Dickinson Forward: A Revolutionary Future

Dickinson Forward video image

Dickinson Forward video image

Interim President John E. Jones III '77, P'11, recently sent the following message to the Dickinson community announcing Dickinson Forward: A Revolutionary Future, a multifaceted initiative to position Dickinson for even greater excellence in the future.

To the Dickinson Community:

I am honored to begin leading this great institution and wholly enthusiastic to roll up my sleeves and get to work with all of you. Dickinson provides a world-class education that produces leaders, and I am incredibly proud to be a Dickinsonian. We are an institution on the move, and I want to get started immediately to continue that momentum and expand Dickinson's success.

Today I am announcing Dickinson Forward: A Revolutionary Future, a multifaceted initiative to position Dickinson to excel in the challenging times ahead. As you know, there are many headwinds impacting higher education right now, including changing demographics leading to fewer high school graduates, a hyper-competitive market, economic uncertainty and questions about the value and cost of a college education. Add to that a global pandemic, and you get a sense of the many pressures we are facing.

Dickinson, however, is in a much stronger position than many of our peers because we have been thoughtful, we have planned, and we have financial reserves. To maintain that strength, I have outlined three near-term actions to propel the college forward.

  1. Beginning this summer and working within the shared governance system, we will convene a Resource Realignment Task Force to look at current financial realities and make decisions that will enable us to achieve a balanced budget next year, fiscal year 2022-23. You will find the list of members of the group later in this email. I will head that group, and recommendations that emerge will then be taken to the All-College Committee on Planning & Budget and other appropriate committees for consideration.
  2. In September, we will commence a broader strategic planning process that will again include representation from faculty, staff, students and our board. Like any organization, we need to take the time to both reflect and innovate so that we remain a cutting-edge institution. The composition of that committee will be announced in the coming weeks.
  3. Also, in the fall, we will launch a campaign to raise money for scholarships and student success initiatives. We wouldn't be Dickinson if we weren't always looking for more ways to attract the most deserving students and more fully develop the potential of our students in the face of new challenges and opportunities. We see many innovative ways of doing that, including expanded opportunities in internships, research and leadership experiences so students have the best foundation to thrive after graduation.

The members of the Resource Realignment Task Force are as follows:

  • Brontè Burleigh-Jones, vice president for finance & administration
  • Cathy McDonald Davenport '87, vice president for enrollment management & dean of admissions
  • Luka Dubnick '23, junior class president (All-College Committee on Enrollment and Student Life)
  • Tiffany Frey, associate professor of biology (All-College Committee on Academic Program & Standards)
  • Brent Hair, customer service coordinator (facilities management)
  • Sarah McGaughey, associate professor of German (All-College Committee on Planning & Budget)
  • Katie Oliviero, associate professor of women's, gender & sexuality studies (All-College Committee on Equity, Inclusivity & Belonging)
  • Shea Player '22, Student Senate president (member of All-College Committee on Planning & Budget)
  • George Stroud, vice president for student life & dean of students
  • Peter Sak, professor of earth sciences (former chair, Faculty Personnel Committee)
  • Neil Weissman, provost & dean of the college (Academic Affairs)
  • Janice Wiss, academic department coordinator (biology & chemistry)


  • Neal Abraham '72
  • Mark Burgess '81
  • George Hager '78
  • Mark Lehman '71
  • Karen Neely Faryniak '86, chief of staff & secretary of the college will serve as task force support.

Dickinson Forward: A Revolutionary Future will be an ongoing and evolving initiative that will build on Dickinson's standing as a global leader. We will lean into the challenges we face, co-innovate as a community and emerge as an even stronger institution. This is an exciting time, and one that I know we will harness with boldness and courage as we make the crucial decisions that will map a clear path for our continued excellence as a world-class residential, liberal-arts college.

I look forward to working with you in the months ahead.


John E. Jones III '77, P'11
Interim President

Published July 19, 2021