Outlook Magazine - Fall 2021

The process is part of UW-Stout’s adherence to the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, which values people, management by fact and a focus on the future. In 2001 UW-Stout became the first and remains the only four-year university to be the recipient of the Baldrige National Quality Award. “Our strategic planning process is the cornerstone that integrates the major components of the Baldrige framework, including our approaches to leadership, student and employee success, and operational effectiveness,” Frank said. “For example, through our strategic planning process we have established UW-Stout as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University; created a new leadership structure for equity, diversity and inclusivity efforts; launched substantial technology upgrades, including a new customer relationship management and student laptop program; and grown to 100% of students graduating with an experiential learning experience.” At the beginning of each multiyear strategic planning cycle, UW- Stout also collects feedback from external partners and internally to determine whether changes are needed in the university’s mission statement. The process identified a need to refine the statement to sharpen UW-Stout’s focus on its polytechnic designation. The revision process, which includes two reviews by the UW System Board of Regents and a public forum, is expected to be completed during the fall semester. With FOCUS2030 as a guide, UW-Stout is ready for the challenges of the future.

Chancellor Katherine Frank is excited to see UW-Stout not just move on from the pandemic, but also move ahead, using the lessons of COVID-19 and inspiration from the entire UW-Stout community and our many external stakeholders as the guide. “A 10-year strategic plan encourages innovative, visionary thinking that often doesn’t occur with plans that cover a shorter time period. This type of innovative thinking is of particular importance because we must challenge our traditional ways of knowing and doing to be successful in a post-pandemic environment,” Frank said. The five goals align with a series of Action Plans managed by the Strategic Planning Group, made up of faculty, staff and students. The Action Plans include initiatives for fundraising, inclusive excellence, marketing, strategic enrollment, student retention, employee success, sustainability and academic planning. Each academic year, Action Plan leaders will identify and implement three to five major initiatives. Assistant Chancellor Meridith Wentz, Office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ), called FOCUS2030 a “living, breathing document. This means that we are continuously reviewing our progress, implementing new initiatives, demonstrating agility in responding to changes in the internal and external landscape, and adjusting our strategies to ensure success.” She will oversee progress toward goals by using metrics as measuring tools. PARQ will track:

• Efforts to improve equity, diversity and inclusivity

• Employee engagement

• Employer rating of graduate work readiness

• Employment rate of graduates

• Enrollment and retention

• Experiential learning impacts

• Graduation rates

• Sustainability progress, such as reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions.


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