Western Oregon University unveils new strategic plan

Written by Maureen Brakke

MONMOUTH, Ore. –  Western Oregon University unveils its new transformative strategic plan accompanied by a new mission and vision statement and core values that was approved by the Western Oregon University Board of Trustees at the February 14 meeting. Titled Education. Innovation. Community., the plan charts the course of the university’s growth over the next six years focusing on four key goals which include institutional sustainability, student success, transformational diversity, and community strength.

Western’s new mission statement, pending approval by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, centers on the principles of personalized learning, fostering a sense of belonging, and empowering individuals. The new vision incorporates becoming a model of intentional inclusion and accessibility and improving social mobility and overall life success through focusing on critical thinking and communication skills. The Core Values include Centering Students, Embracing Diversity, Fostering Accessibility, and Valuing Community.

President Peters explains that a strategic plan is both aspirational and inspirational. He says that it sets a tone and provides a clear framework that the university can use to set objectives and make decisions. “This new plan marks a new phase for Western Oregon University. This university has always sought academic excellence, been committed to community engagement, and worked for the success of students and employees. But now we are leaning into new strategies and directions, articulating with greater clarity just what type of institution we plan to be.” 

This new plan is the culmination of hard work by many individuals. Last year, Western established a Strategic Plan Development Team that led campus conversations, gathered feedback through a survey, and consulted with faculty, students, and staff. The University Council and Senior Leadership also provided direct input. The planning began by evaluating the previous strategic plan, Forward Together, paying close attention to its merits and weaknesses. The goal then became to draft a new plan that builds on the philosophies in the last plan but also moves Western Oregon University in new directions. 

Peters shares that the new strategic plan captures the sentiments of the campus community about Western’s strengths and identity while also pushing the university in bold directions. He adds that the new plan grows out of the last plan while more clearly and directly stating who Western is and plans to be as an institution. 

We applaud Western for developing an exemplary strategic plan that seamlessly integrates all facets of the university. This comprehensive approach acknowledges and values the strides already taken in these areas, strengthening our collective commitment towards achieving our goals,” said Board of Trustees Chair Betty Komp.


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon’s oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.

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