Strategic Plan

Seal

Willamette University Strategic Plan

Goal: To become the Northwest’s leading institution for rigorous, personalized liberal arts and graduate professional education, attractive to students and faculty from across the nation and around the world.


C. Strategic Objectives:

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

The Atkinson Graduate School of Management is committed to providing world class management education to students in all stages of their careers. Regarded as the leading independent school of management or business in the Northwest, Atkinson is distinctive nationally for its integrated, cross-sectoral approach to management education and for its intimate learning and practice environment, commitment to high-impact consequential learning experiences like the O’Neill Student Investment Fund and the Willamette University Angel Fund, and focus of students from the first day on client-based learning activities.

  1. Deliver the highest-quality student experiences:

    • Expand student access to distinctive and high-impact consequential learning experiences to every managerial discipline, adding a consequential learning program in social entrepreneurship in fall 2013;
    • Ensure the AGSM develops skills, knowledge, and capacities valued by employers by expanding the collection of employer evaluations of student performance;
    • Maximize the use of technology to reflect real-world practices without diminishing AGSM’s student-centered learning environment; and
    • Ensure that all graduates depart with a job or a plan for their post-AGSM pursuits.
    Metrics will include fraction of students engaged in consequential learning activities, faculty quality, student satisfaction survey, and two-year graduation rate.
  2. Expand access for bright, talented students who will contribute to a diverse Willamette community:

    • Develop additional strategies to reduce debt at graduation, including enhanced identification of national and international paid internship opportunities and expansion of our not-for-profit internship program wherein donors underwrite student intern summer salaries;
    • Increase the number of students sponsored or subsidized by their employers, and the number of graduate assistantships that provide opportunities for professional development in teaching, research, and administrative settings; and
    • Prioritize endowed scholarship assistance in discussions with prospective donors.
    Metrics will include median GMAT and GRE scores, matriculation rate, international student fraction, multicultural student fraction, gender balance, and median debt at graduation for students with graduate student debt.
  3. Demonstrate the life-long value of a Willamette MBA:

    • Implement a comprehensive, integrated market communication plan that advances AGSM’s brand to prospective students, employers and thought leaders in Oregon, the Northwest, and the Pacific Rim, in concert with the university’s strategic marketing communication efforts,
      • Explore effective and efficient ways in which to communicate the value of the Willamette MBA via social media, direct marketing, sponsorships, advertising, and publicity, and
      • Continue to cultivate relationships with local, regional, national, and international media, positioning faculty as thought leaders in their disciplines;
    • Optimize the Executive Development Center as a pipeline for employer-sponsored degree-seekers and enhance visibility in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors by evaluating, pruning, or improving existing programs while exploring new programs of value to current and prospective client organizations;
    • Support and broadly communicate alumni, faculty, and student achievements;
    • Increase alumni engagement as participants in student career development (e.g., as mock interviewers and mentors, informational interviewers, providers of job and internship postings, resume reviewers, panelists, hosts of company information sessions, and sponsors of career close-up events); and
    • Foster life-long learning through expanded informal educational offerings to alumni, such as the recently launched Virtual Book Club, and through the MBA for Life program, that allows alumni to register for AGSM courses and other learning events.
    Metrics will include fraction employed at ninety days, student satisfaction with career advising, and alumni giving.
  4. Cultivate an authentic engagement with place:

    • Expand alliances and connections with regional businesses, not-for-profit organizations, civic leaders and government agencies, in the context of Practical Application for Careers and Enterprises (PACE), Integrated Management Application Project (IMAP), internships, and experiential electives, and through sponsorship of and participation in local, regional, national, and international events that enhance AGSM visibility for recruitment and employment purposes;
    • Expand efforts to promote Northwest, Oregon, and Atkinson School values (e.g., sustainability, ethics) as essential elements of the student experience by:
      • Ensuring that ethics, cross-sectoral content or context, interdisciplinary integration, and global content or context are addressed in every core course,
      • Supporting service learning projects,
      • Strengthening the Early Career/Career Change (EC/CC) sustainability track and improving collaborations with university colleagues and use of resources such as Zena Forest, and
      • Participating in events that further the regional understanding of sustainability and the jobs associated with sustainable enterprises, providing students with opportunities to explore careers with organizations that value sustainability;
    • Develop strategies to build greater visibility, partnerships and connections with state, county, and municipal agencies, promoting the value of management education among public sector managers and directors;
    • Cultivate partnerships and connections with Oregon and Northwest companies doing business in Pacific Rim countries by:
      • Prioritizing regional and Pacific Rim research interests in faculty hiring,
      • Implementing programming to introduce students to the management of business, government, and not-for-profit organizations in Brazil (spring 2013) and China (spring 2014),
      • Attending annual ‘company treks’ to Seattle and Portland to introduce students to the managers of business, government, and not-for-profit organizations; and
    • Engage actively with regional economic development and start-up organizations, including through the Willamette University Angel Fund program, the Oregon Entrepreneurship Internship Fair and student internships in regional start-ups.
    Metrics will include regional visibility (business leader survey) and number of student internships.