Wayne State University has launched its 2022-2027 strategic plan, “Our Moment in Time,” which will serve as a guide for the university’s future initiatives for the next five years. It was unanimously approved by the WSU Board of Governors on Jan. 28.
As a leader in equitable access to higher education and social mobility for its students, a key contributor to the workforce development in Michigan, and an institution renowned for its Carnegie-ranked research and community engagement, Wayne State has a new vision that will build on its longstanding commitment to student success and its deep connection to the city of Detroit and state of Michigan.
“Wayne State has been an anchor in Detroit for more than 150 years, and we’re not going anywhere. Our commitment to the community has provided opportunities for our university to have a positive impact on many people and in many ways — most importantly in providing a world-class education to students from all walks of life,” said President M. Roy Wilson. “We remain steadfast in this commitment to our students, our community and our state.”
The adoption of the new strategic plan comes at a time when Wayne State, and the world, is reflecting on lessons learned from the pandemic that will serve as opportunities to improve.
“The pandemic tested, but did not break, Wayne State University,” said Board of Governors Chair Marilyn Kelly, who served on the Strategic Plan Steering Committee. “We came together as a community to first protect our people and serve our mission, but we also took the opportunity to adapt and grow, and we’ve made incredible progress in moving our university forward. Together, we are stronger than ever. The launch of our new strategic plan gives us further opportunity to refocus our efforts based on where we’ve been, what we’ve learned and where we want to be in the future.”
Developed over 10 months, with collaborative input from across the campus community and beyond, “Our Moment in Time” outlines goals for the university around research and discovery; teaching, learning and student success; outreach and engagement; diversity, equity and inclusion; and financial sustainability and operational excellence. The complete plan is available online.
Key objectives in “Our Moment in Time” include:
- Increase undergraduate, masters, professional and certificate enrollments, with an overall enrollment goal of 28,000
- Launch a campus-wide initiative to recruit, support and further educational attainment of people with partial college educations
- Increase overall six-year graduation rate to 60%
- Increase historically marginalized student six-year graduation rate to 50%
- Launch the university's next comprehensive fundraising campaign
- Advance in rankings for overeall reserach expenditures
- Expand the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement to include campus development of spaces and initiatives that support the wide diversity of races, cultures, creeds and orientations
- Develop new facilities to support leading-edge health sciences education and research
Student success initiatives, including academic support and timely graduation; career readiness; meaningful interactions with faculty, staff and peers; and a vibrant campus life experience, are interwoven throughout the plan.
Additionally, the new plan emphasizes a renewed focus on business engagement, and the role WSU plays in supporting the local and state economy. WSU plans to build upon its unique ability to help returning students — those with some college credit but no degree — complete their education, thereby further contributing to the talented workforce.
“So many of the doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, business leaders and other professionals serving the metro Detroit area are Wayne State graduates. We know that there can be even more,” said Wilson. “A college degree has the ability to change someone’s life, and an educated workforce is crucial to keeping Michigan thriving. Increasing access for those who may not be traditional students is beneficial to us all.”
“Our Moment in Time” builds on the progress and growth achieved under the 2016-2021 plan, “Distinctively Wayne State,” which included significant improvements to overall graduation rates and Black graduation rates, the enrollment of the university’s three largest first-year classes, exceeding its fundraising campaign goals, adding state-of-the-art facilities to campus, and more.