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Community Letter

Dear Members of the Lasell University Community,

Despite the curveballs thrown to us by the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the most vibrant and cutting-edge teaching and learning at Lasell University took place this year. Students, Village residents, and alumni connected virtually for panel events, two Connected Learning Symposia, and 50th Reunion activities. Unlike many of our peer institutions, Lasell not only offered students the ability to take courses in one of three formats — in-person, online, and hybrid/flex — but also to pay a reduced tuition for the online option. While we look forward to seeing undergraduate students back on campus this fall as commuters or residents, we will not abandon the new technology embraced during the pandemic, nor will we forget the lessons learned about different educational modalities.

Amid all the changes that came with the pandemic, we embarked upon a larger exploration at the University; The first phase of our strategic planning process was called “The Speed of Change.” The entire University staff and faculty were invited to participate in Idea Creation Groups (ICGs), which collectively brainstormed a long list of possible items to consider. With dozens of suggestions on the table, we identified actions to put in place by this fall that would enhance the immediate student experience, while also increasing enrollment as the number of high school students in the United States declines:

  • Infuse industry-recognized credentials into all majors as an extension of Connected Learning so that students graduate with employer-sought skills on their resumes;

  • Add more athletic teams, such as golf and crew;

  • Infuse technology more fully into the curriculum so that students can better learn how to manipulate and use data with available tools, and leave with an understanding of how it can aid them in the professions they pursue;

  • Create a mandatory fiscal responsibility and budgeting series for all employees;

  • Plan our academic course schedule one year at a time to better help students (and the administration) with course planning;

  • Increase the use of consortia courses.

Chrystal Porter, VP for Enrollment and Marketing, with Eric M. Turner, Lasell University ProvostOf course, we also thought long-term: What could Lasell University look like in a post-pandemic world? The opportunities felt endless, but a few stuck out as attainable within the next year:

  • Increase the number of summer campus rentals to generate revenue, with consideration for pre-college programs, sports camps, and long-term residential accommodations such as those already in place for Boston Ballet’s summer program;

  • Infuse the broad themes of career readiness, intercultural competency, mental health resiliency, and civic engagement throughout the undergraduate curriculum;

  • Introduce a single knowledge perspective course that focuses on issues of inequality that can be built on in subsequent years.

It often feels when we tell people about what’s happening at Lasell that we’ve revealed a big secret. There is so much going on and so much to look forward to, but on the outside, folks are often surprised to learn about it.

That’s where you come in. We don’t want to be a secret.

This year more than any has shown us the ways we can use progressive, creative thinking to stay connected. As University alumni, friends, parents, and students, we want you to be talking about who we are and what we are doing. Our story is always evolving, and we want to spread it far and wide.

Thank you for doing your part to keep us moving Forever Forward.

Chrystal Porter
Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing

Eric M. Turner


Learn More

VP Porter and Provost Turner talk more about the University's strategic planning process and what they hope community members will take away from a year of unprecedented learning and growth at Lasell. 

What would you like to learn about?

Tell us what you'd like to have addressed in our next community letter, and which members of our senior leadership team you might like to hear from.