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.
Deliver the highest-quality student experiences, expanding opportunities for all students to:
- Partake of a continuum of rigorous academic and co-curricular experiences that foster lifelong learning and personal growth, and develop skills and capacities attractive to employers and to graduate and professional schools;
- Engage personally with outstanding faculty and staff committed to student success, including individualized academic advising, support, and guidance throughout their Willamette experience;
- Graduate on time: Full-time students complete degrees within the allotted time (e.g., four years for a bachelor’s degree); or, through Willamette’s joint degree programs, earn two degrees in less time than two separate degree programs would require; and
- Graduate with a considered plan for their immediate post-Willamette pursuits, whether a career, enrollment in graduate or professional school, or a volunteer service post such as in the Peace Corps.
Expand access for bright, talented students who will contribute to a diverse Willamette community:
Recognizing that every student benefits enormously from engagement with a diverse community of academically-talented peers who also may be gifted in other ways (art, music, athletics, leadership), and that a number of prospective students who are most likely to benefit from and contribute to this learning community cannot afford the full cost of their educations, we must:
- Apply financial aid resources strategically to comport with established goals;
- Increase endowed scholarship support; and
- Develop other strategies to reduce student debt at graduation.
Demonstrate life-long value:
Our continued vitality requires us to better articulate the value of a Willamette degree to prospective students and others, including employers, and to strengthen our ties with alumni and others who share our values and will support our mission. To that end, we will:
- Support and promote the achievements of faculty, students and alumni;
- Develop strong, life-long institutional connections across all alumni groups, fostering an actively-engaged and committed community of alumni of every age; and
- Develop a distinctive Willamette brand based on these strategic elements and appropriate for all four of the university’s colleges and schools, and advance it via a comprehensive marketing plan.
Cultivate an authentic engagement with place:
Capitalizing on its strong historic and current institutional connections to Salem and Portland, the Willamette valley, area tribes, the state of Oregon, the Northwest region and the Pacific Rim (including both Asia and Latin America) establish Willamette as the independent university most engaged with the Northwest.
- Enhance integration of the distinctive artistic, historical, political, cultural and natural elements intrinsic to the Northwest into curricular and co-curricular experiences;
- Expand the number and variety of university partnerships and projects with local and regional government agencies, businesses and non-profits, fostering mutually-beneficial long term relationships between these organizations and Willamette and creating leadership and learning opportunities; and
- Demonstrate, in ways that are authentic to Willamette, an enduring commitment to the principles of sustainability.