Westwood, MA --- With the unanimous support of the Presidents Council, the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is releasing its five-year Strategic Plan announcing Four Strategic Pillars to guide the conference through the 2024-2025 academic year. Reaffirming the conference's commitment to academic and athletic excellence, the Presidents endorsed a plan that focuses on student-athlete well-being, diversity and inclusion and leadership. The Four Strategic Pillars are:
- Enhance the NEWMAC's Brand of Competitive and Institutional Excellence
- Become a Model Division III Conference for Equity and Inclusion
- Leverage the Strength of the NEWMAC as a Collective of Distinct, Selective Institutions
- Increase Active Engagement in and Efficiency of Decision-Making Processes in the Governance Structure.
The NEWMAC selected the 3 Fold Group led by Leah Kareti and Julie Muller to engage in membership meetings that included Presidents, Athletic Direct Reports, Directors of Athletics, Assistants/Associate Athletic Directors, Faculty Athletic Representatives, Coaches and Student-Athletes. "I was pleased to be a part of this dynamic strategic planning process which engaged presidents, athletic directors, coaches and athletic administrators in the future direction of the NEWMAC. I am grateful for the contributions of my many colleagues as we move forward especially in these unprecedented times for sport," expressed Mary-Beth Cooper, President, Springfield College.
The 3 Fold Group's work focused on collaborating with the membership through conversations, exercises and internal and external surveys over a 12-month period. As part of this process, a Strategic Plan Steering Committee was formed to meet regularly with the 3 Fold Group to discuss the outcomes of benchmarking surveys and membership meetings resulting in the final version of the plan. "I was particularly impressed with the level of member engagement throughout our strategic planning process, which was thoughtful, challenging, and remarkably focused on delivering a high quality experience for our student athletes," stated Lawrence Ward, Vice President of Learner Success and Dean of Campus Life, Babson College. During the work, common themes and tenets surfaced as priorities for the membership which became the Four Pillars. "The NEWMAC's recognition and insistence on becoming a model athletics conference for diversity, equity and inclusion is precisely the kind of national leadership that is so urgently needed in higher education," continued Ward.
At the conclusion of the plan, Skye Designs, a long-time partner of the NEWMAC that focuses on the conference's brand, was brought in to produce the final visual presentation. "I would like to recognize and thank the members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the dedication and commitment to this project and to the NEWMAC," said Executive Director Patrick B. Summers.
Members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Mary-Beth Cooper, President, Springfield College
Larry Ward, Vice President, Babson College
Dana Harmon, Director of Athletics, WPI
Kristin Hughes, Director of Athletics, Smith College
Dan Rose, Director of Athletics, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Julie Soriero, Director of Athletics, MIT (retired)
Lisa Yenush, Associate Director of Athletics/SWA, Wheaton College
Patrick B. Summers, Executive Director, NEWMAC
"The final product is one that I am proud of and look forward to implementing with the membership. I would also like to thank the 3 Fold Group for their collaboration and leadership throughout the process as well as Skye Designs," remarked Summers.
Work on the NEWMAC Strategic Plan has already commenced. The full plan is available here.
About the NEWMAC
The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is an association of 11 selective academic institutions that are committed to providing high quality competitive athletic opportunities for student-athletes within an educational and respectful environment that embodies the NCAA Division III philosophy. The NEWMAC was established in 1998, when the former New England Women's 8 Conference (NEW 8) voted to begin sponsoring conference play and championships for men.
Conference members include: Babson College, Clark University, U.S Coast Guard Academy, Emerson College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute while partnering with Associate Members: Catholic University of America (Football), Maine Maritime Academy (Football), Norwich University (Football), Simmons College (Rowing) and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Football). The NEWMAC sponsors a total of 20 sports and 19 postseason championships.
About the 3 Fold Group
The 3 Fold Group offers strategic planning, program review, and meeting facilitation services for small colleges. Specializing in NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics and other small college strategic initiatives, the 3 Fold Group focuses on data driven decisions, clear objectives, and collaborative engagement of stakeholders. The firm is led by Principal Leah Kareti who assigns customized teams based on specific client needs. The group's mission is to enable people and programs to achieve optimal effectiveness in the unique, small college environment.
"This plan reflects the strong values of an excellent conference. By committing to become a model conference for equity and inclusion, and establishing clear priorities for academic and athletic excellence, the NEWMAC will continue to enjoy its position as a premier conference in NCAA Division III. The 3 Fold Group is excited to see the great progress the NEWMAC will make for its student-athletes in the next five years!" ~ Leah Kareti
About Skye Designs Studios
Skye Design Studios (www.sdsbranding.com), a national leader in sport branding and identity design based in Florham Park, New Jersey.