The Commission on the Future of Wesleyan is a collaborative strategic planning process that encourages us to step out of our day-to-day routines and spend some time discussing and focusing on the future. By participating in a strategic planning process, we are creating a shared vision and goals for the University, and we are identifying the priorities for our campus. We are using data to inform our discussions and decisions, and we recognize the financial impact of the choices we are making. We will develop the action plans that are needed to ensure that the University will continue to serve our students and our region well into the future.
Through the process of strategic planning, we are developing a greater perspective of the issues that concern the University’s stakeholders. We are thinking seriously and strategically about sensitive issues, and we are actively pursuing an understanding of them from diverse viewpoints. We are investing in our organizational capacity by sharing ideas and discovering new ways to approach our challenges. We are committed to an open and transparent process, with the desire to earn and build institutional trust.
Iowa Wesleyan University is committed to our students: to support their learning, to encourage and challenge them to expand their horizons, and to provide them with an educational environment in which they can dream, build and achieve. We aspire to be the best in the nation at integrating service learning into the academic development of our students. We are planning for Iowa Wesleyan University to prosper and grow into a place of educational opportunity where we encourage and expect exemplary outcomes.
Many factors will impact our ability to achieve our mission: increasing global competition for students; the development and implementation of new information and instructional technologies; active partnerships with government, industry, alumni and friends, regional readiness; our ability to support and preserve our values of excellence, personal relationships, opportunity and service. Strategic planning helps us proactively navigate the uncertainties, understand the complexities and develop the institutional capacity we need to serve our future students.
The purpose of strategic planning is not to simply write a plan. Its purpose is to identify necessary actions for Wesleyan to have a sustainable academic and financial future.
The strategic plan will focus on a set of five to 10 strategic themes emerging from the discussions with faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders. Three to five strategic goals will be established for each priority, and each strategic goal will be supported by an action plan. The completed strategic plan will be a condensed document (10 or fewer pages) intended to be easily understood by all of our constituents.
The strategic planning process will be completed by the end of 2015 academic year and will be presented to the Board of Trustees in May 2015. Once the plan is approved by the board, implementation of select action plans for at least three of the strategic priorities will begin during the fiscal year beginning June 2015.
Collaboration, transparency, discussion and dialogue are essential for a successful planning process. If we tap into the collective wisdom of the campus community, pay attention to the external issues and trends in higher education, and listen to the insights offered by our external constituencies, then we can envision and build a sustainable academic and financial future for Iowa Wesleyan University.
Welcome to the future of Iowa’s first and most historic co-educational University, Iowa Wesleyan University. Wesleyan is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Southeast Iowa and Mount Pleasant. Nationally recognized as a University of Distinction in 2013 and again in 2014, Wesleyan continues its 172-year tradition of excellence in service learning, rigorous and relevant academic programs, and practical internships.
Iowa Wesleyan is aggressively on the move to meet the needs of Southeast Iowa and beyond as a regional comprehensive university. To accomplish this bold vision, we have launched the Commission on the Future of Wesleyan, a collaborative, stakeholder-based strategic planning initiative. Our aim is to enter this new era by collectively building on the formidable strengths of this mighty institution. Throughout this 10-month process, we will engage as many voices as possible – from faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, business and government leaders, trustees, friends and volunteers, clergy, and community members from around the counties of Southeast Iowa.
Wesleyan’s opportunity ahead is to benefit all of Southeast Iowa and the State in new and expansive ways. This opportunity is guided by a vision that “transforms” a small, local, residential liberal arts University serving primarily traditional age students, into a regional, comprehensive, teaching and residential university – committed to the liberal arts and the professions – serving dual-enrollment, traditional, adult, and graduate learners in the broader Southeast region of Iowa and neighboring states.
Wesleyan will serve as the educational and cultural epicenter for the region. This is our institutional responsibility. This is our call to action. We have begun our institutional transformation, but there is much more work to be done and we welcome your help in shaping Wesleyan’s strategic path over the next five years. Please take a few minutes to peruse the Commission website to learn more about the process and how you can participate.
President Steven E. Titus