Every group who participated in creation of Washington State University’s current Strategic Plan last year agreed on at least one thing: it should be a dynamic document that is fully implemented. As a result, it includes a detailed implementation plan and the establishment of an implementation committee to ensure that initiatives are developed and executed to realize our institutional goals.

I am pleased to announce the formation of the Institutional Effectiveness Council, the administrative entity responsible for implementation of the WSU Strategic Plan. Final appointments to the Institutional Effectiveness Council have been made, and the sub-groups for each theme of the Strategic Plan have begun their work. Links to the rosters of each group are posted on the IEC page. Their charge is to:

  • Coordinate strategic planning implementation, required accountability reporting and decision support
  • Reduce redundancy and increase efficiency, transparency, and accountability among strategic planning, institutional management, university accreditation, and other state and federal reporting requirements
  • Optimize the usefulness of data and reports system wide at all levels.

The Institutional Effectiveness Council will play a key role in the development of an annual report that will provide a summary of our progress towards accomplishing the goals of the Strategic Plan and report on the current status of the 55 metrics included in the plan. To assure full transparency, this report will be made available to the entire university community.

Truly using the Strategic Plan as the guiding document for our institutional decisions is important for many reasons, but perhaps the most important, is the increasing role it plays in the accreditation process.

Traditionally, accrediting bodies have measured an institution’s success and effectiveness based on a template of universal standards and criteria. That paradigm is shifting. Today, accrediting bodies – including the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities that evaluates and accredits WSU – are much more focused on how an institution defines its priorities and then how it goes about addressing them.

WSU is scheduled for its next accreditation site visit in fall 2017. I expect that evaluation to focus primarily on the progress we have made on our strategic initiatives and on implementation of the strategic plan. Immediately beginning to methodically work on implementation and document our progress will give us a head start and, in my opinion, a dramatic advantage two years from now.

If you have questions or feedback about the Strategic Plan and the Institutional Effectiveness Council please email to iec@wsu.edu.