DRAFT Academic Affairs Strategic Plan

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1 Goal 1: Ensure academic excellence and program distinction necessary for students to be highly successful in their lives and careers. Objective 1.1: Experiential and co curricular learning opportunities are available to help undergraduate and graduate students develop their unique education portfolio. Strategy 1.1.a: Develop and implement the Signature Designation to support student engagement and distinction. Strategy 1.1.b: Develop more global and local curricular opportunities for experiential learning that emphasize the connection to real world issues. Strategy 1.1.c: Implement curricular management (course designation, catalog descriptions, centralized tracking, etc.) practices to communicate, monitor, and evaluate the impact of experiential learning. Strategy 1.1.d: Enhance career preparation services and provide more opportunities for professional development to boost post graduation student success. Strategy 1.1.e: Use discovery opportunities as a form of engagement for undergraduates. Objective 1.2: Innovative curricular delivery leads to strategic growth in quality and transformative graduate and undergraduate education. Strategy 1.2.a: Support the evolving needs of contemporary students through the assessment of delivery formats, locations, and pathways. Strategy 1.2.b: Pioneer new configurations of undergraduate and graduate certificates and stackable credentials. Strategy 1.2.c: Identify and prioritize areas of emerging need for the development of new programs. Strategy 1.2.d: Implement competency based learning assessment to grant academic credit where appropriate, e.g. military and veteran students, returning professionals. Strategy 1.2.e: Resolve institutional barriers that prevent cross college collaboration, including interdisciplinary programs, by addressing the budgeting, governance, and reward structures aligned with curricular/program development and personnel. Strategy 1.2.f: Create a culture of academic excellence that is financially sustainable by identifying and promoting top ranked programs and faculty in every academic department. Strategy 1.2.g: Make the curricular approval process nimble so that programs can better respond to the needs of a rapidly changing world. Strategy 1.2.h: Prioritize the completion of general education revision by the end of the academic year Strategy 1.2.i: Target areas where high impact teaching practices and emerging technologies are needed to revitalize or grow academic programs. Strategy 1.2.j: Incorporate faculty research and discovery in the ongoing assessment, revision, and delivery of instruction and student mentoring PUBLIC DRAFT 1

2 Strategy 1.2.k: Launch and support the early middle college/pre college initiative allowing high school students to access mutually beneficial and cost effective WMU programs. Objective 1.3: A culture of continuous assessment and improvement ensures academic excellence. Strategy 1.3.a: Require utilization of measurable student learning outcomes in the assessment process, including the addition of student learning outcomes in curriculum proposals. Strategy 1.3.b: Implement the findings of the APR&P process to grow, improve, remediate, or eliminate programs. Strategy 1.3.c: Provide resources necessary to support the needs of nationally/internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs. Strategy 1.3.d: Review the timing and interdependency of curricular offerings to improve student retention and degree completion. Objective 1.4: Strategic investment in personnel promotes academic excellence and innovative discovery. Strategy 1.4.a: Strategically align staff, faculty, and administration expertise and strengths with available resources at the unit level to promote learning and discovery. Strategy 1.4.b: Identify and appropriately resource staffing levels in learner support units to ensure success in learning and professional development for all students at WMU. Strategy 1.4.c: Create and fully implement professional development and operational succession plans for faculty, staff, and administrators. Strategy 1.4.d: Assess workplace engagement for all personnel to identify ways to improve workplace satisfaction, productivity, and sense of belonging. Strategy 1.4.e: Continue dialog with part time instructors to ensure avenues for input into the academic discussion are available. Strategy 1.4.f: Increase the diversity of faculty, staff, and administration through inclusive hiring practices and enhanced retention efforts. Goal 2: Establish a robust graduate and undergraduate enrollment management plan that recruits, retains, and graduates a diverse, outstanding student body consistent with a learner centered, discovery driven, and globally engaged university. Objective 2.1: Strategic management of enrollment leading to achievement of enrollment levels consistent with WMU s distinctive programs and transformative educational experiences. Strategy 2.1.a: Investigate an institutionally integrated CRM system that should be uniformly used by the Office of Admissions, Graduate Admissions, International Admissions, and colleges and departments PUBLIC DRAFT 2

