Strategic Plan 2016-21

With adoption of its first strategic plan in 2012, Western Michigan University embraced three basic tenets (learner-centered, discovery-driven and globally-engaged) developed to describe its identity and provide guideposts for the future. In 2016, the University launched The Gold Standard 2020, a refined and expanded five-year version of its strategic plan. The Haworth College of Business strategic plan identifies the college’s strategic goals, objectives, tactics and measures as well as our critical benchmarks that integrate the basic tenets and our core goals and mission. 

2016-21 Strategic plan PDF


We are a learner-centered, discovery-driven, globally-engaged college of business that provides intellectual and economic value in a focused and personal environment that values quality teaching, peer-reviewed research, and services dedicated to student success.


  • Outstanding comprehensive business education
  • Nationally-recognized niche programs
  • High quality and accessible student services
  • Positive faculty, staff, and student relationships


  • Strong industry partnerships
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary investigation


  • Diverse and inclusive educational community
  • International learning experiences

Core Values

  • Promote and ensure diversity, inclusion and equity
    • Respect for people: Strive for learning and workplace environments that advocate open-mindedness, empathy, flexibility, trust, and support of unique life experiences and perspectives.
    • Respect for knowledge: Strive for learning and workplace environments where theory, practice, inquiry, analysis, and other modes of understanding are valued and encouraged.
    • Respect for wisdom: Strive for learning and workplace environments that develop and expand our capacity to make effective and ethical decisions in multiple contexts.
  • Advance sustainable stewardship
    • Economic sustainability: Enable a culture of sustainability by modeling practices and policies that result in increased flexibility to respond to economic, social, and environmental challenges.
    • Environmental sustainability: Promote allocation of resources that reduce our environmental footprint.
    • Social sustainability: Cultivate a diverse and inclusive community that recognizes the value of each individual and helps ensure civility, respect, support, and equity for all people.

Strategic Goals, Objectives and Key Results

Goal 1: Ensure a distinctive and supportive learning experience that fosters success.

1.1: Attract and retain high quality students. 

Key results: Provide scholarships and awards for meritorious students, integrate best practices to maximize retention Increase retention rates, and support students in various levels of academic preparation.

1.2: Ensure that all students acquire fundamental capabilities for success, including communication and analytical skills.

Key results: Continue procedures to determine student Assurance of Learning outcomes; consistently report, discuss and appropriately respond to outcomes; and develop complete assessment activities at the departmental level.

1.3: Prepare students for success in post-graduate life.

Key results: Create innovative and responsive co‐curricular learning opportunities that provide individual and professional development Maintain strong placement rates Increase employer and alumni partnerships

1.4: Prepare all learners for the globalized world.

Key results: Broaden and deepen participation in study abroad programs, increase globally focused learning and research opportunities on and off campus, increase number of qualified international students, and create and implement an integration model that maximizes interaction between domestic and international students.

Goal 2: Promote innovative learning, discovery and service.

2.1: Maintain innovative, high quality curricula.

Key results: Increase and support number of programs with national and international reputation, improve flexibility in curriculum and delivery systems to meet student needs, and develop stronger connections within the college and outside the college to enhance educational opportunities.

2.2: Promote learning opportunities that prioritize applications and experiential learning.

Key results: Increase participation in internships, externship, and global experiences Promote off campus and service learning opportunities Establish clear expectations of Centers Increase involvement of students in research and creative activities.

2.3: Hire, support and retain personnel who elevate discovery, innovation and reputation.

Key results: Strategically invest in personnel, technology and operations; promote a culture that supports excellence and innovation in all units; support and recognize faculty and staff engagement and achievement; and develop succession plans for faculty, staff and administrators.

2.4: Expand community outreach.

Key results: Start, support and strengthen industry and alumni-related advisory councils for academic programs in the college; increase engagement with community partners for mutual benefit; and increase the number of courses using student learning projects connected with local and regional businesses.

2.5: Increase visibility and public recognition.

Key results: Define and promote the college of business' unique brand, develop and implement a strategic communications plan that increases awareness of the college of business, publish student and faculty achievements in popular media (including college of business websites), distribute newsletters and magazines to stakeholders, and use the WMU Discovery Experts database to increase visibility of discovery activities.

2.6: Maintain AACSB accreditation.

Key results: Consistently monitor AACSB accreditation standards and revise the college of business' standards and processes as necessary to be current with AACSB practices; implement and monitor the strategic plan, ensuring that the strategic plan reflects the college of business mission; and retain and recruit qualified faculty.

Goal 3: Advance new knowledge and value‐added discovery.

3.1: Support and advance research and scholarship.

Key results: Increase support for scholarly and research activities, capture faculty scholarship and discovery data and leverage in meaningful ways, increase collaborations within and between departments, and increase externally funded research Increase interactions of faculty with centers and SBDC.

3.2 Ensure all tenured and tenure track faculty are research active.

Key results: Exceed AACSB ratios for SA/PA/SP/IP faculty and increase research in mission focused areas.

Goal 4: Promote diversity, equity and inclusion to advance social sustainability and accessibility.

4.1 Practice, expand, encourage and reward ethical and thoughtful interaction and collaboration among administrators, staff, faculty, students, advisory boards, recruiters and employers.

Key results: Adopt and disseminate official WMU definitions for diversity, inclusion, equity, social sustainability and related terms, as necessary; and encourage participation of administrators, staff, faculty, students, advisory board members, recruiters and employers in diversity and inclusion activities and programs that raise consciousness, provide training and support unique life experiences and perspectives.

4.2 Increase the recruitment, retention and inclusion of diverse populations.

Key results: Identify and use external programs to aid in the recruitment of diverse students, faculty and staff, with focus on members of historically under-represented groups; support programs that increase the participation and success of historically underrepresented groups; adopt approaches to teaching, learning and curricula that are inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds; support the development of academic programs and curricula that address the unique needs of international students in joint programs; develop and implement mentoring groups that support academic success and career advancement; create and disseminate images of diversity through marketing materials; and increase representation of diverse groups in speakers and alumni awards.

Goal 5: Implement economically sustainable practices and policies aligning resources with college priorities.

5.1 Generate and leverage multiple revenue streams to support the fiscal vitality of the Haworth College of Business.

Key results: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of introducing differential tuition for MBA students; implement courses and initiatives that increase revenues, such as customized MBA programs, executive education and certificate programs; increase private donations and industry funding; and increase affinity of students and alumni to college.

5.2 Improve resource management.

Key results: Base faculty and staff hiring decisions on departmental program needs and visions, subject to resource availability and considering competing needs; streamline course offerings, including scheduling options and classroom allocations, based on departmental needs and visions; implement electronic processes to streamline paperwork processes, continually review academic programs, support services and administrative activities to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness without sacrificing quality; consolidate committees and service activities for more efficient use of administrator, faculty and staff time; and promote value and efficiency in scheduling of extra-curricular activities.

5.3 Pursue innovative and cost-effective strategies for reducing HCoB’s environmental footprint Promote energy savings and efficient utilization of physical resources Reduce use of non-recyclable products throughout building (in those areas we can control) Reduce redundant resources, such as printers, copiers and other IT hardware