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Strategic Plan Mission, Vision Updated to Support Anti-Racist Agenda

July 2020

President John A. Fry, Drexel University

Dear Colleagues,

I'm writing to update you on the Executive Planning Committee's work to create the University's strategic plan for 2020-2030. As you know, the committee has worked over the first half of this year to build on last year's extensive pre-planning to create a solid foundation, including drafting a statement of mission and vision shared previously. As the work has progressed, the EPC has dovetailed its efforts with those of the Anti-Racism Task Force and, as a result, has updated the mission and vision to ensure they are aligned. These revisions, while still in draft form, reflect a welcome progression to help guide the EPC's work.

Our Mission

Drexel University is an urban research university that unites academics, industry and community to address society's most pressing challenges through an inclusive learning environment, immersive experiential learning, interdisciplinary research and creative activity.  We prepare graduates of diverse backgrounds to become purpose-driven professionals and agents for positive change and social impact in a dynamic and complex world.

Our Vision

To create, disseminate and leverage knowledge, providing solutions for our world

Goals

To achieve our mission and vision, Drexel is focused on six key goals. 

  • Build a culture of problem solving and engage with external partners to create responsible, sustainable solutions that address society's greatest challenges, including improving racial and social equity and the quality of life.
  • Deliver dynamic curricula responsive to market and societal needs and graduate agile, culturally competent, empathic alumni capable of rapid adaptation to changing market conditions.  Support rapid prototyping of programs in response to market needs atop a foundation of a smartly balanced, flexible, transdisciplinary core curriculum that yields a pattern of life-long learning for alumni and attracts students at all phases of learning.
  • Grow basic and applied research that generates new knowledge and impactful solutions. Build a culture of research at Drexel through support, resources and expanded interdisciplinary opportunities that capitalize on research strengths and stay current through collaborations with external partners and strong internal trend assessment.
  • Provide engaging, immersive learning experiences that prepare students with real career experience and an appreciation for the diversity of human experience to empower them to lead purposeful and positive lives. Ensure that all of Drexel's programs include experiential learning opportunities that are both industry and societally focused.
  • Dismantle racism in University policies and practices as a foundation for eliminating all forms of bias and ensuring equitable outcomes for students, faculty and professional staff.
  • Leverage Drexel's unique academic design to serve as a national model for reshaping the relationship of universities to external partners, creating new revenue streams and helping to address the rising cost of education. Centralize and coordinate university-wide partnership development and expansion to build partnerships that support key priorities, including increasing co-op and clinical placements, research opportunities and enrollment.

The process has benefited from the perspectives brought by EPC's 22 members, the co-chairs of the Anti-Racism Task Force, and from a faculty and professional staff survey earlier this year, which helped to prioritize themes and goals to carry forward.  It is our hope that this framework sets us on a course to leverage our strengths and respond to this moment of great societal uncertainty as one of opportunity and innovation in helping to solve the most urgent challenges facing our region, nation and world. It also reminds us to fulfill our founder's promise to make education at the nexus of art, science and industry accessible to students of diverse backgrounds, which will be a core value to help guide the plan.

With this as context, the process has entered a new phase. This summer, the EPC is working to develop the strategic plan through three mutually supportive subcommittees:

  • Integration: charged with synthesizing the above proposed pillars, best practices and data into recommendations for strategies
  • Coordination: charged with aggregating and sharing relevant recommendations from pre-planning and managing inputs in real-time, such as our evolving response to COVID and the Anti-Racism Task Force
  • Analytics: charged with defining metrics to track and test proposals central to long-term strategy, including program evaluation and enrollment modeling

Members also continue to work together on communications and maintaining information flow to deans, faculty and professional staff. I've asked Nina Henderson Provost Paul Jensen and Executive Vice President Helen Bowman, as co-chairs of this subcommittee effort, to work with EPC members to continually update faculty and professional staff moving forward and to invite feedback at key junctures.  

I am confident that the strategies developed will position Drexel well for the decade ahead while building on our founding principles, and we look forward your feedback. In the interim, please feel free to reach out via the EPC comment form.

Sincerely,

John Fry
President