Frequently Asked Questions
The Drexel 2030 Strategic Plan was drafted against a backdrop of changing trends in higher education and made more urgent by the closure of Hahnemann Hospital and the acquisition of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, the pivot to remote instruction during the pandemic, and nationwide calls for racial equity.
The plan provides a blueprint to retain and grow Drexel’s distinctiveness, to best prepare students for continued success in changing and evolving professions, to support high-impact, use-inspired and translational research endeavors that address the most urgent challenges in society, and to ensure overall efficiency and effectiveness.
The plan, to be implemented during a nine-year period, from 2021 to 2030, will inform priority-setting and decision-making across the University in support of our mission, vision and imperatives.
In 2018, Drexel leadership launched a pre-planning process and began assessing goals and structure. In 2019, an Executive Planning Committee (EPC), chaired by President John Fry and consisting of leadership across academic and administrative units, was created to oversee the strategic planning process. In December 2020, EPC member, Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, was named chief strategy officer and she assembled a CORE team of representatives from across the University to manage implementation.
Incorporating broad input from across the University, as well as analysis of peer institutions, demographic trends and broader challenges facing society, the EPC identified strategic priorities for the plan. In 2020, planning was adjusted and expedited in response to the pandemic and increased anti-racism efforts in society. Since 2021, members of the Drexel community have been invited to participate on the various implementation teams to share their experience and expertise in strategic areas.
The plan seeks to maintain and grow Drexel’s success, impact, visibility, reputation and distinctiveness during a time of change and disruption in student demographics, consumer attitudes toward higher education, employer hiring trends and societal challenges that require research-focused and more transdisciplinary solutions. As always, student success will continue to remain Drexel’s central focus.
Overall, as primary areas of focus, Drexel seeks to continue to pursue and grow: 1) enrollment success; 2) efficiency and effectiveness in mission delivery; and 3) new markets and diversification of revenue.
To achieve those goals across academic and administrative units, twelve initiative teams have provided recommendations which are to be prioritized by related unit area owners and operational leads in collaboration with the Drexel 2030 CORE team. Further, Drexel has identified goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) around six imperatives which will help us measure progress.
Drexel’s commitment to diversity, access and inclusion will be thoroughly considered and represented in all components of the plan.
Members of the Executive Planning Committee (EPC) are responsible for overseeing plan development and implementation. In December 2020, EPC member, Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, was named chief strategy officer and she assembled a CORE team of representatives from across the University to manage implementation, overseeing a set of twelve initiative teams in three primary areas of focus: 1) enrollment success; 2) efficiency and effectiveness in mission delivery; and 3) new markets and diversification of revenue. Each team will examine and deliver recommendations in more refined initiative areas. Learn more about the implementation structure.
Multiple teams of faculty, professional staff and administrators are working together to execute the plan, ensuring representation and incorporating input from all areas of the University. Our implementation approach is structured to foster cross-collaboration, idea sharing and integration of knowledge, while maintaining agility and flexibility. Connecting related initiatives together, team chairs will collaborate to ensure alignment and integration for each of the key focus areas.
Members of implementation teams have been working over the course of two years to plan and ideate the path toward strategic goals, including development of strategic initiatives, resources and budgeting, and development of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and measure progress. We are currently in the action phase in which strategic priorities are being prioritized for implementation so that we can measure progress and optimize our future state.
Each of the teams are at various stages of the implementation process. Most teams have presented their recommendations and are working with related unit area owners, consisting of senior leadership, and operational leads to prioritize recommendations for implementation and track and measure progress. Others have passed on their recommendations which are in various stages of implementation within area owner units.
While some teams are continuing their work, others are pausing for next steps or serving in a consulting role. Some team members are also engaged in related University-wide initiatives. Generally, we welcome as much engagement and participation as possible from team members; however, we understand and respect that often this work is completed on top of our regular job responsibilities.
The most recent plan, Transforming the Modern Urban University, was initiated in 2012 and evaluated, updated and refreshed beginning in 2015. In addition to identifying goals for and investments in student recruitment and success, teaching and research, that plan introduced and expanded aspirations including innovation districts and civic engagement.
The Drexel 2030 plan evaluates and builds upon objectives that were introduced and strengthened during the previous plan. The new plan also explicitly establishes racial justice, diversity and inclusion as key measures of success across the University. Prior to the historic movements of 2020, Drexel was already focused on diversity and inclusion in its planning, however the work of the University’s Anti-Racism Task Force has been broadening the scope of those efforts. Additionally, Drexel’s dedication to sustainability will be considered to ensure a responsible and continued stewardship of resources.
Drexel is committed to a strategic plan implementation process that is dynamic and transformative, with potential for broad input that draws on expertise from within and outside of the University. To that end, as it has for other initiatives, Drexel may engage consultants and advisors to obtain an objective, third-party perspective on specific implementation activities. At every stage, Drexel will retain full control of implementing the strategic plan.
Projects such as the University Advisory Committee (UAC) on Academic Structure and feasibility studies, Areas of Excellence and Opportunity (AEOs), Campus Master Plan, five-year program to achieve financial stability and margin improvement, mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, Climate Action Plan (CAP), and others all include representation from and partnership with the Drexel 2030 strategic plan. Each of these initiatives aligns with one or more of the three focus areas of the strategic plan: driving enrollment success; efficiency and effectiveness in mission delivery; and new markets and diversification of revenue sources.
A procedurally fair, rigorous and transparent strategic initiative funding process has been developed as part of the Drexel 2030 strategic plan implementation. Individuals or teams with a strategic initiative that aligns with the Drexel 2030 strategic plan and requires funding should review the strategic initiative funding process and frequently asked questions. Strategic initiatives should be innovative, impactful and relate to one or more of the Drexel 2030 imperatives.