting of several initiatives, each of which included a number of discrete activities. During the summer of 2012, the focus transitioned to the implementation phase and what activities should be approached first. Nineteen key areas were identified, and DSL staff were invited to participate in November. The result was that sixty DSL staff joined fifteen Implementation Teams, along with fourteen more MIT staff and students who were asked to join from outside DSL. Most of these teams will complete their work in the current academic year.  Here is a partial list of accomplishments. We are especially grateful to our organizational consultants from the MIT central Human Resources department, Ronnie Haas and Jeanette Gerzon. They have provided coaching throughout and have reinforced connections to our sister organizations of DUE and ODGE, who are likewise involved in strategic plan work.
Below are several PDF files which summarize the DSL efforts:

At the request of Dean Colombo, the alumni leadership of the FSILG (Fraternity, Sorority, and Independent Living Group) community developed a similar plan in parallel with the creation of the DSL plan. Led by AILG Board chair, Steve Baker ’84, the FSILG Strategic Plan was developed and approved by the all the stakeholders—the IFC, Panhel, LGC, AILG, and FSILG Office. The FSILG Strategic Planning efforts have involved well over a hundred people.  See the FSILG Strategic Planning Committee web page for more details. Here is also a list of FSILG Strategic Goals and Initiatives.