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Courage to Act

The Plan for Juniata College

April 2015

The DRAFT Plan is now ready for your review.

Our Mission

Juniata College will provide an engaging personalized educational experience empowering our students to develop the skills, knowledge and values that lead to a fulfilling life of service and ethical leadership in the global community.

Our Vision

Juniata College will be known for inspring citizens of consequence who understand the world in which they act.


For the past five years, change has dominated the conversation at Juniata. Beginning with a global economic crisis and moving through our Middle States Commission for Higher Education accreditation, master plan process, and subsequent leadership transition, the Juniata community has considered itself from a variety of vantage points. The result has been a vigorous discussion of ideas, directions, challenges, and concerns. In this context, we have engaged in a sustained consideration of our future. 

At a time of challenge to higher education in the United States, in one of the most competitive environments in the nation, Juniata has grown and diversified enrollment, improved its reputation while earning accolades for its academic performance, bolstered its infrastructure, and expanded its national reach for students. However, it has also encountered challenges in the understanding and administration of its POE and two-adviser system, incurred debt related to its expansion of physical plant, expanded operational costs against flat revenues, and experienced challenges in student demand and quality related to a lingering regionalism even as we are poised for national presence.

Among small liberal arts colleges, most experience the same set of challenges as we. As a sector, generally we have employed similar means of dealing with those challenges. Juniata has long sought to be an educational crucible accessible to those with the potential and drive to succeed, grounded in values of peace, simplicity, community, and service. What will distinguish Juniata among our competitors, and strengthen our ability to deliver on the mission and ensure the long viability of our enterprise, will be a clarity of focus on that historic promise and its contemporary expression.

Achieving clarity necessitates that we reiterate what is important to Juniata, and understand our current state after a period of transition. This plan includes several comprehensive reviews to help us evaluate areas that have not received critical attention in some time, including our general curriculum, the interplay between curricular and co-curricular life, how we engage technology, and our reputation. We will take those findings and use them to strengthen areas that are key to who we are:

Studying our foundational attributes and using what we learn to guide future philanthropic investment and resource deployment will continue to distinguish Juniata, because we will bolster that which distinguishes us now. Such a plan does not preclude discovery, reinvestment, or reduction of some activities. Rather, by placing a premium on working together to understand the underpinnings of who we are, we will become ever clearer about what will best move Juniata forward. 

If this strategic plan is about any one thing, it is about placing the College on a clear path to build on its strengths and, through that endeavor, extend and nurture those strengths.  Such work will position Juniata to face the challenges and opportunities ahead with clear information, a robust plan, and diverse resources to muster the necessary courage to act in ways that enliven and expand opportunities for our students. Our historic values of peace, community, service, and simplicity have resulted in a liberal arts college committed to learning through experience, service to our region and the world, global awareness and an enviable international focus, and a community of supportive alumni and friends that go to great lengths to share our story and to bring new students to this place. This plan’s vision draws on those strengths and is a manifestation of our historic values: to ensure that Juniata is known as a place that inspires citizens of consequence to understand the world in which they act.

January 29, 2014

The process for creating the next Juniata College strategic plan has begun! We will provide updates on this page as the process moves along. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any members of the Committee.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee