Strategic Plan

2023-2028 STRATEGIC PLAN

Inspire. Engage. Transform.

Recognizing that our students have unique needs and individual strengths, we will embrace a university‐wide, holistic approach to teaching and support services to meet students where they are and engage them accordingly on their path to success.

This Strategic Plan is designed to work in concert with the UW-Whitewater Vision, Mission, and Values, the Academic Plan, and strategic plans of the divisions and units across both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses.

Vision

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will be a national and international leader in providing transformational and empowering educational experiences.

That future will be achieved through a culture of collaboration and connectedness. Four strategic themes emerged through institution-wide conversations:

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Enhance the value of a UW-Whitewater education

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Create an inclusive environment for student success

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Advance co-curricular experiences

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Deepen a culture of collaboration

Themes

Four themes capture the broad and aspirational priorities of the institution in the next five years.

 

Enhance the value of a UW-Whitewater education

From communication and problem-solving ability, to critical thinking and intercultural competence, our students will develop valuable skills throughout their academic journey at UW-Whitewater that make them engaged citizens and outstanding candidates for careers and advanced education opportunities. We will achieve post-graduation outcomes consistent with an exceptional liberal arts education.

 

Create an inclusive environment for student success

Channeling our core value of inclusivity, we will recruit, retain and graduate students from all backgrounds. We will model the very best “people-first” delivery of our mission, where employees are approachable and responsive, spaces are welcoming, and students feel deeply connected and supported. To meet the ever-changing demands of the higher education landscape, we will adapt our program delivery models to address students’ desire for accessible and flexible programs of study.

 

Advance co-curricular experiences

To parallel our high-quality academic programs, we offer and promote highly effective co-curricular, outside-of-the-classroom programs that enhance the student experience and contribute to learning. We will initiate best practices in advising and support services university-wide to ensure consistent quality across our institution. We will expand our ability to identify and address barriers to students enrolling in, continuing or finishing a program — with the goal of driving students to successful and timely program completion.

 

Deepen a culture of collaboration

Driven by a shared institutional purpose to transform lives, we will build robust partnerships across colleges, divisions, departments and the broader region to collaborate on projects and initiatives, to advance ideas, and to share and grow resources. With people as our most valuable resource, our workplace will serve as a regional exemplar by cultivating positive employee morale and supporting overall wellbeing for faculty, staff and students. We will identify issues and opportunities that arise and address them in a proactive and timely manner.

Action Items

We will realize progress through a series of intentional actions to be implemented as early as possible. The Strategic Planning and Budget Committee is responsible for implementing, reviewing and revising the plans as necessary. Additional action items will likely be developed as we move through the plan.

Student Success

These groups will be charged with developing an institution-wide, collaborative student success network where all community members understand their role in supporting student success and have the professional development opportunities to fulfill that role.
Co-leads: 
John Chenoweth,  Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Kristin Fillhouer, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs 

This resource will provide easy access to student services, particularly those that support progress to academic attainment.
Co-leads: 
Jackie Briggs, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention
Katie Patterson, Bursar 

These individuals will support our students’ goals of academic and personal success.
Co-leads: 
Paul Waelchli, University Libraries Director
Emma Draper, Campus Tutorial Services Assistant Director
Jeremy Lade, Pathway for Success Coordinator 

We will identify a single individual who, in collaboration with advising coordinators and others on campus, will have clear responsibilities for ensuring our advising model uses shared objectives and processes and ultimately supports student success.
Co-leads: 
Jessica Stein, Interim Academic Advising Director
Kristin Plessel, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Each year, this event will highlight successful initiatives and identify further areas of improvement as we increase opportunities for student success.
Co-leads: 
Jessica Stein, Academic Advising and Exploration Assistant Director
Amanda Krier-Jenkins, University Housing Associate Director

We will establish a task force to examine specific student success opportunities. Initially, this group will review registration holds and our student debt trends as we work to enhance student social mobility.
Co-leads: 
Sara Deschner, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer
Debbie Reuter, Center for Students with Disabilities Director

Program growth and development

We will review and improve pathways for students who transition from other institutions — including the Rock County campus — to UW-Whitewater. One focus will be to help students who are completing their associate degree at Rock County along their pathway to a four-year degree.
Co-leads:
Dave Hahn, Assistant Director of Admissions and Transfer Coordinator
Kristin Fillhouer, College of Integrated Studies Associate Dean  

This group will focus on driving growth, innovation, accessibility and a positive student experience for students enrolled in our fully online programs.
Co-leads:
Paul Ambrose, College of Business and Economics Dean
Susan Johnson, College of Letters and Sciences Associate Dean

To reinvigorate our curricular pipeline and create opportunities for interdisciplinary thought, we will hold an annual session to discuss new academic program ideas directly from faculty, students, and community and business leaders. Recommendations from this session will flow through our established academic processes, recognizing this as a key responsibility of the faculty.
Co-leads:
Susan Wildermuth, LEARN Center Director
Zach Oster, University Curriculum Committee Chair

The General Education Review Committee, Office of Academic Assessment and faculty teaching courses in the general education program will meet to establish a clear process for assessing the achievement of learning outcomes of the program, so we can more clearly articulate the educational value of the UW-Whitewater experience (both the Whitewater and Rock County degree programs).
Co-leads:
Jessica Bonjour, General Education Coordinator
Katy Casey, Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning Director

Exceptional workplace and community

This new group will have appropriate representation across employment categories and will work with the Faculty Compensation Committee to help us achieve our goals related to employee compensation.
Co-leads:
Connie Putland, Chief Human Resources Officier
Frank Bartlett, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs 

We will re-envision “student employment” as internship experiences with clear objectives and appropriate mentoring — and articulate the value of these experiences. We will review the student employee pay structure to ensure appropriate compensation.
Co-leads:
Kai Instefjord, Human Resources Manager
Josh Reed, Career Services Director

With transparency and shared purpose, the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, the Faculty Budget Committee, as well as key faculty experts, will work together to help us achieve a balanced university budget that achieves strategic goals.
Co-leads: 
Trisha Barber, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Financial Services 
Mohammad Jafarinejad, Budget Committee Faculty Representative


The Chancellor’s Leadership Council will provide a university-wide collaborative forum for strategic discussions, civil discourse, and critical conversations in advancing the institutional mission and core values.
Co-leads:
Mike Dugan, College of Arts and Communication Dean
Chancellor's Office 

Students, employees, alumni, and the UW-Whitewater Foundation will work together to support the long-term success of our alumni and attract resources that support our mission and the goals of this strategic plan.
Katie Kuznacic, Vice Chancellor for University Relations
Ryan Callahan, Assistant Chancellor and Intercollegiate Athletics Director

Metrics

We will measure our overall advancement on the strategic plan using the following metrics:

  • Degree and credential attainment
  • Graduation, job placement and graduate school placement rates
  • Opportunity gaps in retention and graduation
  • Student loan debt
  • Social mobility index
  • Institutional financial health
  • Balanced budget
  • Employee compensation relative to peers

A metrics dashboard has been created.  Please follow the link here.