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The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan builds upon the previous five-year plan and establishes quantitative measures for success. In reviewing the 2015-2020 plan, significant progress was made in retention and graduation rates, stronger academic programming and faculty investment, and engagement of students both inside and outside the classroom. The new plan builds upon that foundation by incorporating lessons learned during the rapid pivot to all-remote learning in the spring of 2020, and reaffirms our commitment to equity, so that all areas of our community can embrace it as their own responsibility.
With the formation of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, President Maloney has charged the committee to oversee the strategic planning process this year, while sharing the president’s commitment to ensuring it will be an inclusive and transparent plan that promotes broad participation across campus throughout the year. Input from members of the Worcester State community, on and off campus, will help ensure the strategic plan will reflect a shared vision, common goals, and actionable strategies to guide Worcester State in the years to come.
September 25, 2019
As I indicated at our Academic Year kickoff meeting, we have a busy year ahead of us. We are completing our current strategic plan and will begin developing our next one, even as we begin to implement the RASE Plan. As we look to the future, we are fortunate to be able to build on important work already completed or underway, impressive progress toward the goals of the current strategic plan, and the stabilization of the University’s finances. For this and many other reasons, I am confident the next round of strategic planning will set an inspirational course for Worcester State University’s future and position us to capitalize on opportunities to further distinguish ourselves from other universities in the northeastern region of the U.S.
Provost Lois Wims and I are in the process of forming a 16- to 19-member Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC). Its members will be representative of the University community and will oversee an inclusive process. The SPSC will be charged with preparing and recommending a plan that will help us achieve a widely shared vision for the University in 2025. I’m asking any bargaining unit member who is interested in serving on the SPSC to contact your union representative as soon as possible, who will forward names to me by October 1, as follows: APA, Maribeth Wrobel; AFSCME, Russell Kinell or Joanne Harder; MSCA, Donald Bullens.
The planning process will be coordinated by Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Planning Sarah Strout, Ph.D., and guided by the SPSC. They will receive expert support and guidance throughout the process from Linda Campanella of SOS Consulting Group, LLC. Prior to starting her consulting practice in 2001, Linda served as chief administrative officer and senior vice-president for operations and planning at Trinity College. In addition to being experienced and knowledgeable about both higher education and strategic planning, Linda also knows our University well, having facilitated our last round of planning as well as several other key projects over recent years. In addition to her work with WSU, she recently facilitated strategic planning processes at several sister institutions in Massachusetts.
June 2020 is the target for completion of a draft strategic plan for our Board of Trustees to consider, and Fall 2020 is the target to bring it before the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. In keeping with the strong tradition of shared governance at WSU, the work of constructing the plan will offer many opportunities for community input on iWSUes, goals, and strategies. as well as opportunities for feedback on drafts as the process unfolds.
We will be developing the strategic plan in the context of the Department of Higher Education’s priorities for public higher education in the Commonwealth. At our September 3rd Academic Year Kickoff Meeting, Commissioner Santiago outlined some of the key challenges facing higher education and indicated the central importance the DHE attaches to its Equity Agenda -- which all 29 public campuses will pursue in the coming years, and an initiative that I am pleased to support as a member of its statewide advisory board.
Please take advantage of every opportunity to become engaged in our strategic planning process. We want to consider as many views and voices as possible. This input will help us begin to get a sense of the key iWSUes and themes, as well as hopes and dreams, that will shape a shared vision for the future.
Information about future opportunities to engage and updates will be posted periodically on the WSU Strategic Planning web site. I look forward both to the lively discussion and debate that will occur during the building of the plan and to the subsequent work of achieving its goals. Thank you in advance for participating in this important work.
Barry M. Maloney, President
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) is charged with guiding and overseeing a process that broadly and effectively engages the Worcester State community in developing the University’s next strategic plan.
Julie D. Frechette, Professor, Department of CommunicationEdgar A. Moros, Director, Intensive English Language Institute
Thomas E. Conroy, Associate Professor, Department of Urban StudiesMargaret E. Kerr, Professor, Department of ChemistryStephen A. Morreale, Professor, Department of Criminal JusticeRodney Oudan, Professor, Department of Business Administration & EconomicsEmily Soltano, Professor, Department of PsychologyTanya Trudell, Instructor, Department of Occupational TherapySusan Mitroka Batsford, Associate Professor, ChemistryAdam Zahler, Professor, Department of Visual & Performing ArtsMary Dillon, Clerk IV, Department of Occupational TherapyThomas Kelley, Director, RetentionJohn W. Meany, Associate Director, AthleticsKatey C. Palumbo, Director, International ProgramsLinda S. Larrivee, Dean, School of Science, Technology, and HealthRuss Pottle, Dean, School of Humanities & Social SciencesStacey A. Luster, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Payroll & Affirmative ActionMaribel Mateo, SGA PresidentMichael J. Mills, Alumni Association representativeDavid Tuttle, Board of Trustees representative
Sarah Strout (ex-officio), Provost’s OfficeLinda Campanella, Planning Consultant (SOS Consulting Group LLC)
As meeting minutes are made available, they will be posted to myWSU for review by internal audiences.
To reach the Strategic Planning Steering Committee at any time you may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The planning process should engage all members of the Worcester State community, affording all the opportunity to provide input and feel vested in the outcome.
Sharing information and timely updates in addition to providing opportunities to engage directly in the process.
Determining goals and setting priorities based on what’s deemed best for the University as a whole rather than what’s best for oneself, an individual program, an individual department, or an individual division.
Not every decision will be 100% supported by 100% of participants at the table.
Respect for shared governance, for differing viewpoints, for process, and for confidentiality.
Below is a tentative schedule of opportunities for members of the Worcester State community to engage in the planning process. Others likely will be added as the process evolves. Please check the Announcements and Updates link for the most up-to-date/current information about specific opportunities to provide input and otherwise be involved.
Strategic planning-related data, reports, drafts, etc. will be posted to myWSU, accessible with Worcecster State network credentials
Access internal Strategic Planning Resources
The Worcester State University envisioned in 2020 by the Strategic Plan Committee will be more widely recognized as an educational innovator. Our faculty and staff will be unified behind a model of transformative change in students. Our academic program, which creatively integrates classroom learning with experiential learning that takes place beyond the classroom, will be responsive to the identified priorities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the evolving needs of a complex global community. As a public university grounded in the liberal arts tradition, Worcester State will be preparing well-rounded, culturally sensitive, and socially conscious critical thinkers and problem solvers who are well prepared for chosen professions or advanced study.
As a public institution, Worcester State University embraces the belief that widespread access to high-quality educational opportunities is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Members of the Worcester State community share the following core values:
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