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3-5 Year Outcome-Oriented Goals

Goals are outcome-oriented statements that represent what will constitute the organization’s future success. The achievement of each goal will move WSU toward the realization of its vision. The goals below are not prioritized. Every goal will need to be accomplished if the organization is to fully achieve its vision. Each goal is accompanied by a set of objectives, which represent key issues affecting WSU’s ability to achieve the goal and articulate milestones against which to measure progress. Possible strategies for reaching objectives are also identified. The prioritization of the goals, objectives, and strategies will be determined by the University community as part of the implementation of this plan.

Goal 1: Research, Innovation, and Creativity

Washington State University will be recognized for embracing risk and bold thinking to serve the needs of its communities through innovative research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Objectives

  • Expand research, scholarship, and creative activities that cross disciplines and employ new methodologies to address community needs and twenty-first century global challenges.
  • Increase WSU’s ability to highlight its achievements and their societal impact.
  • Maximize the ability to shape research, creative activity, and entrepreneurship in direct partnership with the communities the University serves.
  • Enhance WSU’s ability to pursue, retain, and reward exceptional talent committed to creativity and bold thinking.
  • Promote sustainable external partnerships to accelerate innovation and maximize the impact of the University’s discoveries.

Possible strategies

  • Grow the global impact of WSU’s research by building additional partnerships with leading universities, research institutes, and corporations in the United States and abroad.
  • Create cross-disciplinary research teams that build on WSU’s strengths in order to accelerate innovation and maximize impact.
  • Establish community advisory groups in key research domains to allow researchers and stakeholders to propose ideas and get feedback. Leverage the WSU Extension network to partner with faculty, staff, and students to give University-led research greater impact.
  • Invest in state-of-the art instruments, facilities, and administrative infrastructure to provide the necessary support for a modern research environment.
  • Actively recruit and retain research-focused faculty, graduate students, and staff from under-represented backgrounds, and create more positions for research-focused only faculty.
  • Revise system-wide tenure and promotion policies to recognize and reward community-based research partnerships and entrepreneurial activities that include incentives for strategic risk-taking, bold thinking, interdisciplinary research activities, and high-impact achievements, in addition to the traditional metrics.

Goal 2: Student Experience

Washington State University students will engage in scholarship, research, and experiential learning activities to prepare future leaders, scholars, and global citizens.

Objectives

  • Increase educational affordability geared toward improving the completion and graduation rates of students.
  • Increase career development resources for all students starting with their first year.
  • Ensure every WSU student has the opportunity to participate in experiential learning and community engagement (e.g., service learning, internships, undergraduate research, creative discovery, study abroad, and/or leadership).
  • Enhance the quality of the undergraduate academic experience with an eye toward greater mastery of learning goals along with increased student retention and graduation rates.
  • Strengthen collaborations with industry partners to enhance the student experience, including practicums, internships, and research opportunities.
  • Nurture and promote mental, physical, and social wellbeing among students.

Possible strategies

  • Develop a need-based financial aid model that eliminates unmet need over $1,000.
  • Establish a baseline of career services offered throughout the WSU system and significantly increase funding levels to ensure the career services provided align with industry standards.
  • Ensure every degree program identifies or develops required experiential learning activities and that there is a system-wide ePortfolio solution that documents and showcases these experiences.
  • Expand institutional support for pedagogical and curricular innovations along with faculty professional development in teaching.
  • Establish baseline wellness services on all campuses and fund the proposal by the WSU Campus and Community Health Task Force to infuse an emotional wellbeing curriculum throughout the WSU experience, both in and out of the classroom.

Goal 3: Outreach, Extension, Service, and Engagement

Washington State University will be a national leader in advancing quality of life, economic development, sustainability, and equity through meaningful engagement in discovery, education, and service with partners throughout the state, nation, and world.

Objectives

  • Improve and implement cohesive, system-wide mechanisms for assessing and communicating the impact and value of outreach, Extension, service, and engagement.
  • Increase the alignment of WSU priorities with the needs, challenges, and opportunities in the state of Washington identified via outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities.
  • Increase outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities across all colleges, all campuses, and throughout the state, as an essential element to achieving WSU’s land-grant mission.
  • Increase and enhance partnerships with under-represented communities.
  • Increase University-wide resource investment in outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities.
  • Increase the impact of outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities to improve human health.

Possible strategies

  • Provide training for all WSU personnel, including new hires, to learn about the University’s land-grant history and mission, to improve and coordinate communication, and embed in the WSU brand the importance/advantages of outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities at a land-grant university.
  • Implement University-wide systems to better incentivize and reward programs and individuals to engage in outreach, Extension, and service activities (e.g., tenure/promotion portfolios).
  • Leverage Extension by creating programs and processes that forge linkages (e.g., faculty affiliations, joint grant and project work, and student engagement); increase participation in outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities by academic units; and inform/benefit the University’s teaching and research missions.
  • Develop and implement a university requirement that WSU students learn about and participate in outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities as an essential part of the student experience.
  • Prioritize outreach, Extension, service, and engagement activities as a strategy for diversifying extramural resource acquisition.

Goal 4: Institutional Effectiveness and Infrastructure

WSU will advance a culture of engagement and collaboration across its multi-campus system that values and invests in resources—physical, financial, human, and intellectual—leveraging these to become the social and economic drivers for the community, the state, and the world.

Objectives

  • Budget and planning:
    • Align financial resources with strategic plan goals.
    • Engage in integrated planning of current educational programs and research efforts to maintain and strengthen their quality.
  • Modernization of infrastructure: Modernize facilities, technology, business practices, and campus environments to be safe, sustainable, and supportive for future areas of growth and leading-edge practices in teaching, learning, and research.
  • System: Enhance overall internal buy-in for the WSU system and appreciation for all of its assets and components.
  • Staff recruitment and retention: Increase the hiring and retention of exceptional faculty and staff—who represent diversity in all its forms—to advance research and the educational experience.

Possible strategies

  • Produce an annual operating budget that promotes transparency around the current allocation of resources and informs the planning of future incentive-based budget models.
  • Promote an enhanced infrastructure and technology planning process incorporating input from a wide range of internal stakeholders to prioritize deferred maintenance and long-term technology needs that support WSU’s aspirational growth.
  • Form a team representative of the system and all its components to identify hindering and helping forces to promote system-wide best practices, opportunities for local decision-making, and collaboration based on a set of shared values and principles.

Continue to advance and enhance programs focused on the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff including recruitment initiatives, training, mentoring/equity advisor programs, and University and community resources.