Update on Luther’s Strategic Plan

Linh Do, Staff Writer

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The rebranding initiative within Luther’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan will be titled “Inspired. Empowered. Engaged.” The purpose of this branding initiative is to summarize the entire experience of a typical student.

According to Interim Dean for Institutional Planning and Mission Brad Chamberlain, the branding strategy will effectively promote and improve the recognition of Luther and differentiate the college from its competitors. The strategy can also provide cohesion, motivation, and highlight to faculty and staff, and clarify Luther’s value to students and parents.

“Presently, the elements of the brand strategy are being refined and shared with the campus community,” Chamberlain said. “The next steps will include preparing a multi-year implementation plan for the brand strategy. The implementation of the brand strategy will certainly influence new messaging to prospective and current students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners.”

Chameberlain also highlighted the impact that the brand strategy would have on putting certain activities into effect.

“The brand strategy may also influence the implementation of other activities within the strategic plan, such as the revision of the general education program,” Chamberlain said.

“The next steps will include preparing a multi-year implementation plan for the brand strategy.”

        -Interim Dean for Institutional Planning and Mission Brad Chamberlain

Initially, the Brand Advisory Task Force, which includes the Student Brand Advisory Task Force, had been working with former Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Aimee Viniard-Weideman, toward this strategy. However, as Viniard-Weideman recently resigned, Chamberlain, who has served as co-leader of the Brand Advisory Task Force since the beginning of the branding initiative, took over her position.

Student Brand Advisory Task Force member Lane Rahlf (‘20) thinks that this change has had a significant impact on the rebranding process.

“While Brad is a wonderful person and has a terrific skill set, I do believe that someone who specializes heavily in marketing would be vital to Luther College and how we wish to market ourselves,” Rahlf said.

Rahlf and others in the Student Brand Advisory Task Force are planning to meet more in the future to share their perspectives and thoughts as students at Luther.

“Based off of my knowledge, the majority of other students on campus are informed little to none about the transition we are undergoing, which is problematic in my eyes,” Rahlf said.

Piper Wood (‘21) also feels the lack of information on this process is troubling.

“I think that as a student that is outside of the branding strategy, I don’t feel that there has been an open and consistent channel of communication regarding these major changes to our college,” Wood said. “Because we are all ultimately investing in the future of Luther College as a student body, I would like to see more transparent and comprehensive communication between our student body and our administration going forward.”

Annika Johnson (‘20) feels similarly to Wood.

“I would like to know more in general of what the plans are, and what changes will be taking place [and] on what timeline,” Johnson said.

As the process is still ongoing and there is little information being circulated, students hope that this will bring a lot of positive impacts to the college.

“I think that our broader world is changing, the global college demographic is changing, and our college needs to regard its current barriers to these changes and work to meet solutions that resonate with the future student body,” Wood said.

Wood also believes that the rebranding process is significant to the college in order to find working solutions to Luther’s problem areas.

“I think that the rebranding is important because it highlights the realistic issues that our college is facing currently, and works to promote solutions through institutional change,” Wood said. [I] hope that they can help Luther College and the Luther community better live the values of our college mission.”