Topic: How does WSU demonstrate that it is fulfilling its mission?
Challenge/Opportunity: WSU pursues mission fulfillment across three primary areas—teaching, research, and service—and in three contexts, which include:
- Reaching for aspirational goals, represented by the subset of metrics in the Drive to 25 initiative;
- Achieving continuous improvement on mission-relevant goals, monitored by the complete set of metrics in the strategic plan;
- Prioritizing activities most responsive to the mission core.
WSU generally strives to perform at the mid-range or above compared to peer institutions, which most often are defined as public land-grant institutions that are Carnegie Very High Research Institutions, have a veterinary school, may have a medical school, may be AAU members, are within 50% above or below WSU’s enrollment size, and are within 100 percent above or below WSU’s research and development expenditures. The Drive to 25 aims to place WSU in the 25 among the top American public research universities.
- The University’s strategic plan is centered on a transformational student experience and a preeminent research portfolio.
- WSU has pursued a set of reorganizational steps responsive to goals of the strategic plan and guided assessments of student learning and student success. These steps have involved Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Information Technology Services, International Programs, Government Relations, and University Communication, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research.
- Public recognition of WSU’s successful mission delivery can be observed in Money Magazine’s ranking of WSU as No. 4 on its list of “The 50 Colleges that Add the Most Value,” making it the highest ranked public institution on the list. Meanwhile, Diverse Magazine recently ranked WSU No. 26 for graduating minority students, and U.S. News & World Report consistently names WSU’s Writing Program among the Top 20 in the nation.
- When necessary, WSU has eliminated, reduced, or re-organized programs, initiatives, services and facilities to protect and improve mission-central responsibilities.
Current/Future Emphasis or Next Steps:
- The Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC) regularly reports to the University community on progress toward strategic goals and mission fulfillment
- Theme 4 of the strategic plan is focused specifically on resources, capacity, and effectiveness of operations in a context of diversity and inclusion.
- Summary reports of student learning assessment are widely shared at many levels of the University, including the regents, to contribute to their use in decision making.
- WSU performs leadership training and has been developing interactive portfolios of indicators that can monitor performance at different levels (e.g. unit, program, campus, institution) and in different contexts (e.g. student progress, research progress, community impact).
- WSU continues to refine processes to enable stakeholders to monitor and contribute to institutional decision making.
For More Information at WSU:
- Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report
- Strategic Plan Institutional Effectiveness Council
- Drive to 25 metrics
- Strategic Plan peers
- Assessment of Teaching and Learning
- Graduate School Assessment Highlights
NWCCU Standards Reference: 1.A.2, 1.B.2