We are pleased to report that we successfully completed our Middle States Periodic Review Report (PRR) this past year and received a positive response from the review team as well as the Commission with no follow-up reports or actions needed until our next self-study in 2020-21.
The PRR external review found that our strategic plan is effectively utilized as an organizational and operational tool that lends coherence to institutional decisions while preserving our principle of distributed leadership, and that we are cultivating an entrepreneurial character and collaborative spirit in the face of persistent and sometimes unpredictable challenges.
We have made significant progress in achieving most of our goals, including those in later phases of the plan. The first phase of the plan was a stellar success, which is a reflection of the incredible work accomplished by the entire campus community. In fact, we achieved most of what we aimed to do across all phases of the strategic plan. I want to congratulate each and every one of you for your many contributions to ensuring that Building on Excellence did exactly as the name suggested.
We are in the fortunate position right now to have a confluence of opportunities related to our next strategic steps as an institution. With my appointment as President and a number of new senior leaders comes an opportunity to reconsider and refine our mission and vision as an institution. In addition, we have been working towards a significant revision of our general education program. The Academic Affairs division will be engaged in an implementation process throughout the next academic year for a program launch in Fall 2018. That these rare opportunities present themselves at the same time to us as an institution allows us to think innovatively and holistically about our mission, which is student success.
Over the course of the past year and especially during the search process, I articulated my thoughts about our mission as an institution of higher education. I am asking the entire campus community to join me in that conversation by reflecting on a draft mission statement that will be posted online in the coming days. I will be soliciting direct feedback from both internal and external stakeholders, including the many shared governance groups on campus, with an aim toward ensuring the statement reflects our commitment to the liberal arts tradition within the context of the emerging demands of 21st century student success.
My office will be working with the leadership of each of the shared governance groups to identify times for these conversations, as well as opportunities for open forums for broader community input. My goal is to complete these discussions in time to submit a revised statement to the Council of Trustees for consideration during their May meeting. Doing so will allow us to pivot quickly to the development of a new strategic plan in the fall, when all members of our community return from the summer break.
I look forward to working with the campus community in planning the next phase of our institution’s trajectory toward remaining one of the preeminent public institutions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
West Chester University, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a public, regional, comprehensive institution committed to providing access and offering high-quality undergraduate education, select post-baccalaureate and graduate programs, and a variety of educational and cultural resources for its students, alumni, and citizens of southeastern Pennsylvania.
WCU's dedicated faculty and staff are committed to preparing students who can think critically, work in teams to solve problems, and respond thoughtfully to diversity while understanding the social and global contexts of their lives.
WCU graduates will be able to: