Imagine a near-term future in which WSU students thrive as never before due to the enhanced scholarship, research and experiential learning opportunities the university provides system-wide.

Imagine a near-term future in which the university is well-known for embracing the risk and the bold thinking needed to better serve communities statewide through innovative research, scholarship and creative activities.

Those are the first two of four major goals of the 2020-2025 WSU system-wide strategic plan, which is now available for review by the community. Feedback to the draft is invited through an online survey open until Feb. 25.

“I urge everyone to review the draft and provide their input,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “This draft reflects the collective vision the university community provided over the last 18 months, but it’s important to make sure we get it right before the plan goes to the Board of Regents.”

Goal 3 of the plan calls for the university to become a national leader in serving the public through its outreach, Extension, service and engagement activities. Goal 4 describes a future in which the WSU system is defined by its collaborative nature, and the necessary financial investments are made to boost the university to become a social and economic driver in the region, the state, and the world.

Each goal is accompanied by a list of objectives and possible supporting strategies to deploy.

Product of 18-month-long planning process

The draft strategic plan is the product of an 18-month-long planning process that incorporated input from throughout the WSU system as well as from external stakeholders. Following the current comment period, the plan will be revised and then forwarded to the university’s Regents for discussion at their March meeting. The plan is expected to receive final approval from the Regents in May.

The draft plan includes a section focused on the university’s envisioned future—a concrete but not yet realized vision—a future in which WSU’s aspirations to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities are fulfilled. Descriptions of the university’s improved capabilities when that vision is achieved are included. The descriptions include statements provided by the university community during the system-wide visioning conference last October, including:

  • Every member of the WSU community will feel connected to the Drive to 25 and clearly understand their contributions to our collective vision.
  • All students, regardless of their family or personal background, will be able to pursue—and successfully achieve—their educational goals at WSU.
  • WSU will be a leading land-grant institution, as measured by accessibility, graduation rates of at-risk students, and public service.
  • The people of the state of Washington will benefit to an even greater degree from the impacts WSU makes through scientific innovation, research-based program delivery, and university-led practical problem solving.

Once the strategic plan is approved, it will serve as a guide for making key institutional decisions and allocating resources. Metrics to determine progress in meeting the plan’s goals will be identified in the coming months. The plan will be reviewed by the WSU community on an annual basis, and its objectives and strategies will be revised as the university evolves and the environment in which it operates changes.