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George Washington University Board of Trustees Approves Strategic Plan

Plan Charts the University’s Course Over the Next Decade
May 17, 2013

Media Contacts: Michelle Sherrard
202-994-1423; mcs1@gwu.edu
Jill Sankey
202-944-6466; jpsankey@gwu.edu


WASHINGTON—The George Washington University Board of Trustees gave final, unanimous approval on Friday to a new 10-year strategic plan that will steer the university into its third century.

The plan reflects the university’s aspirations to provide a unique, rigorous education and to secure its position as one of the world’s premier research universities.

“Great universities are stronger than the sum of their parts, and the initiatives outlined in our strategic plan are designed to ensure that this is true at the George Washington University,” said Provost Steven Lerman, who has led the development of the plan since fall 2011. “I’m thankful for the support of our trustees, and I look forward to working with them as we implement the actions recommended in the plan over the next decade.”
        
Four theme areas uniting activities across the university have informed the plan: innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, globalization of educational and research programs, expansion of programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors and infusion of ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything the university does.

Specific actions are recommended surrounding the questions of what defines a GW education, the goals of GW’s research and how service enhances the GW community.
    
Education-focused initiatives include:
•    Creating a more unified undergraduate educational experience
•    Admitting undergraduate students to the university as a whole rather than to individual schools
•    Designing a new core curriculum
•    Increasing global aspects of curricula and doubling the number of students from abroad
•    Focusing on quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
•    Enhancing post-graduation opportunities for students

Research-focused initiatives include:
•    Creating eight to 12 cross-disciplinary institutes with financial support to fund research in new fields
•    Hiring 50 to 100 new faculty members in specific areas of research
•    Improving the infrastructure that supports research
•    Encouraging applied, translational and policy research that works toward solutions to significant societal problems

Service-focused initiatives include:
•    Developing ways to communicate research results to the general public
•    Making GW a leader in shaping national dialogue in academic strength areas
•    Expanding the university’s role as a model institutional citizen

The actions outlined in the strategic plan will be funded with resources generated through philanthropy, Innovation Task Force savings, additional funds from the university’s academic budget, school-based resources and sponsored research.

Development of the strategic plan began in fall 2011, when Dr. Lerman appointed a steering committee comprising faculty members and senior administrators. The committee defined the plan’s four broad themes and formed working groups including faculty, staff and students to further develop each one. Throughout the process, Dr. Lerman hosted more than 90 forums and town halls to consult with faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and parents.

In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.


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