A Strategic Plan for Illinois Wesleyan University
Executive Summary

Goals and Strategies

I. Teaching and Learning
II. Student Development
III. Human Resources
IV. Diversity
V. Identity
VI. Financial Resources

I. Teaching and Learning Goal: Augment teaching and learning resources to match our increased student body size, emerging curricular directions, and evolving student expectations.

Strategy A: Strategic Planning for the Curriculum. Beginning with a review of both curricular offerings and faculty resources, devise and implement a plan to develop and refine the curriculum and to increase faculty and support resources in such a way as to advance the mission and vision of the university.

Strategy B: Enhancing Support for Student Learning. Strengthen and integrate academic advising and other academic and student support structures to enhance student learning inside and outside of the classroom.

Strategy C: Strengthening Teaching. Foster innovative and intellectually challenging teaching practices that actively engage students’ critical and creative faculties and that address their diverse needs, backgrounds, and ambitions.

Strategy D: Supporting Scholarly and Artistic Achievement. Recognizing the interdependence of teaching and research and the multiplicity of relationships between them, strengthen and expand the existing support structures for scholarship and artistic production, develop new initiatives to promote a rigorous scholarly and creative environment, and foster productive cooperation between teaching and research in and outside of the classroom.

Strategy E: Improving the Writing Program. Reform and improve the all-University writing program, with particular attention to issues of staffing, training, consistency, quality, and faculty incentives in Gateway Colloquium and Writing Intensive courses (or courses that replace them in a reformed program).

Strategy F: Addressing Faculty Time Pressures. Find flexible, fiscally responsible ways to free up faculty time for teaching, scholarly and artistic activity, and service (with a longer-term goal of faculty course load reduction in mind), while maintaining or improving the quality of instruction at IWU.

II. Student Development Goal: Enhance the campus environment so as to foster students' intellectual, social, ethical, and personal development.

Strategy A: Developing a Seamless Learning Environment. Create a student affairs co-curricular sequence based on developmental outcomes that coordinates with the academic program and addresses student development issues (including, but not limited to leadership development, presentation skills, resume and other professional writing skills, and personal finance) from matriculation to graduation.

Strategy B: Achieving Holistic Student Wellness. Establish a comprehensive program that provides opportunities for students to learn about and practice physical, emotional, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, and social wellness.

Strategy C: Supporting Student Development throughout College. Enhance the undergraduate experience by bringing together academic and co-curricular experiences that address new student orientation, transitions, and the ongoing advisement of students in all spheres of their growth and development.

Strategy D: Encouraging Community Involvement. Infuse the values of citizenship, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and globalization into our community at Illinois Wesleyan University. Create environments that encourage students to step out of their comfort zones, gain appreciation for difference, and become active in their communities.

Strategy E: Strengthening Student-Alumni Relationships. Establish and develop a program that brings students and alumni together in cooperative projects, tutoring relationships, and personal and professional networking, increasing the effectiveness and successes of current students while engaging alumni to maintain a participatory role in the University.

III. Human Resources Goal: Strengthen support for faculty and staff in their respective roles and create a community in which all are valued and encouraged to reach their potential.

Strategy A: Conducting Ongoing Workload Analyses. After first conducting careful analyses of individual faculty and staff workloads, develop and implement an equitable and efficient distribution of their workloads, consistent with the vision and mission of the University, then devise and implement an on-going program to review and adjust the workload distribution in order to match the evolving needs of the University.

Strategy B: Allocating Human Resources. Adjust the allocation of human resources to both address the needs of critical campus functions that are understaffed and accommodate the staffing needs of new IWU mission priorities, such as diversifying and internationalizing the campus and creating a sustainable campus.

Strategy C: Structuring Compensation Systems. Structure the compensation system for all IWU employees to achieve the dual goal of rewarding them fairly and providing incentives to be productive members of the University community; as part of this effort, work to ensure that the benefit system remains a priority and is competitive.

Strategy D: Emphasizing Professional Development. Devise and implement comprehensive professional development, orientation, and training programs for all segments of the University.

