Berklee Today

Berklee Beat:
Strategic Initiatives for Berklee 2000-2005

In 1995, Berklee College of Music implemented a strategic plan for the years 1995-2000. This plan, entitled Shaping Our Future, led to, among other things, the design and construction of the Uchida building to meet educational space needs, a renovated library and media center that expanded student educational resources, the Entering Student Ensemble Program, a campus-wide network for electronic communication, and numerous new international partnerships.

In the summer of 1998, we began to look ahead and discuss what our priorities should be for the years 2000-2005. Throughout the fall of 1998, students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and the Board of Trustees suggested thousands of ideas for Berklee's future. In the spring of 1999, a planning committee organized these ideas into themes and shared them with the community at a series of small group meetings and a planning day.

During the summer of 1999, we put our ideas in the form of a vision statement. The entire community reviewed the draft vision statement and offered comments and suggestions. In December the Board of Trustees approved this new vision for Berklee's future.


Berklee 2005: A New Vision

For more than 50 years, Berklee College of Music has helped those with a passion for contemporary music prepare themselves for a life in music that reflects their unique talents, interests, sensibilities, and career aspirations.

We teach our students new concepts and develop their talents and skills. In an industry that now changes at an unprecedented rate and increasingly rewards entrepreneurial skills, our approach fosters resourcefulness in our students and alumni as they face enduring and emerging career challenges. We continue to see a strong need for what we do. We still see ways we can improve.

We will listen carefully and learn more from each other. We will provide more opportunity for individual growth, expand learning resources, seek additional scholarship support, and enhance interdisciplinary and real-world experiences. We will strengthen the relationship between alumni and the college. We will continue to value quality of life and take steps to improve it. We will build on the diversity that already exists in musical style, cultural background, and career interests, to name a few. We will create a more congenial and supportive environment for women and minorities within our richly diverse community, striving to be a model for the music industry.

Now, more than ever, music professionals need educational support throughout their careers. New "virtual" methods are emerging for the delivery of education, which increasingly occur outside of a formal curriculum. We will expand music education opportunities beyond the scope of the campus experience, using existing and new methods, media and technologies. From here forward, we are committed to helping those with a passion for making contemporary music to do so throughout their lives.

As a leading advocate for contemporary music, we will help society develop a keener appreciation for its quality, social value, and cultural relevance. In so doing, we believe we can help deepen and broaden respect for both contemporary music and the mission of our college. Berklee will continue to strive for excellence, accessibility, and inclusiveness in contemporary music education.


Strategy Development

In the fall of 1999, the vice presidents and deans proposed strategic initiatives to address the three key components of our new vision.

  1. Provide better and more varied learning experiences, improve quality of day-to-day lives, better appreciate and support the diversity of our community, and create a closer connection to our alumni.
  2. Expand music education opportunities beyond the scope of the campus experience.
  3. Deepen and broaden respect for both contemporary music and the mission of the college.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee evaluated these proposals and chose 14 initiatives for the Board of Trustees to consider and approve as a strategic plan. The board approved this strategy in March 2000.


Build on Our Strengths

By building on our strengths, we can improve the quality of our day-to-day lives, provide better and more varied learning experiences, and better appreciate and support the diversity of our community. We see these as areas of focus for our regular goal-setting and budget- planning processes.

  • We will continue to provide the finest educational experience in the world for students of contemporary music, taught by the finest faculty, by providing more interdisciplinary learning experiences, expanding our learning resources, broadening creative use of technology as an educational tool, and building the skills and capabilities of our faculty.
  • We will create a more congenial and supportive environment for women and minorities within our richly diverse community.
  • We will improve student satisfaction. We will assess and recommend improvements in such areas as recruitment, admissions, student services, first-year curriculum, residence life, and other factors important to increasing satisfaction and retention. We will create a college-wide First-Year Experience Team to assess student satisfaction, effectiveness of services, and all aspects of the first-year experience.
  • We will provide web-based support services to faculty, students, and staff (intranet). We will develop online student services for registration, online applications, and other student transactions.
  • We will communicate Berklee's unique identity throughout the organization. We will establish a consistent philosophical approach, based on Berklee's unique strengths, to help each individual achieve his or her best.
  • We will encourage commitment to training and will focus on continued learning and development. We will encourage commitment to training college-wide.
  • We will expand the Berklee International Network model to include high school music programs.
  • We will build relationships with the music industry. We will create programs with leading music industry foundations to strengthen friendships within the music industry, and garner added visibility for the college.


Expand with External Support

We believe there are established granting sources to enable us to expand core programs into markets we would not otherwise be able to serve. We see these as valuable ways of expanding the scope of the Berklee experience and of increasing institutional visibility, but do not expect to devote institutional funding to these ventures.

  • We will promote music technology education. We will establish an institute devoted to the promotion of teaching music through technology.
  • We will expand our City Music Program and give greater access to students in major urban areas beyond Boston.


New Directions to Pursue

We believe it is critical to build Berklee's presence on the Internet, expand relations with alumni, increase college visibility, and meet our facility needs in order to maintain our leadership in contemporary music education. These initiatives are designed to expand music education opportunities beyond the scope of the campus experience and to deepen and broaden respect for both contemporary music and the mission of the college. To achieve these, we need to develop new capabilities and strengths in new areas.

  • We will develop content, technological infrastructure, and professional staff to build Berklee's web-based capabilities for expanding the Berklee experience, including online and distance education, webcasts, and portal development. We will use the Internet to build strategic alliances, and promote the college and its mission.
  • We will create programs to develop a healthy two-way relationship with alumni. The college will provide programs to further learning, advance the alumni presence in the music industry, strengthen the alumni network, and support alumni creativity. The college will use technology as an important tool for reaching out to alumni worldwide.
  • We will conduct an image-building campaign that provides visibility for college initiatives and helps deepen and broaden respect for contemporary music and the mission of the college. We will develop a clear and unified promotional message.
  • We will identify and equip facility needs. We will evaluate real estate opportunities for other needs such as residence halls, student life space, technology production facilities, and additional performance venues.