Guiding Questions

Steering Committee

  • Who do we want to be?
  • Do we have curricular and extra-curricular opportunities to advance our mission?
  • What knowledge, skills, and experience must our students have?
  • What are our positive distinctions?
  • How can we maximize these comparative advantages?
  • Do we have opportunities to develop new, meaningful advantages?
  • What are our weaknesses and how can we overcome them?
  • Which higher education trends do we need to consider as we think about W&L's future?

Task Forces

The College

  • What does it mean to provide an excellent liberal arts education in the 21st century?
  • How can we maximize the mutual benefit of the College and the Williams School?

The Williams School

  • What is the relationship between liberal and pre-professional education?
  • How can we maximize the mutual benefit of the Williams School and the College?

The School of Law

  • What does it mean to be a great law school at a small liberal arts university?
  • What is distinctive about W&L's law school and how can we emphasize these distinctions?
  • How can we maximize the mutual benefit of the law school and the undergraduate schools?

Admissions and Financial Aid

  • Who do our students need to be to fulfill our mission and benefit society in the 21st century?
  • How can we recruit the student body we need?
  • Which financial resources do we require and how can we deploy them most effectively?
  • What is the optimal undergraduate enrollment?

Student Life

  • How can we maximize the educational potential of residential life?
  • How can we support student thriving, both within and outside the Greek system?
  • How can we best support the varied professional aspirations of our students?


  • How do we define athletic success at W&L?
  • How can athletics help us recruit the student body we seek?
  • Would different competition help us achieve our university goals?


  • How do we want to position ourselves on tuition and why?
  • What level of endowment and annual giving will we need to support our aspirations?
  • Which facilities are most in need of improvement to advance our mission?
  • What are the tradeoffs between affordability, curriculum, compensation, operations, facilities?


Diversity and Inclusion

  • Which characteristics do we seek in our students, faculty and staff?
  • How can we recruit and retain the students, faculty, and staff we seek?
  • How can we support the thriving of our students and employees?

Interdisciplinary Education

  • How can we best structure interdisciplinary programs for success?
  • Which criteria should we use to determine where to invest our academic resources?

International Education

  • Which forms of international education have the greatest impact on our mission?


  • How can current and emerging technology enhance our educational mission?


  • How do we define success in sustainability at W&L?


  • How can we tell the W&L story most effectively?
  • How can we best convey the value of liberal arts education; small schools; W&L?
  • How do we want to talk about our history?