Guidance to the Strategic Planning Committees

Introduction

The strategic plan framework was created by the university leadership in pursuit of our aspirational statement:

Framed by our nation’s capital, inspired by our namesake’s vision, we the George Washington University aspire to preeminence as a comprehensive, global, research university. 

To develop the details of the plan, we established four committees, each of which is chaired by a member of the faculty. There is a separate committee for each of the four pillars of the framework: world-class faculty, high-quality undergraduate education, distinguished and distinctive graduate education, and high-impact research. There is also a university-wide Strategic Planning Task Force, chaired by Trustee Christine Barth, which includes representatives of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to coordinate the work of all of the pillars.

The entire campus community, including faculty, students, and staff, will have opportunities to engage in the planning process. The committees will offer multiple avenues for community engagement, including town halls, as determined by the committee. Alumni will be informed of the planning process and have opportunities to offer input. Each committee will share progress with the community throughout the year, and provide updates to the trustees at their regular meetings in October, February, and May.

 

Key Milestones

The planning process itself will take place during the academic year 2019-2020.  Key milestones include:

  • September 2019: Launch of the strategic planning process and constitution of the university-wide Strategic Planning Task Force and strategic planning committees.
  • October 2019: Strategic planning committees begin meeting.
  • February 2020: Preliminary draft of the plan presented to the trustees, so that the budget process for fiscal year 2021 can be informed by the emerging plan. 
  • May 2020: Final draft of the plan presented to the trustees in May for their approval. 

The plan itself will cover academic and fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

World-Class Faculty

Charge to the Committee:

A world-class faculty is critical to our aspiration for preeminence as a comprehensive, global, research university.  Our ability to meet the many demands of our research and teaching missions requires a thoughtful balance across disciplines and faculty ranks with a focus on engagement in our intellectual community.  Develop a strategy to recruit, retain, and promote an intellectually vibrant faculty that leverages our history, location, and emerging opportunities.  

The process for determining the strategy for world-class faculty should involve consideration of the following two key elements: (1) world-class tenured and tenure-class faculty, and (2) high-quality contract, specialized, adjunct, and part-time faculty.  A baseline set of comparative benchmarking data will be provided to the committee with regularly reported items on faculty in order to inform the committee’s final recommendations.  The committee’s recommendations should adhere to the structure outlined below, include goals and initiatives by responding to the questions embedded within, and suggest metrics and resources required to achieve the goals.  

 

  1. Principles

Provide overarching guidance to be considered and adhered to in addressing the charge to the committee.

  1. Goals

Based on these principles, and in response to the guiding questions below, establish the goals and define specific initiatives to realize the goals.

  • World-class tenured and tenure-track faculty
    • What changes in our university-wide faculty practices and policies (e.g., startup support, spousal hires, core facilities, teaching loads) would help us recruit, promote, and retain the very best faculty?
    • How do we further engage faculty in the life of the university, and help create a stimulating intellectual environment that attracts scholars to the university, and provides opportunities for our faculty to engage with each other and our students?
    • How do we assess the overall quality of the faculty and measure improvement over time?  How do we recognize and celebrate the quality of our faculty
    • What criteria should we use to determine teaching loads, considering class size, advising, research productivity, administrative appointments, and other responsibilities?
  • High-quality contract, specialized, adjunct, and part-time faculty
    • What criteria should we use to assess the proper balance between the tenure-track faculty and the non-tenure-track faculty, including contract and specialized faculty, adjuncts, and part-time faculty?  How does this balance vary by discipline?  How do we recognize, celebrate, and reward extraordinary contributions from our non-tenure-track faculty?
    • In recognition of the District of Columbia’s remarkable number of professional experts interested in teaching, how do we further engage this extraordinary community of professionals in the teaching mission of the university, celebrate their contributions to the classroom, and make their presence a hallmark of a GW education?

 

  1. Metrics

Determine metrics to measure progress toward achieving the goals for faculty under this strategic plan.

  1. Resources

List all resources required, including assumptions, to achieve the goals for faculty.

 

High-Quality Undergraduate Education

               

Charge to the Committee:

Under the assumption of a residential undergraduate population of 8400 students, of which 30% ultimately complete a STEM major, develop a strategy with measurable outcomes to attract and retain a high-quality student body, and recommendations for the educational opportunities that we should provide to our students.

The process for determining the strategy for high quality undergraduate education should involve consideration of two key elements: (1) a high-quality undergraduate student body, and (2) a high-quality and distinctive undergraduate education.  A baseline set of comparative benchmarking data will be provided to the committee with regularly reported items on undergraduate education in order to inform the committee’s final recommendations.  The committee’s recommendations should adhere to the structure outlined below, include goals and initiatives by responding to the questions embedded within, and suggest metrics and resources required to achieve the goals. 

