Linfield College advances a vision of learning, life, and community that
- promotes intellectual challenge and creativity,
- values both theoretical and practical knowledge,
- engages thoughtful dialogue in a climate of mutual respect,
- honors the rich texture of diverse cultures and varied ways of understanding,
- piques curiosity for a lifetime of inquiry,
- and inspires the courage to live by moral and spiritual principle and to defend freedom of conscience.
Linfield: Connecting Learning, Life, and Community
Organization and Governance
Linfield College is a four-year, non-profit, coeducational, liberal arts institution historically and currently affiliated with the American Baptist Churches. All college operations are governed by administration and faculty, with ultimate responsibility resting with the Board of Trustees. The college is committed to the teaching of undergraduates in an atmosphere of academic freedom that offers intellectual rigor, creativity, and a sense of personal and social responsibility.
I. Foundational Education Principles
Linfield College seeks to prepare students to be thoughtfully engaged in a world that demands ever more flexible, creative, and critical thinkers and communicators. Toward that end, its educational mission centers upon developing students’ abilities to solve problems, adapt to changing circumstances, and synthesize various streams of information.
Linfield offers a curriculum in which educational breadth and intellectual depth combine to deliver an undergraduate education in a variety of disciplines. Three Principles, all derived from the college mission statement, distinguish a Linfield education. They operate across, in support of, and in conjunction with, academic majors and serve to strengthen them. And though they are not intended as the sole lens through which academic departments or administrative units are evaluated, these Principles do inform all programs of study at the college and underscore linkages among them.
These three Foundational Education Principles foster critical thinking suited for the complexities of the 21st century. They encourage intersections among the wide-ranging curricular and co-curricular opportunities available to Linfield students. They clarify the goals of a Linfield education as the cultivation of good citizens, the encouragement of lifelong learning, and the formation of intellectual and aesthetic sensibilities. A Linfield education thus assists students in finding their calling—the vocation or passion that will shape and enrich their lives.
In seeking to further the reach and impact of these Principles, the college encourages innovation across all sectors of the community through the development of proposals of varying scope that speak to Linfield’s institutional mission. All proposals in support of these Principles should foster the following strategic aims:
- Improve the student learning experience through the encouragement and support of rigorous academic inquiry modeled by professionally engaged, pedagogically sophisticated faculty;
- Enhance ongoing renewal across the college’s existing curricula as well as the development of new opportunities for cross-disciplinary study, creative expression, and experiential learning;
- Promote Linfield’s public profile both regionally and nationally as an academically innovative learning environment with a historical commitment to students from a wide range of economic backgrounds;
Linfield will offer an educational program characterized by extensive and intentional integrated learning. Through opportunities embedded at key points in the curriculum, students systematically discover and practice making meaningful connections across the various components of their undergraduate experience.
To foster integrated learning the community will propose, develop and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Encourage educational experiences that foreground more than one disciplinary perspective in overt and reflective ways;
- Create programming activities outside the classroom for students to discover/expand understanding an area of interest to them;
- Develop opportunities to underscore and encourage reflection on the linkages between learning in and out of the classroom;
- Promote faculty development around shared learning goals that link disciplines, coursework, and/or experiential education;
- Increase more seamless interaction between the Portland and McMinnville Campuses;
- Ensure that programming and technology improvements in new and renovated spaces maximize educational collaboration;
- Increase support for effective educational integration already occurring within departments, across the curriculum, and throughout the institution.
Global and Multicultural Awareness
Linfield will offer a comprehensive approach to global and multicultural awareness that prepares students to embrace and understand the challenges posed for educated people in the 21st century by the web of cultural differences characterizing the planet, the nation, and the region. Such awareness helps students answer the question “How will my time at Linfield enable me to make a difference in the world?” Toward that end, Linfield will foster conversations to develop a workable definition of “diversity” that is relevant to and useful for the college.
To enhance global and multicultural awareness the college community will propose, develop and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Foster opportunities for all students to complete global and multicultural experiences and reflect upon the relevance of those experiences for their particular courses of study;
- Promote institutional partnerships linking Linfield, regional community colleges, and bilingual/bicultural communities to enhance diversity through expanded student recruitment;
- Develop institutional practices to improve the attractiveness and affordability of Linfield to diverse student populations;
- Expand programming that brings international and multicultural experiences to the campus via speakerships, the arts, etc.;
- Expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to gain international and multicultural experiences/training through teaching, research, study and travel.