Strategy E: Achieving Faculty and Staff Wellness. Strengthen proactive wellness programs and identify and respond to evolving wellness needs of faculty and staff across campus.

Strategy F: Enhancing Internal Communication. Continue to develop transparent communication channels among all members of the IWU community in a way that increases operational efficiency and encourages respectful interactions among all University constituencies.

IV. Diversity Goal: Increase and sustain diversity among students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees; with a special focus on attaining “critical masses” from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, create a welcoming, inclusive, multicultural campus where all community members appreciate and respect the diversity of the nation and the world. (Endorsed by the SPSC and the IWU Board of Trustees, Spring 2004; first progress report on this goal presented by President Wilson to the Trustees in May 2005.)

Strategy A: Developing a Commitment. Develop a campus-wide commitment to diversity as an institutional priority and foster the sustained community will to achieve the University’s diversity goals.

Strategy B: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body. Use strong, persistent, and culturally specific practices to recruit and retain a diverse student body, with emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity.

Strategy C: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty and Staff. Recruit and retain a diverse faculty, Cabinet, and staff, with emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity.

Strategy D: Developing and Sustaining a Welcoming Campus Climate. Develop and sustain a campus climate that welcomes diversity and multiculturalism and stresses their essential role in maintaining the quality of IWU’s educational programs.

Strategy E: Involving Diverse Constituencies. Promote and strengthen the involvement of diverse groups of alumni, friends, and community leaders in the life of their University.

V. Identity Goal: Articulate a shared understanding of Illinois Wesleyan’s identity as a residential liberal arts college with professional schools and programs.

Strategy A: Developing a Shared Understanding of Identity. To lead to a more unified understanding of our identity as a community and as an institution, undertake a serious discussion among faculty, staff and students to locate points of intersection and to establish a shared understanding of the university's present identity and the identity to which it aspires, as articulated in the University's Mission and Vision Statements; such discussion at the department, program, and school levels should clarify their contributions to the aspired identity as well as define "fine teaching" and "rigorous scholarship/ discovery and creation of knowledge and art" as they pertain to the institution's internal identity.

Strategy B: Conducting Identity Research. Use research to identify and explore identity issues and to form the foundation for an Identity Communications Program.

Strategy C: Crafting an Identity Communications Program. Using a collaborative, inclusive effort involving all key IWU internal constituencies, develop and implement an Identity Communications Program that addresses all key IWU audiences, both internal and external; the Program should include specific channels to reach each of these audiences and identification of individuals or departments within the University who will be responsible for communicating with these audiences.

Strategy D: Identifying Core Messages. Using the data collected from internal and external audiences, craft a set of core messages used throughout all University communications, including communications from departments and from individuals representing the University, as well as internal/external channels such as the University website, publications, media relations activities, and internal communications.

Strategy E: Focusing on Critical Communications Channels. Because of their disproportionately greater impact in reaching many of the University’s key audiences, devote special attention within the Identity Communications Program to the University website, the media relations program, and internal communications.

VI. Financial Resources Goal: Maximize Illinois Wesleyan’s financial base and focus the use of financial resources on supporting strategic goals.

Strategy A: Increasing Financial Support. Increase and balance fundraising to strengthen the endowment, maintain/enhance both human and physical capital, and support current operations.

Strategy B: Identifying Benchmarks and Measuring Progress. Establish financial benchmarks or measures to gauge the University’s progress against internally established milestones and appropriate comparison schools.

Strategy C: Managing Tuition and Financial Aid. Design tuition and financial aid policies that permit us to generate needed revenues, to be accessible for qualified applicants, and to recruit a strong and diverse student body.

Strategy D: Using Existing Resources Strategically. Systematically review resource allocations to ensure resources are being expended in the most cost-effective manner and consider adjustments in support of the University's strategic goals.

Strategy E: Conserving and Preserving. Adopt effective conservation and renewal programs to control operating costs, promote environmental sustainability, and preserve our physical assets in a sound fiscal manner.

Strategy F: Presenting Financial Information Transparently. Engage the entire Illinois Wesleyan community in the financial budgeting process by sharing financial information in a transparent manner that helps all users understand both our financial resources and our constraints.