October 18, 2006

Wayne State University's Board of Governors approve 2006-2011 Strategic Plan: President Reid charts ambitious course for university's future

Wayne State University’s Board of Governors today approved a comprehensive 2006-11 Strategic Plan reflecting an 18-month consultative process involving hundreds of people throughout the university community.

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Board of Governors Chair Jacquelin Washington noted that the university administration took an inclusive approach that “elevated the planning process to a whole new level.” “In addition to soliciting input from stakeholder groups, we conducted a detailed, data-driven analysis of the challenges the university will face in the next five years,” Washington said. “This strategic plan is the product of town hall-style meetings with nearly 30 different groups including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community and civic organizations. We are confident that this path forward reflects a shared passion and vision that extends throughout the university.”

Titled “Building on Strengths, Sustaining our Excellence: A Strategic Plan for 2006-2011,” the five-year strategic plan builds upon the university’s nearly 140-year history of providing educational opportunities to students. “Talent is our future,” noted Wayne State University President Irvin D. Reid. “As a university we are proud of our accomplishments today, but success depends upon our ability to equip tomorrow’s students with the knowledge and diverse learning experiences they need to succeed in a global economic environment. The 2006-2011 Strategic Plan creates a road map for realizing this vision while contributing to local and national economic growth, fulfilling our urban mission and building upon our reputation as a premier learning and research institution.”

Included in the strategic plan are five specific goals that provide a blueprint for the next five years. The goals are: promoting an exceptional learning experience; furthering Wayne State’s stature as a premier research university; enhancing the quality of campus life by nurturing a strong and dynamic campus community; promoting University engagement in an urban environment; and diversifying financial resources to support the University’s spending priorities.

Earlier this Fall, in his annual address to the campus community, President Reid delineated proposed tactics to support the plan. First, he mentioned Wayne State’s intention to underscore its status as a nationally ranked research university by, for example, successfully competing for the Clinical Translational Science Award presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He also referenced Wayne State’s commitment to the goal of meeting urban needs, as evidenced by the recent Sept. 28-29, 2006 Children’s Bridge conference on urban children’s health issues and best practices research, and the university’s role as host to the NIH’s Perinatology Research Branch.

To achieve the third strategic goal, enhancement of life on campus, President Reid said the university will continue to refine a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week campus, providing everything from enhanced study areas to retail space. He noted that Wayne State’s investment in Midtown significantly contributes to the revival of the city of Detroit.

The fourth principle of the new Strategic Plan pledges Wayne State’s continued outreach to its urban neighbors and surrounding communities to develop mutually beneficial partnerships for social, cultural, economic and educational enrichment. Wayne State’s Math Corps summer camp, for example, provides Detroit public middle- and high-school students with rigorous mathematics training through peer mentoring and a fun, family-oriented learning environment. The program has achieved unprecedented success, dramatically improving the skills of participants.

According to Reid, the university’s growing presence in Macomb County is a compelling example of Wayne State’s efforts to address community needs. The university also recently established a WayneDirect joint enrollment program with Wayne Community College, expediting the admissions process and reducing application fees for a four-year degree. Wayne State is also at the forefront of spurring economic opportunity in the community with the establishment of TechTown, Detroit’s only research and technology park. Comprising a 12-block area adjacent to campus, TechTown’s community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporate partners is proving successful at providing the support and access to capital needed to nurture high-tech companies for Michigan’s future.

Finally, President Reid intends to build a culture of philanthropy around Wayne State, enabling it to diversify its financial resources and support the University’s spending priorities. Wayne State’s ongoing capital campaign, Wayne First: The Campaign for Wayne State University, has thus far achieved remarkable success raising $334 million of its $500 million projected goal. Wayne First will enable Wayne State to build upon its distinctive strengths and extend its reach into new areas of leadership, scholarship and service. A highlight of the capital campaign has been the enthusiastic participation of Wayne State faculty and staff. In two years, the Faculty/Staff campaign has raised more than $9 million with 2,500 individual contributions.

“Every day we build Wayne State University,” President Reid said commenting on the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. “That is our unique responsibility and our most breathtaking opportunity. Together, you and I determine what this university is and will become.”

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 11 schools and colleges to more than 33,000 students.


Francine Wunder
Phone: 313-577-8155
Email: francine@techtownwsu.org