- Increase support for effective global and multicultural education already occurring within departments, across the curriculum, and throughout the institution.
Linfield will offer a comprehensive program of experiential learning. In this way the college fosters critical thinking opportunities where students apply academic investigation to lived experience as a means of testing and refining their understanding of a subject. Through this intersection of theory and praxis, investigations of issues and ideas prompt field analysis and assessment that continues to inform the initiating academic discourse.
To bolster experiential learning the college community will propose, develop and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Ensure that experiential learning is supported and coordinated across the curriculum and co-curriculum;
- Develop and coordinate experiential learning opportunities for students and cultivate partnerships in the broader communities of McMinnville, Yamhill County, Portland, and the Willamette Valley;
- Expand and enhance internship opportunities for students;
- Enhance student/faculty collaborative research opportunities and experiences;
- Develop leadership skills through curricular and co-curricular activities focusing intentionally on the cultivation of these skills;
- Promote service learning that is integrated within the academic program;
- Increase support for effective efforts that currently foster experiential learning both in and out of the classroom.
II. Foundational Resource Principles
Delivering and maximizing the impact of a Linfield liberal arts education requires comprehensive coordination of people, funding and physical infrastructure. The viability of the institution in the 21st century requires an improved resource base in all three sectors to achieve its potential in the service of students.
Fostering the Foundational Education Principles of a Linfield liberal arts education will result in a wide range of activities that will collectively ensure a vibrant academic and experiential climate for undergraduates. Their realization will require that the college steward, expand, and manage its human, financial, and physical resources to the benefit of all sectors serving the educational mission of the institution.
In seeking to further the reach and impact of these Principles, the college encourages proposals that foster the following strategic aims:
- Increase the resources (time, opportunities, funding) to allow faculty and staff to remain current in their fields, navigate new instructional technologies, and develop pedagogical practices promoting a student-centered educational environment;
- Provide the resources necessary to support a teaching environment that encourages collaboration between faculty and students both within and beyond the classroom;
- Develop the resources to support a co-curriculum fostering student discovery of the intersections among their varied college learning experiences.
Developing Our Human Resource Base
Many initiatives adopted in support of the Foundational Education Principles will have implications for the working lives of Linfield’s faculty and staff. Improving the educational accomplishments of the institution—a goal informing all current and future endeavors—rests squarely upon the proven quality and commitment of the people who deliver the institutional mission. Sustaining the vitality of the college’s “human capital” necessitates initiatives that will foster the effective recruitment, retention, and professional development of all Linfield employees.
To help develop our human resource base the college community will propose, develop, and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Enhance compensation for college employees;
- Examine issues related to and establish goals for faculty and staff load as it currently exists;
- Expand programs for faculty and staff professional development, including efforts in support of new initiatives involving the three Foundational Education Principles;
- Advance Linfield’s relationship to and enhancement of its standing among comparitor institutions.
Strengthening Our Financial Base
Expanded enactment of the Foundational Education Principles necessitates broadening and diversifying the college’s financial base. The gradual and sustained transformation of that base will provide a stable haven for present and future student learning. To strengthen our financial base the college community will propose, develop, and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Serve to increase net tuition revenue per student while considering the effect on access;
- Broaden and deepen the base of alumni, foundation, and general philanthropic support;
- Help boost endowment per student;
- Promote the revenue generating potential of commercially viable college property;
- Identify the external funding sources to be developed in support of new curricular or co-curricular initiatives;
- Enhance income generated through auxiliary enterprises of the college.
Stewarding Our Physical Assets
The quality of the spaces in which faculty and staff engage students has a demonstrable effect on the learning that results. By stewarding and improving our physical assets, we make a long term investment in the educational mission of the institution. To help steward our physical assets the college community will propose, develop, and assess the impact of efforts that attempt one or more of the following:
- Strike a proper balance among curricular, co-curricular, and support facility needs;
- Inform facility and technology modernization priorities;
- Address deferred maintenance issues;
- Operate within the framework of the Linfield master planning process.