3 Strategy 2.1.b: Empower the Office of Admissions, Graduate Admissions and International Admissions in collaboration with concerned academic programs to embark on new agreements with partnering institutions (e.g., 3+2; 1+1, accelerated graduate degree programs). Strategy 2.1.c: Build a culture in which faculty and staff in each unit take ownership of recruitment and yield of new students. Strategy 2.1.d: Expand and optimize WMU s enrollment management efforts of targeted student groups and strategic geographic regions, including regional, national, and international emphases. Strategy 2.1.e: Develop joint admittance programs, reverse articulation agreements, and co advising to increase the number of students transferring from community colleges. Strategy 2.1 f: use pre college office to develop robust enrollment management pipelines. Objective 2.2: An inclusive, student success centered model improves retention and degree completion. Strategy 2.2.a: Ensure early alert systems lead to intrusive and persistent advising focused on retention appropriate to the needs of student populations at all levels. Strategy 2.2.b: Use assessment data to identify achievement gaps and improve support programming to address varying level of academic need. Strategy 2.2.c: Improve data systems and provide personnel to monitor, review, and assess graduate student success. Strategy 2.2.d: Use data analytics of retention data and graduation outcomes to continually refine student support strategies. Strategy 2.2.e: Improve understanding of and work to remove systemic institutional barriers for recruitment, retention, and degree completion of students from historically underrepresented groups in higher education. Strategy 2.2.f: Develop and implement methods to decrease time to degree in doctoral programs. Strategy 2.2.g: Continue to revitalize facilities to enhance informal space for student learning and collaboration. Objective 2.3: Improve affordability while maximizing accessible quality education for all students. Strategy 2.3.a: Utilize innovative and competitive need and merit based financial support strategies. Strategy 2.3.b: Investigate and advocate for differential tuition structures or alternate financial aid models to increase affordability and access. Strategy 2.3.c: Reduce cost of attendance by utilization of open educational resources, such as the Open Textbook Network, and faculty developed resources. Strategy 2.3.d: Empower and enable departments and programs to participate in development activities that generate external support for endowed student scholarships, professorships, and other program related priorities PUBLIC DRAFT 3

4 Strategy 2.3.e: Explore business partnerships to support funding for graduate students who continue their employment during their enrollment. Strategy 2.3.f: Continue development and implementation of programming to increase student financial literacy. Strategy 2.3.g: Increase the number of student employment opportunities on campus. Goal 3: Produce outstanding research, creative works, and intellectual property that enhances society and continues to position WMU as a Carnegieclassified Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity. Objective 3.1: Providing sufficient resources for faculty in pursuit of research and creative endeavors strengthen WMU s level of scholarly productivity. Strategy 3.1.a: In collaboration with OVPR, evaluate the effectiveness of the indirect cost distribution plan in continued support of research and creative work and adjust as appropriate. Strategy 3.1.b: Institute financial, policy, and educational support mechanisms to encourage open access publications where appropriate. Strategy 3.1.c: Investigate and adopt web based software to enable the institution to recognize, publicize, and reward faculty/staff scholarly works, and creative accomplishments. Strategy 3.1.d: Encourage units to elevate, promote, and incentivize high impact discovery endeavors consistent with the expectations of WMU s Carnegie Higher Research classification. Strategy 3.1.e: Prioritize funding to improve discovery infrastructure and data management. Objective 3.2: Undergraduate and graduate student scholarship strengthens WMU s position as a Carnegie classified Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity. Strategy 3.2.a: Generate new resources to allocate to graduate research assistantships. Strategy 3.2.b: Utilize faculty, staff, and student orientation programs to expand understanding of how to engage in WMU s climate as a Carnegie classified Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity. Strategy 3.2.c: Provide incentives to academic programs that develop new research assistantships and post doctoral fellowships supported through research awards, grants, and gifts. Strategy 3.2.d: Give priority in the allocation of OAA research matching funds to external award proposals that include funding graduate students. Strategy 3.2.e: Identify barriers to and incentives for increasing the number of graduate students who complete a thesis PUBLIC DRAFT 4

