Morehouse College Strategic Plan

Five Guiding Principles

In service to our unwavering mission and to ensure our ideals are reflected in the men we graduate and in Morehouse, as an institution, we have identified five principles essential to our capacity to be successful. These principles are applicable to and should live in everything we do. We must:

Principle 1: Accentuate our Distinctiveness

We are like no other institution in the world. It is not just that we are all-male, or historically black, or that we assume the special responsibility for teaching the history and culture of black people. It is not only that we demand disciplined minds, leadership, and service along with liberal learning and the development of character. It is the combination of these strengths that multiplies our capacity to have an impact in the world and makes us extraordinarily unique. We must champion our singular position in all that we do.

This distinctiveness has always been there. It is captured in the words and ideas of Thurman and Mays, and reflected in the accomplishments of our alumni, those who not only excel in their respective fields as scientists, corporate executives, lawyers, academics, and artists, but who do so much more for each other, their local communities, and the world. 

It is critical that we ensure this distinctiveness is as deeply rooted in our curriculum, our student development activities, and in the way we engage the work of the College. 

Principle 2: Embrace An Innovation Imperative

Within today’s rapidly shifting higher education landscape, we must break from existing paradigms. We must experiment, take risks, and find the courage to face possible failure, armed with mechanisms to assess, learn, and try again. This means encouraging creativity and play in students, faculty and staff, ensuring opportunities to be trained on new tools, allowing ideas to flow from anyone at any level, and being willing to offer new courses in new ways. It may mean that we continue to do some things in traditional ways, but it means doing so intentionally with full understanding of other possibilities when we do.

Principle 3: Rise to Financial Strength

We must develop the unrestricted resources required to seize opportunities, try new ideas, and support the needs of the institution in perpetuity. Endowed funds liberate us to focus on our primary objective. But we will need to do even more if we are to avoid simply passing expenses on to our students. We must develop strategic partnerships with industry; leverage the time, effort, and expertise of alumni and friends; and accept gifts of space, intellectual and social capital, or experiential opportunities.

Principle 4: Attract the Best Talent Possible

We must strive to be known for the talent in our community. We should seek in the students we admit, and in the faculty and staff we hire, the ability to learn and adapt, to think imaginatively, and to execute effectively. We need to demand not only a command of knowledge in relevant areas, but also a commitment to working hard and consistently advancing one’s skill and craft. With the landscape changing as rapidly as it is, we will be successful only if our community is committed to growing in excellence over time.

Morehouse already attracts great talent as many are both drawn and deeply dedicated to supporting this very special institutional mission. But the College will need to recommit to helping faculty and staff develop new skills as technologies, operational design, and pedagogies evolve. We must use this principle to inform our recruiting practices and our mechanisms for development. And we must recognize, empower and applaud all members of our community—faculty, staff, and students—who exhibit leadership and enact change in support of our shared objectives. 

We should strive to truly know each other in this community and to help each other realize our full potential. And we must be intentional in the constructive assessment of our work, in the management of those people and tasks for which we are responsible, and in the service we provide to others. Our success will be measured as Morehouse evolves into an all the more sought-after destination by esteemed academicians, adept staff, and the world’s most talented students—a unique place of tremendous personal and professional growth.

Principle 5: Develop Operational & Service Excellence

Becoming simultaneously more efficient, respectful, effective, and responsive is essential. We must, as an institutional practice, continually assess our engagement to ensure we are performing at the highest level, and we must change behaviors, systems, and policies when we are not. And we must invest in the development of both the people and infrastructure necessary to deliver on the promise of excellence.