Annual strategic plan overview reflects on past year

As part of WSU’s ongoing campaign to more actively support cross-campus communication, deans from nine academic colleges and schools gathered to share presentations highlighting the achievements and challenges they have faced in the past year at the first strategic plan overview.

Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning Dr. Cindy Claycomb organized the event with the intention of gathering WSU representatives and community members from various departments to promote more transparent communication and encourage collective brainstorming and feedback on how different areas of WSU can more closely align themselves with and work towards the seven goals outlined in the strategic plan. 

“With this overview, I really hoped to inspire cross-campus communication, especially for people not in academic colleges, and offer ways to show them how they can help with future collaborations,” said Claycomb. “I think it’s been successful.”

Despite the fact that time was allotted after every presentation for questions, very few questions were asked. However, much of the feedback from the presentations came about during the designated “breakout sessions,” where audience members spent time discussing what they had just heard with one another and submitting feedback via Post-It Note to easels labeled with various questions. Claycomb said this is where she heard most of the discussion take place and even heard individuals commenting that they were finding out about things they didn’t even know were going on. The feedback from this will be forwarded to the appropriate departments.

Several of the departments highlighted goals to increase funded research opportunities for students, aligning with the most concrete goal of the strategic plan, “guarantee[ing] an applied learning or research experience for every student by each academic program.” Dean of Fine Arts Rodney Miller bluntly addressed the major challenges that are shared almost universally by all departments, citing that the two biggest obstacles for his college were “Money!” and “Money!”

Dean of Graduate School Dennis Livesay understands that the recent budget cuts are uncomfortable, but believes that some of the money necessary to jumpstart strategic plan initiatives might already exist. 

“When you say that you need new money to work on these initiatives, that implies that everything you’re doing now is infinitely important. That’s not true. We can examine what we have and shift and better utilize the money we already have,” said Livesay.

Livesay supports the initiatives of the strategic plan. “Mid-size state schools like WSU schools are in trouble. Unless we do something new, we will atrophy away. What we’re doing here is about making sure we remain relevant.”

Strategic Plan Goals

Goal 1: Guarantee an applied learning or research experience for every student by each academic program. 

Goal 2: Pioneer an educational experience for all that integrates interdisciplinary curricula across the university. 

Goal 3: Capitalize systemically on relevant existing and emerging societal and economic trends that increase quality educational opportunities. 

Goal 4: Accelerate the discovery, creation and transfer of new knowledge. 

Goal 5: Empower students to create a campus culture and experience that meets their changing needs. 

Goal 6: Be a campus that reflects—in staff, faculty and students—the evolving diversity of society. 

Goal 7: Create a new model of assessment, incentive and reward processes to accomplish our vision and goals.