The 2014-19 strategic plan builds on the previous five-year plan, recognizing the core values and broad mission of Washington State University. Goals and strategies were developed to achieve significant progress toward WSU’s aspiration of becoming one of the nation’s leading land-grant universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement. The plan emphasizes the institution’s unique role as an accessible, approachable research institution that provides opportunities to an especially broad array of students while serving Washington state’s broad portfolio of social and economic needs. While providing exceptional leadership in traditional land-grant disciplines, Washington State University adds value as an integrative partner for problem solving due to its innovative focus on applications and its breadth of program excellence. The plan explicitly recognizes the dramatic changes in public funding that have occurred over the duration of the previous strategic plan, along with the need for greater institutional nimbleness, openness, and entrepreneurial activity that diversifies the University’s funding portfolio. In addition, the plan reaffirms WSU’s land-grant mission by focusing greater attention system-wide on increasing access to educational opportunity, responding to the needs of Washington state through research, instruction, and outreach, and contributing to economic development and public policy.
Two Central Emphases
While the new plan retains the four key themes of the previous plan, its two central foci include offering a truly transformative educational experience to undergraduate and graduate students and accelerating the development of a preeminent research portfolio. Campuses, colleges, and other units will develop their own strategic plans that align with this plan and will make decisions and investments according to structures, principles, and processes set forth herein.
A Transformational Student Experience
Washington State University’s long-standing commitment to provide students with a transformational experience will continue with a focus on enhancing the quality and relevance of the learning experience, providing more personalized student services, expanding learning opportunities outside the classroom, and developing a more cohesive student community. The undergraduate experience will build upon WSU’s nationally recognized writing, general education, and undergraduate research programs. Support for a transformational graduate experience will emphasize opportunities to engage in mentored research and outreach. Changes in the student experience will include increases in the size and diversity of the undergraduate student body. Enrollment growth will occur as a result of increased freshman and transfer admissions, as well as significant improvements in student retention.
A Preeminent Research Portfolio
Continued pursuit of a preeminent research portfolio will occur as a result of strategic investment in research infrastructure, increased faculty research effort, and continued emphasis on WSU’s research strengths. In addition, the University will build out emerging areas of research excellence and interdisciplinary collaboration while emphasizing its unique responsibility to address the particular needs of Washington state. WSU’s research portfolio will be characterized by continued growth of research expenditures, expansion in scholarly outputs, enhancement in the development of intellectual property, and growth in graduate student enrollment, particularly doctoral students. Our progress will be measured by and against the research productivity of outstanding American universities, and most notably against members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions. This profile requires a broad portfolio of excellence that spans science, technology, engineering, math, humanities, and social sciences.