Envisioning Berklee in 2025

By David Mash, Senior Vice President for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology

By 2025, what should Berklee become? The world around us is changing faster than ever; and over the past 10 years, music and the music industry have experienced truly disruptive change. What will it be like 10 years from now?

In 2005 as we prepared to work with a new president, the board of trustees led a process to create Berklee’s vision for 2015. Now, as we begin the 2013–2014 academic year, it’s time to craft our vision for the next decade. Your experiences can help define that vision.

In crafting our future, it is important to review our Mission, Vision, and Strategy statement. The document describes why we exist, what we do; our aspirations, our strategic plans and our planned initiatives to realize our vision and mission.

Simply stated, Berklee’s mission is to prepare students for careers in music. Our vision for 2015 is to be the world’s leading institute for contemporary music. Our current three-year strategic plan, “The Crossroads of Music,” contains initiatives designed to finish projects under way, assesses our accomplishments in support of Berklee’s vision for 2015, and outlines how to maximize our efforts through greater collaboration.

Some strategic initiatives include finishing the new building at 160 Massachusetts Avenue and redesigning the spaces that will be vacated by relocation of the kitchen and cafeteria to the new building; launching new master’s degree programs in Valencia; and creating degree programs for Berklee Online. We are reviewing some initiatives implemented through the 2015 vision statement including the audition and interview process, new programs resulting from the curriculum review, and master’s degree programs. Examples of collaboration and sharing resources include the new Unified Web Strategy, integrating online education delivery, and viewing the new 160 Massachusetts Avenue building and Valencia facilities as part of our global campus.

As we set the course for strategies we will begin pursuing in September 2015, we are asking, “What does Berklee aspire to be in 2025?” The next vision statement must be aspirational and inspirational. Since we enacted the current vision in 2005, technology has changed much of what we do, how we communicate, and how young students learn. In 2005, YouTube was new, and iPhones and Androids hadn’t arrived in the market. Nor had Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). How will higher education benefit and grow through technological change? We have 4,000 students in Boston, 12,000 enrolled through Berklee Online, and more than 300,000 enrolled in MOOCs at Coursera and EdX offerings. Distance learning may be poised for growth as well. Another fact we must take into consideration is that last year American student debt passed the $1 trillion mark. So what can we do to make Berklee more affordable?

As we craft the next vision statement, we need your help. The trustees are responsible for defining the vision for the institution, but they hope to engage the entire Berklee community in the process. This fall we will begin the dialogue—on and off campus—to inform trustees in the vision-setting process.

During the academic year, alumni will receive surveys to solicit their thoughts. And throughout the year, we will hold events in various locations where we can engage with alumni in person. Visit www.berklee.edu for listings of vision-planning events throughout the year. I invite all of you to participate.

We live in wondrous and challenging times. It’s an exciting time to be planning for the Berklee of 2025.