Wythes Committee Report
April, 2000

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III. Conclusion

The Committee concludes its report with a statement of appreciation for the opportunity we have been given to examine an important set of strategic issues facing Princeton in the first years of the new millennium. We want to thank all who prepared materials for us, met with us, advised us, and challenged us to think deeply, carefully, and creatively about Princeton's capacity to sustain a position of leadership in a world of rapid and constant change.

As we indicated earlier, our work has been guided by two overarching principles. The first is our obligation to exercise responsible stewardship of the exceptional resources that Princeton has accumulated over many years and to assure that they will be sustained and strengthened into the future. We are persuaded that the budgetary and management policies and procedures currently in place, augmented by those recommended in this report, will allow us to meet this obligation, even in the challenging and ever-changing environment of the first years of the 21st century.

Second, in asking whether there were initiatives Princeton should undertake to make optimal use of its remarkable resources and whether Princeton should extend its educational and scholarly reach, our answers to both questions were "yes." For reasons enumerated in our report, we believe that Princeton should increase the size of its undergraduate student body by approximately 125 students per class; that it should enhance its financial aid programs for both undergraduate and graduate students; that it should take further steps to strengthen the faculty and the administrative, support, and other staffs; that it should extend its educational and scholarly reach, both on campus and off, through enhanced technologies; and that it should take a number of other steps that, individually and collectively, will enable Princeton to serve even better its students and alumni, the nation, and the world.

We do not in any way want to understate the challenges that we believe face Princeton and all of higher education in the years ahead. But we do want to express our confidence that, with continued diligence and thoughtful change, Princeton will remain especially well positioned to evolve in ways that enhance its distinction and its capacity to achieve its central and enduring purposes.

January 29, 2000


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