 

  1. Principles

Provide overarching guidance to be considered and adhered to in addressing the charge to the committee.

  1. Goals

Based on these principles, and in response to the guiding questions below, establish the goals and define specific initiatives to realize the goals.

  • High-quality undergraduate student body
    • How do we define, recruit, retain, and graduate a high-quality student body?
    • Beyond financial aid strategies, what programs, facilities, and experiences should we exploit or develop to attract and retain this high-quality student body?
  • High-quality and distinctive undergraduate education
    • How do we expand our offerings in STEM education to attract more STEM majors and to provide STEM educational opportunities to all students?
    • How do we make the many distinctive educational opportunities available at GW (including the professional schools) accessible to every student?
    • How do we use our location to create academic offerings and opportunities that are available at no other institution?

 

  1. Metrics

Determine metrics to measure progress toward achieving the goals for undergraduate education under this strategic plan.

  1. Resources

List all resources required, including assumptions, to achieve the goals for undergraduate education.

 

 

Distinguished and Distinctive Graduate Education

 

Charge to the Committee:

Our doctoral education and professional graduate education play vital roles in enhancing the reputation of the university.  Develop a strategy to identify, resource, and elevate ten doctoral programs to national preeminence (placing each program within the top quartile of comparable programs), as well as a strategy and criteria for the creation, evaluation, and termination of professional graduate degree programs.

The process for determining the strategy for a distinguished and distinctive graduate education should involve consideration of two key elements: (1) distinguished doctoral education, and (2) distinctive professional graduate education.  A baseline set of comparative benchmarking data will be provided to the committee with regularly reported items on graduate education in order to inform the committee’s final recommendations.  The committee’s recommendations should adhere to the structure outlined below, include goals and initiatives by responding to the questions embedded within, and suggest metrics and resources required to achieve the goals. 

 

  1. Principles

Provide overarching guidance to be considered and adhered to in addressing the charge to the committee.

  1. Goals

Based on these principles, and in response to the guiding questions below, establish the goals and define specific initiatives to realize the goals.

  • Distinguished doctoral education
    • What criteria should we use to evaluate doctoral programs that enhance the reputation of the university, and are, or could be, preeminent given our resource limitations?
    • To what extent should the university support doctoral programs that are not preeminent and are unlikely to become preeminent given our resource limitations? 
    • What criteria should be used to create, merge, scale back, or eliminate a doctoral program?
    • How do we use our location to create graduate programs that are available at no other institution?
  • Distinctive professional graduate education
    • What role should market demand (from both students and employers) play in the creation, evolution, and termination of professional graduate programs?
    • What criteria should be used to create, merge, scale back, or eliminate a professional graduate program? 
    • What unique attributes should a professional graduate program offer to provide a competitive advantage and be distinctive?

 

  1. Metrics

Determine metrics to measure progress toward achieving the goals for graduate education under this strategic plan.

  1. Resources

List all resources required, including assumptions, to achieve the goals for graduate education.

 

High-Impact Research

 

Charge to the Committee:

Building on the work of the Strategic Initiative for Research and the Faculty Senate Research Committee and its recommendations to improve the research ecosystem, the university has established the foundation to support large-scale, interdisciplinary team research efforts, and identified the shared facilities and opportunities that would benefit the greatest number of disciplines.  Develop a strategy for improving research productivity across the university that addresses all disciplines and exploits the unique opportunities available at GW.

The process for determining the strategy for high impact research should involve consideration of two key elements: (1) university-wide, interdisciplinary team scholarship, and (2) university-wide core facilities and opportunities.  A baseline set of comparative benchmarking data will be provided to the committee with regularly reported items on research in order to inform the committee’s final recommendations.  The committee’s recommendations should adhere to the structure outlined below, include goals and initiatives by responding to the questions embedded within, and suggest metrics and resources required to achieve the goals. 

 

  1. Principles

Provide overarching guidance to be considered and adhered to in addressing the charge to the committee.

  1. Goals

Based on these principles, and in response to the guiding questions below, establish the goals and define specific initiatives to realize the goals.

  • University-wide, team scholarship
    • How do we enhance a research ecosystem that supports large-scale team efforts across multiple schools and colleges?
    • How should we support team research to achieve a five-year goal for growth in team scholarship?
  • University-wide core facilities and opportunities
    • Should GW develop facilities to support classified research and actively pursue opportunities for classified research?
    • How should the university exploit the emerging field of data analytics in support of scholarship across all disciplines?
    • In addition to building on our historical local partnerships (e.g., the federal government), how should the university engage with the surrounding technology community, including the new Amazon headquarters?
  1. Metrics

Determine metrics to measure progress toward achieving the goals for research under this strategic plan.

  1. Resources

List all resources required, including assumptions, to achieve the goals for research