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Drexel Strategic Plan Updates From Spring 2022

July 14, 2022

Drexel flags and signage in a grassy area on 32nd and Market streets.

More than a year after the start of its implementation, Drexel University’s strategic plan, Drexel 2030 — Designing the Future, has fully formed its six imperative teams and 12 initiative teams, represented by more than 300 faculty and professional staff, and is beginning the work to solidify and strengthen the University and all of its units, practices, programs and people for the next 10 years. 

“It has been extremely rewarding to oversee the strategic plan implementation over the past year. I am continually inspired by the work of the faculty, professional staff and senior leadership engaged in this effort who are working tirelessly to ensure that we are as effective an organization as we can be and be successful in our mission,” said Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, PhD, who is Drexel’s Chief Strategy Officer, Senior Vice President for Graduate and Online Education, Dean of the Graduate College and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies in the College of Medicine and Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology.

“Our community has demonstrated a strong willingness to embrace change and promote innovation to positively impact student learning and success. Executing a strategic plan can be complex, but the positive energy surrounding the work of the teams has been a source of great pride. We look forward over the next year to continuing a dialogue with our Drexel community on our progress towards our shared goals,” she added.

Strategic plan work and updates have been publicized through monthly e-newsletters, a quarterly update and virtual roundtable discussions held once a month during the term. The roundtables provided a two-way conversation with community members that yielded new areas and topics to explore and consider. Feedback from faculty and professional staff both confirmed the need for and reaffirmed the work of the strategic plan. 

A brief overview of some of the topics discussed and worked on by the initiative teams, as presented through its chairholders and key stakeholders, is outlined below.

Initiative Team Roundtable #1: Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning (March 29)

Tri-chairs: Goodwin College of Professional Studies Director of Continuing Professional Education and Workforce Initiatives Kena Sears-Brown; College of Nursing & Health Professions Assistant Dean for Continuing Education, Simulation and Events and Clinical Professor in the Division of Nursing Linda Wilson, PhD; and School of Education Dean and Distinguished University Professor Penny Hammrich, PhD.

Key updates and topics discussed included:

  • Analyzing and leveraging existing Drexel infrastructure for learning program management and operations, instructional design, proposal development and program innovation.
  • Aligning existing lifelong learning programs and developing targeted programs for corporate education and workforce development.

Initiative Team Roundtable #2: Retention & Student Success (April 27)

Tri-chairs: Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Shivanthi Anandan, PhD; College of Nursing & Health Professions Vice Dean for Strategic Operations and Academic Service and Clinical Professor Mary Gallagher Gordon, PhD; and Director of Diversity Initiatives & Community Relations Bernetta Millonde.

Key updates and topics discussed included:

  • Reviewing academic success and belonging at Drexel.
  • Developing a performance metric to increase the undergraduate student persistence and retention to 93 percent and increase the same for the graduate student population by five percent.
  • Investigating avenues for a student success management system.

Virtual Community Update (May 17)

Speakers: President John Fry; Elisabeth Van Bockstaele; Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer Helen Bowman; Executive Vice President and Nina Henderson Provost Paul Jensen, PhD; Shivanthi Anandan; Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success Evelyn Thimba.

Key updates and topics discussed included:

  • Planning for the University’s finances, investments and budget for fiscal year 23.
  • Identifying Areas of Excellence & Opportunity (AEOs) of current strength and future opportunity that would align resources to be used at Drexel to generate revenue and impact society.
  • Coordinating with colleges, schools and administrative units and using a financial data tool called Anaplan for fiscal year 23, as it relates to a revised Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) implementation.
  • Updates from the Initiative Team Roundtable #1 and #2.
  • New organizational structures and practices to enhance enrollment and success, predictability and experience for enrollment management in the next few years.
  • A recording of the event is available on YouTube.
  • You can read through key FAQs from the event on the Strategic Plan’s website related to fundraising, University finances, academic programs, and faculty and student population size, among others.

Initiative Team Roundtable #3: Program & Curricular Innovation (May 19)

Tri-chairs: Director of Inter-College Advising within Enrollment Management and Student Success Michelle Spina; CASTLE Co-Director and College of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor of Biology Jennifer Stanford, PhD; and College of Engineering Professor and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head and Director of the Cybersecurity Institute Steven Weber, PhD.

Key updates and topics discussed included:

  • Defining innovation as it relates to new curricula, programs and partnerships, as well as how they can be implemented.
  • Reviewing and assessing infrastructure, best practices and curricular innovation for undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as teaching practices and methods to promote student engagement and achievement.

Initiative Team Roundtable #4: Undergraduate Online (June 7)

Tri-chairs: Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship Founding Dean and Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurship Donna DeCarolis, PhD; College of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor and Expressive and Creative Interactive Technologies (ExCITe) Director Youngmoo Kim, PhD; and Assistant Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Services within Enrollment Management and Student Success, Mike Harrington.

Key updates and topics discussed included:

  • Reviewing and increasing the competitiveness of Drexel’s various online degrees and programs.
  • Evaluating options for “traditional” students not enrolled in fully online programs to take courses in hybrid and online formats.
  • How to best support online students through proactive advising and technology assistance.

In the fall, there will be additional virtual updates through Zoom events and quarterly e-newsletters to all faculty and professional staff to continue communicating key updates of the strategic plan to the Drexel community.

Interested in providing feedback or getting involved? Want to watch a specific recording of a roundtable? Submit a feedback form or email