5 Objective 3.3 Implementation and accountability of discovery communities supported at the department, college, and university increase both the aggregate and per capita level of research activity supportive of a Carnegie classified Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity. Strategy 3.3.a: Create a university wide research center and institute committee that measures the impact, populations served (researched) and research (or service) activity supportive of a Carnegieclassified Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity. Strategy 3.3.b: Appropriately resource strategic staffing levels to support research infrastructure. Strategy 3.3.c: Strategically support research potential through the identification of research clusters and use of university centers and institutes to promote cross college, multidisciplinary initiatives. Strategy 3.3.d: Develop mechanisms for faculty to become knowledgeable of and engage in significant multidisciplinary research opportunities on campus, such as the functional use of the Experts system and active participation in discovery focus groups. Goal 4: WMU improves the greater community by applying our university s knowledge, talents, and energies through collaboration, service, and outreach among our stakeholders. Objective 4.1: WMU becomes a more integral partner in the strategic development of our local and regional communities. Strategy 4.1.a: Coordinate community outreach activities to be responsive to the social, economic and educational needs of our local and regional communities. Strategy 4.1.b: Promote University practices and policies that establish formal, sustainable and mutually beneficial community partnerships to enhance the University s mission of research, instruction, and service. Strategy 4.1.c: Align curricular and co curricular programs that are focused on entrepreneurism with strategic economic development of the local and regional community. Objective 4.2: Expand civic engagement to develop responsible citizenship. Strategy 4.2.a: Partner with the community to develop professional development and curricular opportunities that ensure workforce readiness. Strategy 4.2.b: Develop and implement a renewed commitment to experiential learning, service learning, volunteerism to support a 2017 Campus Compact Action Plan, dedicating the University to work with the community to advance the public purposes of higher education. Strategy 4.2.c: Engage in a broad community impact study to develop specific outreach and engaged scholarship models that meet the specific needs of communities. Strategy 4.2.d: Promote active and responsive participation in a community dialogue on emerging or priority social issues. Strategy 4.2.e: Reinforce or revise where appropriate institutional policies and practices that encourage faculty, staff and students commitment to service and community outreach PUBLIC DRAFT 5

6 Objective 4.3: WMU becomes a steward of place that contributes to the inclusive excellence of local, regional and global communities. Strategy 4.3.a: Strengthen department and program level partnerships with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to cultivate engagement opportunities with global and domestic alumni that especially target new funds for student support and targeted research. Strategy 4.3.b: Expand participation opportunities in global education programs to benefit community and university cultural understanding and develop cultural humility. Strategy 4.3.c: Use an equity minded approach to assessment and data analytics to create conditions that result in equitable outcomes for all students. Objective 4.4: A diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution enhances the university environment. Strategy 4.4.a: Provide training opportunities to expand employee and student cultural responsiveness and civility, as well as culturally competent instruction. Goal 5: A data driven, transparent, sustainable financial process (model) will be used to inform decisions. Objective 5.1: Alignment of business strategy/financial stewardship will maximize efficiencies within academic affairs. Strategy 5.1.a: Develop and utilize a common standard for reporting financial allocations within academic affairs to increase transparency and understanding of budgetary decisions. Strategy 5.1.b: Adopt a comprehensive business model and pricing strategy that allows academic programs to use differential tuition structures and alternate financial aid models in program offering. Strategy 5.1.c: Strategically plan for increased resources needed to comply with ever changing federal and specialized program accreditation regulations. Strategy 5.1.d: Use market data to drive implementation of new high demand programs and review sustainability of existing programs. Objective 5.2: Focused branding and marketing of academic affairs units and programs improve recruitment, yield, and retention of students. Strategy 5.2.a: Implement consistent, targeted marketing that is collaborative and integrated to increase the visibility and unique appeal of WMU s undergraduate and graduate programs. Strategy 5.2.b: Bring visibility to innovative teaching and nationally recognized academic programs in the recruitment of new groups of students and respond to current needs and trends. Strategy 5.2.c: In conjunction with strategy 2.1.c, increase the role of faculty and staff in recruitment and retention PUBLIC DRAFT 6

7 Objective 5.3: Reduction of silos and increase of cross unit coordination of resources improves efficient use of fiscal, facility, and personnel resources. Strategy 5.3.a: Explore opportunities for collaboration and cooperation across units in order to increase opportunities and decrease inefficiencies. Strategy 5.3.b: Identify and connect units involved in complementary research and creative activities. Strategy 5.3.c: Promote and incentivize innovative cross unit partnerships PUBLIC DRAFT 7

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