Strategic Planning

Looking to the future.

On a regular basis, a committee comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members develops a strategic vision that informs key decisions in the years to follow.


Current Plan: Innovate. Engage. Thrive.


The Innovate. Engage. Thrive. strategic plan was endorsed by the University’s Board of Trustees in June 2023.  The plan is five years in duration and encourages us to focus our energy and resources on the most crucial issues facing Wilkes University. The plan is built on the successes and lessons of the Bridge to the Future plan (2021-2023) and introduces six key goals essential for Wilkes to flourish in a post-pandemic world:

  1. Advance Academic Excellence
  2. Support Student Success
  3. Prioritize Community, Enrichment, and Service
  4. Promote Innovation and Partnerships
  5. Strengthen Financial Resilience
  6. Optimize Infrastructure
Read Full Strategy Document (.pdf)

Development Process

The strategic planning development process involves two committees: the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) and the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Committee (SLRPC).

The SPC is essentially an ad hoc committee created to develop recommendations for and to draft the next strategic plan. It is comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members to ensure a diverse blend of perspectives and ideas. Several critical offices, such as human resources, institutional research and finance also support the committee's work. The work of the SPC includes providing regular updates on their drafting progress to gather feedback and contributions from the campus community and is completed once their recommendations and draft have been presented to and endorsed by, first the president and ultimately the Board of Trustees.

The SLRPC is the standing committee designated in the Faculty Handbook to guide, support and monitor the implementation of the strategic plan. The SLRPC reports to the president and provides regular progress updates on strategic plan implementation to the university community.

Committee Members

Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)

Strategic & Long-Range Planning Committee (SLRPC)

Additional graduate and undergraduate student representatives to be announced.


Late August

Committee Co-Chairs confirmed: one faculty member and one staff member -  Tom Hamill, Associate Professor of English, and Courtney Lomax, Controller.

Late September

Full Committee formed and charged to complete its work by May 2023, with the goal of submitting the Strategic Plan for approval at the June Board meeting. Committee included 23 members: one dean, two faculty representatives per college, one faculty affairs council representative, one staff advisory representative, seven staff representatives, two student representatives, one alumni representative and one community leader representative.

Early October

A SWOT analysis survey was completed by the campus community including faculty, staff, students and alumni.

October / November

After reviewing data and the results of the SWOT analysis, the Committee developed eight initial themes for the strategic plan, with tentative objectives.


The Committee shared an early draft of the plan (eight initial themes and objectives) with the campus community during three open forum sessions during the first week of December.


The Committee used the feedback from the open forums to revise its work on the draft plan and subsequently reworked the number of themes from eight to six.

February / March

The Committee formed six subcommittees to explore the six individual themes. The subcommittees include the existing Strategic Planning Committee members plus two to four additional representatives per theme including faculty, staff, community leaders, and a financial advisor. The subcommittees each met twice in February and twice in March. The focus of these meetings was to identify and prioritize operationalizable objectives within each theme. Additionally, the Alumni Board was consulted in February.


The Committee shared an updated draft of the Strategic Plan with the campus community to gather feedback during three open forum sessions on 03, 04, and 05 April

The Co-Chairs of the SPC met with the Cabinet to review and discuss the updated draft of the Strategic Plan on 03 April.

The Co-Chairs of the SPC met with the Executive Committee of the Board to review and discuss the updated draft of the Strategic Plan on 11 April.

The Co-Chairs of the SPC met held an open forum with students to review and discuss the updated draft of the Strategic Plan on 17 April.

The full SPC met to review and discuss feedback on and pending revisions to the Strategic Plan based on campus, Cabinet, and Board feedback on 28 April; the Committee also confirmed at this meeting that Jeanne Rabel would transition in as Co-Chair of the SPC upon Courtney Lomax’s departure from the University on 17 May.


The Co-Chairs met with Cabinet to review discuss a newly revised version of the Strategic Plan (as well as an executive summary of the plan) on 04 May.

The Co-Chairs met on final time with Cabinet to review final revisions to the Strategic Plan on 10 May.

The final version of the Strategic Plan (with executive summary) was completed and submitted for Board Review on 17 May.

June / July

Tom Hamill & Jeanne Rabel as Co-Chairs of the current Strategic Planning Committee will work with the President, the Provost, and campus leadership to help determine the composition of the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Committee, which will implement the Strategic Plan. The Committee will report to the President and will also regularly report its work and progress to the campus community.

To ensure continuity from this year’s development of the Strategic Plan into the implementation process, Tom Hamill and Jeanne Rabel will remain in a Co-Leadership capacity, working with David Ward as Co-Chairs of the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Committee through the Summer and into Fall and beyond as the Committee begins its work of implementing the Strategic Plan.

The existing Strategic Plan document (the framing strategies and the objectives) will be mapped directly into an implementation plan, and proposed initial priorities within the timeline of the plan will be identified.

July / August

The newly formed Strategic and Long-Range Planning Committee will begin its work, with the initial focus on prioritizing specific objectives and timelines within the implementation plan.

September - May

The Strategic and Long-Range Planning Committee will meet regularly throughout the year to execute and monitor the first phases of implementation of the plan; the Committee will provide regular updates on progress toward and review of implementation through regular campus communication as well as through consistently updated dashboards available to the entire campus community. This process of implementation, progress reports, and review will be followed throughout the duration of the plan.

Previous Plans


If you have questions about the current strategic plan or the planning process, please contact one or both co-chairs: