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WMU board signs off on three-year strategic plan

by Cheryl Roland

Dec. 12, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees put its stamp of approval on a three-year strategic plan that was developed by a campuswide committee over the past year.

The board voted unanimously to approve the plan outlined in a document that was presented to them by Dr. Timothy Greene, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Greene led the development team for the plan and, in his presentation to the board, described the extensive campus involvement and feedback that went into drafting and reviewing the plan.

"We were charged with creating a plan that will lead to an exciting future, builds on our historic strengths and is consistent with our mission," Greene told trustees. "We listened to our constituents, and the strategic plan was built around where constituents of this University want to take the University in the coming years," he said.

The plan, Greene said, is an overarching umbrella under which individual unit plans can be developed. It features a clearly identified set of values for the institution and a vision statement that can be condensed by describing WMU as:

Each of those three pillars of the WMU vision have performance indicators designed to measure success in realizing the vision. Those indicators include metrics involving degree completion, career placement, external grants for research, number of doctoral degrees awarded, number of students studying aboard and the number of international students studying at WMU.

The plan also outlines five broad goals and identifies strategies to achieve each goal. The five goals are to:

Both Greene and WMU President John M. Dunn described the strategic plan as a short working document that could be amended as needed and would not be tucked away after passage.

"We purposely kept this plan actionable so we can continue to develop, innovate and create as we move forward," Dunn said.

The outcomes of the plan will be monitored annually by the President's Senior Leadership Team and the appropriate Faculty Senate body, using suggested indicators. Significant reviews and revisions will be conducted on a schedule of every three years.

The full, four-page document detailing the strategic plan is available for download at