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Strategic Plan

Willamette University
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
AY 2023-2027 Strategic Plan


Mission & Values


The Atkinson Graduate School of Management is committed to providing world class management education to U.S. and international students in all stages of their careers. We help our graduates acquire life-long learning skills and become outstanding leaders and managers in business, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide by offering an intimate learning and practice environment, an integrated, cross-sectoral approach to management education, and dedication to quality teaching, instructional development, basic and applied research, and exceptional, customized career services.


The Atkinson Graduate School of Management maintains that the purpose of all managerial activity is to create value. “Value” is worth as judged by someone other than the manager. It necessarily entails respecting human dignity, improving the welfare of the community through integration, and acting with integrity and competence. We expect our curriculum, pedagogy, internal governance, service, teaching, research and modeling will lead our graduates to pursue these values.

  • Human Dignity: Treat people as ends and not means. Respect individuals, encourage participation, explore and resolve differences collaboratively.
  • Integration: Seek and synthesize diverse interests, backgrounds, and knowledge. Act in accord with the common good. Foster trust. Pursue social responsibility and sustainability on the part of the enterprise.
  • Integrity: Accept responsibility for our actions. Be transparent and act in accord with principles of substantive and procedural justice.
  • Excellence: Promote excellence, competence, and continuous improvement


Management with Purpose.

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Portland Campus building

  • Initiative 1: Improve Communication Quality

    1. Student Communication

    Sub-initiative: Increase and improve information flows to the AGSM student population


    • Create and disseminate a student survey
    • Review survey results and identify major pain points
    • Implement and monitor survey results

    2. Staff and Faculty Communication

    Sub-initiative: Improve the sharing of internal, operational information among AGSM employees


    • Gather information from employees regarding their communication and information needs
    • Develop a clear structure for sharing critical information with the employee team
    • Create a repository of essential information for employees

    Sub-initiative: Improve structures and practices for conveying concerns and feedback to the rest of the university


    • Build structures that ensure regular flows of information from AGSM employees to the Dean’s office
    • Create mechanisms for employees to discuss and provide feedback on University- level actions

    Sub-initiative: Ensuring that University- level communications are shared out


    • Create communication structures that allow University- level information to be applied at the AGSM level
    • Ensure broad participation of employees in University- level discussions
  • Initiative 2: Innovative Curriculum

    1. Develop and improve processes supporting the program we offer

    Sub-initiative: Achieve and maintain quality of undergraduate and graduate student advising services at consistently high levels


    • Identify advising priorities, pinch points, and solutions
    • Establish faculty and staff advising strategies
    • Onboarding of new faculty and staff on advising
    • Build staff advising resources in the BSBA

    2. Build new programming around the generic graduate management education curriculum

    Sub-initiative: Expand and Refine Undergraduate and Graduate Curricula


    • Develop innovative curricular offshoots to the generic graduate management education model
    • Deepen linkages, e.g. Democratic Institutions, between AGSM and programs outside of AGSM
    • Explore feasibility of new joint degree programs

    3. build out BSBA

    Sub-initiative: Establish processes for BSBA program


    • Processes that ensure student success and effective communication
    • Establish BSBA policy firmly aligned with other schools and offices
    • Launch student organizations for BSBA students, including collaboration with other units

    Sub-initiative: Integration with other parts of campus


    • Develop cross-coordinated services with other units
    • Develop collaborative and innovative enrollment management processes
  • Initiative 3: External Relations

    1. Build new and deepen existing relationships with external stakeholders

    Sub-initiative: Build Relations with companies, non-profits, and the public sector


    • Conduct an environmental scan of prospective companies, non-profits, and public organizations in the region to collaborate with
    • Organize events that bring organizations to campus, in-person or virtual
    • Formal memberships and partnerships
    • External grantors
    • Deepen relationship with state government

    Sub-initiative: Enhance Alumni & Student Engagement


    • Expand electronic professional networking between students and alumni
    • Host Events / Socials that bring alumni and students together for networking opportunities
    • Alumni Driven Professional Development for alumni and students

    Sub-initiative: Enhance Community Impact (AACSB Standard 9)


    • Alumni guest speakers
    • Expand enrollment in Consequential Learning programs
    • Financial wellness programs
    • EDC offering of certificate program in Corporate Social Responsibility

    2. Enhance enrollment

    Sub-initiative: Enhance enrollment in existing joint graduate degree programs (JD/MBA and MBA/MSDS)


    • Standardize joint degree arrangements between academic units, with emphasis on governance
    • Enhance and improve marketing of joint programs
    • Identify complementarities between paired degrees

    Sub-initiative: Certificate and non-degree programs by EDC


    • Develop and implement innovative marketing strategies in the continuing education market

    Sub-initiative: One-year MBA


    • Build market share

    Sub-initiative: Preferred Partnerships with external organizations to enhance growth in MBA programs


    • Build robust portfolio of active Preferred Partners in the greater Portland area

    Sub-initiative: Build enrollments of MBA students from overseas


    • Establish thriving partnerships with universities in China, India, and Iceland
    • Expand and strengthen existing collaborations
Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.