Strategic Planning in Action

Clay Stoldt • College of Applied Studies

Clay StoldtWSU's College of Applied Studies efforts to align its strategic plan with the university's strategic goals are well underway. Clay Stoldt, associate dean, says the strategic plan has become part of virtually every college meeting, celebrating successes and addressing actions necessary for additional progress. The college is already seeing added value for its constituents, who are being served in more impactful ways.

Stoldt says the plan has required varying levels of effort, but, he says, everyone in the college is engaged.

“I cannot think of anyone in the college who has not contributed in one way or another,” Stoldt says. “For example, our work to increase enrollment and retention by making WSU a more user-friendly experience has been a university-wide priority, and we all play important roles in that process.”

Internally, strategic planning helps determine what activities are prioritized for available resources. And the college is working to modify its rewards structure to better recognize the full range of activities that contribute to the attainment of our university strategic planning goals.

As the process has evolved, Stoldt says, any initial skepticism has melted away.

“Everyone has seen how relevant the strategic plan is to most everything we do and the impact we have,” Stoldt says. “Resources continue to be challenge as we have not been able to do everything we had hoped all at once. However, by realizing the gains associated with the SP activities we have enacted, additional resources do become available to support other initiatives.”

Stoldt declined to name individual strategic planning champions, stressing that their success has been a team effort. He said the process has revealed a number of individuals whose creativity and commitment to the process has been noteworthy. He said the college is living up to the university's vision is to be recognized as the model for applied learning and research by landing several highly prestigious national awards in the past year .

Based on recent developments and progress, the college will be updating its strategic next year. Change is happening quickly, Stoldt says, and the plan must keep pace if they are to maximize their impact.

“My understanding grows every time our steering committee convenes,” Stoldt says. “My biggest takeaway, however, has related more to the university community than the work of strategic planning itself. This is exciting but challenging work, and frankly, a lot is being asked of all of us at WSU. Seeing how people across the campus have risen to the challenge has been impressive, and it's reaffirmed my opinion that WSU is a remarkable community.”