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Strategic Planning

2021 – 2026 Strategic Plan

Strategic Priority 1: Strengthening our Academic Culture

The academic enterprise is foundational to all strategic priorities.

William Woods University will provide an academically rigorous, liberal arts-based, professions-oriented education that has at its core a diverse curriculum and high-impact programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to prepare students for a developing global society.

We will enhance our academic environment through recruiting, retaining, and supporting faculty and through continuous assessment of our efforts.

  • Objective 1.1 – Provide sufficient resources and personnel to support existing programs.
  • Objective 1.2 – Encourage faculty growth and excellence through scholarship and professional development.
  • Objective 1.3 – Support effective teaching and learning practices.
  • Objective 1.4 – Engage students in high-impact experiences to promote in and outside the classroom.
  • Objective 1.5 – Strategically add new programs that complement or augment the existing curriculum.

Strategic Priority 2: Building a Culture of Communication

William Woods University will provide a culture of open communication that includes transparency, collaboration, and accountability. An environment that promotes open communication is crucial to building a strong sense of community where members feel informed, included, and empowered.

  • Objective 2.1 – Establish transparency through accessibility to resources that include minutes, planning, institutional research, and other information sources.
  • Objective 2.2 – Encourage the sharing of ideas through accurate, timely data reporting and a respect for innovative ideas to meet the changing needs of our identified constituencies.
  • Objective 2.3 – Encourage inclusive processes that value employees.

Strategic Priority 3: Developing a Comprehensive Enrollment Management Strategy

William Woods will develop comprehensive enrollment management strategies for recruitment, retention, and student success. Through prioritizing student success, William Woods will stabilize and/or grow enrollment and finances, improve student services, develop a diverse campus community, and reduce the university’s vulnerability to demographic and economic changes.

  • Objective 3.1 – Build a plan to define, achieve and maintain optimal enrollment in all modalities.
  • Objective 3.2 – Develop a retention plan utilizing national trends and best practices for student engagement and success.
  • Objective 3.3 – Identify campus community characteristics that would make WWU an appealing space to diverse potential community members.

Strategic Priority 4: Cultivate Strategic Partnerships

Provide opportunities with traditional and non-traditional strategic partners (i.e. industry, military, secondary and post-secondary education institutions, non-profits, government and alumni) in order to lead as an adaptive higher learning institution meeting education and workforce challenges.

  • Objective 4.1 – Support current partnerships and alliances.
  • Objective 4.2 – Establish new strategic alliances and programs to reflect global trends in education and professions.

Strategic Priority 5: Investing in Our Facilities and Key Technology Infrastructure

The facilities and infrastructure at William Woods University will contribute to safety, health, and academic success in both learning and living environments, and will serve as an asset to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff.

  • Objective 5.1 – Develop a facilities and technology infrastructure plan.
  • Objective 5.2 – Improve the technology infrastructure on campus.
  • Objective 5.3 – Ensure safe, accessible, and attractive living, learning, and common spaces.
  • Objective 5.4 – Implement targeted updates to learning spaces that meet the needs of 21st century students and promote academic success.

Strategic Planning Process

The University was in year 1 of the previous strategic plan when Covid-19 hit in March 2020. It presented a significant challenge to the University as it did every other institution of higher education.

In April, Dr. Barnett called upon the Strategic Planning Committee to undertake “a critical review and assessment” of our strategic plan to ensure that William Woods University would “continue to thrive in the future.” The committee devised an inclusive process that involved multiple surveys and calls for volunteers.

The process began in the summer with a review of the University’s Vision and Mission Statements. The Strategic Planning Committee drafted new versions of each and submitted them to the campus community for feedback. The Board of Trustees approved the new Vision and Mission Statements in June.

The Strategic Planning Committee then began the process of reviewing and updating the Strategic Plan. Subcommittees – drawn from faculty and staff volunteers and led by members of the Strategic Planning Committee – were formed for each of the Strategic Priorities. Every aspect of the plan was reviewed and updated in accordance with Dr. Barnett’s charge. The final plan was completed and approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2020.

A progress report will be issued annually.

The Strategic Planning Committee

(as of March 1, 2021)

Priority 1 Leads

Rachel Deutmeyer
Robin Hirsch-Jacobson

Priority 2 Leads

Sarah Track
Carrie McCray

Priority 3 Leads

Jennifer Crump
Matt Dube

Priority 4 Leads

Scott Zimmerman

Priority 5 Leads

Travis Bond
Bob Jones

Other Members

Kathy Groves
Julie Houseworth
Shawn Hull
Venita Mitchell
Aimee Sapp