In [YEAR] the university launched a strategic planning effort aimed at building off of the successes of the previous plan, Strategy for Wesleyan(1998). This new plan launched in 2005, Engaged with the World: A Strategic Plan for Wesleyan University, 2005-2010, resulted from the collaboration of administrators, faculty, students, the Board of Trustees, and the community. Engaged with the World builds off the work done for the previous plan and prescribes priorities that will guide the institution for the next five years. — Ganesan Ravishanker 2007/04/10 12:10 I would like to edit this one…
This plan is comprehensive and broad-based, lays the foundation for the university’s academic excellence, campus community, external relations, external and internal communications, facilities, finance, and fundraising capability from 2005 to 2010.
Engaged with the World links our institutional goals to the financial planning process by prioritizing programmatic initiatives and incorporating the costs of these initiatives into our long-term budgeting process.
In addition to the financial planning designed to meet institutional priorities identified in Engaged with the World, we have undertaken additional long-term financial planning to strengthen our endowment. Limited budget growth has been built into our financial planning for a 5 year priod (200X-200X), with the aim of strengthen our financial position by reducing our annual draw/reliance on our endowment. Our endowment draw has already been reduced (from XX% to XX% in FY2006-07) and will be reduced to XX% by 200X.
Another way that our planning efforts have been integrated into the community is through our development of standardized employee goal setting. Each employee goal must be linked to one of the institution?s strategic goals, ensuring that employees view their efforts in the larger context. This understanding fosters teamwork and community building, as all employees work toward the same institutional goals.
Campus Master Plan
In 1998 Wesleyan completed a conceptual plan for campus renewal. The plan places a premium on adapting and reusing existing spaces. More detailed planning work, followed by renovations, proceeded on individual projects that entailed preservation of historic buildings at the heart of the campus, including the Chapel, '92 Theater, and Clark Hall. In September 2002, the University hired a master planner, Adam Gross of Ayers Saint Gross in Baltimore, to produce a design for integrating the projects described in the conceptual plan. Individual projects are being sequenced, so that renovations in one place will free space for adaptation in another. We determine the timing of projects their order in the sequence as well as by the success of fundraising. The projects included in the Master Plan are: Center for Film Studies Chapel & Theater Renovation Clark Hall Classroom Renovations Fauver Field Housing Freeman Athletic Center Humanities District Long Lane Molecular & Life Sciences Student Senior Housing Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center University Museum
Engaged with the World describes the directions we are pushing Wesleyan. However, , recent events such as Hurricane Katrina remind us that, we must also prepare for events beyond our control. This lesson has resulted in the on-going development of a business continuity plan for Wesleyan, a plan designed to XXX .
Given the collaborative nature of our planning, Wesleyan has achieved a high level of success at implementing the aims of previous planning efforts. Previous plans resulted in the creation of 20 new faculty positions (Wesleyan Education for the 21st Century or Strategy for Wesleyan, 1998), the containment of student debt levels (Strategy for Wesleyan, 1998), and the completion or implementation of numerous facilities projects, including the Center for Film Studies, Chapel & Theater renovations dormortory and classroom renovations, and the construction of new student housing (Campus Master Plan (1998/2002)). Still early in the implementation Engaged with the World, the university has already made significant progress. Example include: Starting in XXXX, courses will be tied to the Essential Capabilities, the creation and hiring of a Dean for Diversity and Academic Advancement, and the reduction of the number of first-year students carried by academic advisors.
Wesleyan collects a wide variety of data to support and evaluate its planning efforts. Our data sources include internal databases, external data, surveys, and focus groups. Wesleyan regularly participates in a data exchanges with the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE), to which we submit a variety of data about the institution, such as applications, financial aid, salaries, etc., and receive detailed data reports in return. We also participates in the National Student Clearinghouse, which allows us to determine where students transfer if they leave Wesleyan before graduating. Wesleyan’s Performance Indices, comprised of key indicators in each strategic area of the institution, are reviewed annually by senior administrative staff and the Board of Trustees, to inform decision-making and to evaluate the course of the institution. When these indicators point suggest weakness in any given area, policies and practices are put into place to alter the trends in the given area. One example is student satisfaction with course access.
Wesleyan also leverages survey data and focus groups to evaluate how various constituents (including graduating seniors, alumni, and parents) view the institution. These assessment efforts highlight the strengths and weaknesses across all aspects of the university, including academics, student services, and co-curricular activities. Results are reviewed annually by senior administrative staff, as well as by the Board, to inform decision-making and to guide further inquiry The area of Residential Life provides one example of this assessment loop. Data from recent senior exit surveys suggested some dissatisfaction with the services provided by residential life. Focus groups were then conducted to uncover the source of student concerns. Residential Life has begun to implement changes aimed at addressing the areas illuminated in the groups. Future assessment efforts will explore the areas where changes have been implemented to gauge the effectiveness of the remedies employed.
As we begin to implement the strengthened Essential Capabilities, plans for evaluating the effectiveness of these capabilities in building curricular coherence and framing a liberal education are being developed. This effort requires collaboration between the administration and faculty.
Program review is an integral part of our evaluation efforts. Each year, three academic departments or programs undergo a thorough review, beginning with a self-study, followed by a formal visit from an outside evaluation committee. In the past five years, 13departments/programs have undergone review.
Program review has not been used exclusively in academic departments and programs; ???Student Services??? and Residential Life have also undergone review. Similarly, Wesleyan initiated an RFP for dining services as we prepare to open our new campus center in the fall of 2007. This RFP afford the opportunity for Wesleyan to review our campus dining program and the services provided to students.
Course and Teaching Evaluations
In addition to engaging in evaluation of the stategic misison of the university, Wesleyan also encourages students to evaluate their courses and the faculty teaching those courses. Data collected for every course using a standard instrument
Used in tenure and promotion
Used in curricular planning and faculty merit system New on-line administration will allow for more flexible use of data
Possible revamping of instrument in future
Student Learning Outcomes
Key/ essential capabilities Student transcript evaluations Gen Ed expectations
Analysis and Assessment [2.7] Institutional Effectiveness How does the institution determine the effectiveness of its planning efforts and evaluation activities on an ongoing basis? [2.8] Goal Setting for Admin Staff