The Focus of Work for Academic Year 2006-7

The Board of Trustees has decided to focus the work of the University on six of the action plans noted above because they are so critical to the University’s success. They are:

  1. Building the capacity to deliver world-class mentoring
  2. Defining our enrollment growth in graduate and continuing studies to 2010
  3. Examining the case for a law school
  4. Developing lean, customer-focused support in all University operations
  5. Continuing relocation of university resources to fund strategic plan priorities 
  6. Carrying out a University capital campaign
As we have begun the work on the development of a change management plan for the University, we have found that these initiatives are highly interdependent. Indeed, finding creative ways to exploit the synergies between them is likely to be a critical factor in Wilkes’ achievement of greatness. Support will be provided to each of these action planning teams in the form of a change management strategy, opportunities for the development of team and individual competencies, and the provision of appropriate technical support when needed. 
The Centrality of Support from the Capital Campaign
A critical assumption in Vision 2010 is the development and execution of a highly successful capital campaign. The strategic plan is supported by a planning budget that assumes that the University will generate significant new sources of revenue in excess of expenses, particularly from programs in graduate and continuing studies. The budget also assumes a 15 percent reallocation of the University’s operating budget into initiatives aimed at strengthening the excellence of the University’s academic programs, building its mentoring brand, and greatly improving its technology and facilities.

Even with this self-reliance, the University will still need the crucial support this capital campaign provides to achieve its goal of greatness. Thus this capital campaign will be different than nearly all others in higher education today—the projects proposed below will be directly and meaningfully linked to the successful execution of the strategic plan. The proposed areas of need include:
  • $25 million for a $40 million science, health and engineering facility. This facility is essential to reaching two goals in Vision 2010—1) building a facility that significantly enhances Wilkes’ ability to foster the kind of mentoring relationships in science that are so necessary for training the researchers of the future; and 2) addressing the need to upgrade science and engineering facilities that are operating well beyond their projected useful life. Building this new facility will result in a significant reduction in operating costs as well as more enlightened operation in accord with “green” facility standards.
  • $5 million to renovate the University’s athletic facilities so that they match the excellence of our athletes and teams and operate more efficiently.
  • $5 million for the renovation of the Farley Library to create spaces that foster mentoring and the collaborative learning of today and provide the library with a much needed face lift.
  • $5 to $6 million to renovate on-campus buildings to accommodate a law school if the business case for such a school proves out.
  • $10 million to endow student scholarships to increase access for young people from our region. 
  • $10 million in annual fund contributions to support ongoing operations of the University.
  • $5 million for a faculty academic excellence fund to enhance Wilkes faculty and staff’s capacity to be mentors and to foster the practice.