Strategic plan introduced to make WT 'first-of-its-kind institution'

West Texas A&M University today released a five-year strategic plan designed to guide the University to becoming a pioneering Regional Research University.

The strategic plan — The Pioneering Spirit: Pursuit of WT 125 — emphasizes WT’s distinctive focus on the people and places of the Panhandle region and will help enact the mission laid out in 2019 in the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

“WT 125 is a comprehensive plan that serves as a compendium for guiding the University’s path forward,” said University President Dr. Walter Wendler. “Our strategic plan details the very steps we are taking to attain our goals.”

"By 2035, when WT reaches its 125th anniversary, the University plans to attain doctoral-granting institutional status in the Carnegie classifications of universities. With The Pioneering Spirit, WT will reach its overarching goal of becoming a first-of-its-kind institution, said Dr. Neil Terry, executive vice president and provost.

“We are aware of the numerous challenges ahead for higher education,” Terry said. “The WT faculty, staff and student leaders have worked with the administration to create a strategic plan that is responsive to the distinctive needs of the Panhandle. Units across campus will work together to support the seven goals laid out in our strategic plan.”

The University’s core values — Academic freedom, Service, Pragmatism, Innovation, Respect and Engagement, or ASPIRE — are grounded in the bedrock of the Texas Panhandle, Wendler said.

“These values are reflective of, inspired by and responsive to the people we serve, regardless of background, family history, personal beliefs or aspirations. Serving the region with distinction is what WT does,” Wendler continued. “By becoming a Regional Research University, students and faculty will make a difference — every day — by working on projects that matter to the region.”

The plan lays out seven goals, each with several strategies that will guide University leaders:

Goal One: Enhance the academic experience of all students
Goal Two: Become a Regional Research University
Goal Three: Increase University enrollment through student recruitment and degree attainment
Goal Four: Enhance the digital experience
Goal Five: Enhance the campus experience
Goal Six: Strengthen existing and create new strategic relationships
Goal Seven: Meet the employment needs of the Texas Panhandle and beyond

Strategies and objectives are set out for every goal, each with the common commitment to serving the Panhandle region first and then the world.

Objectives include improving retention and graduation rates, implementing a diversity education certificate program, utilizing open educational resources, increasing the intellectual contribution of University faculty, implement a technology-rich learning environment, bolstering partnerships across The Texas A&M University System and elsewhere in the education community, and more.

“Serving locally first is a commitment WT stands by when it comes to the top 26 counties of Texas,” Wendler said. “The authenticity of WT’s commitment will serve as a magnet for people from other regions in the State of Texas and other states across the nation.”