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Westphal Strategic Plan: Westphal For All

The Future of Westphal College

After a year-long strategic planning process, we are proud to share our new strategic plan, Westphal For All: A Vision For Our Future (2022-2026).

The Antoinette Westphal College for Media Arts & Design will actively lead innovation at Drexel University, integrating our creative solutions and design thinking capabilities with the University’s strategic plan, Drexel 2030 Strategic Plan, and support the University through today’s social and global challenges and into the future.

Our new strategic plan for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is the result of an inclusive process that will shape our future as we embark on the next five years. Our process was broadly inclusive and deliberative, reaching all Westphal stakeholders inside and outside of our College. Our six-stage strategic planning framework gathered comprehensive feedback and data from all Westphal stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, industry leaders, community members, and all key units within the University (see our timeline and process in the full report). Our mission, vision, and values lay the groundwork for our future, and our strategies will lead to fulfilling our goals:

Mission

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design’s mission is to unlock the creativity of critical thinkers, makers, and creators who connect ideas and solve real-world problems, transforming careers and lives.

Vision

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design’s vision is to shape the future of interdisciplinary creative practices, equitable partnerships, and inclusive engagement to enrich our campus, our communities, and our world.

Values

Creativity

We believe art, design, storytelling, critical thinking, and enterprise are fundamental to our work and to our society. We prize intellectual curiosity, self-expression, and innovation. We prize academic rigor and experiential learning.

Community

We create diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist communities where our internal and external stakeholders can show up as their full selves and thrive. We value respect and integrity in all of our interactions, encouraging every individual to use their voice toward creative problem solving and positive change.

Collaboration

We celebrate individual ideas and collective strength across disciplines and sectors. We believe in equitable access to resources, tools, and spaces. We actively and intentionally engage in partnerships with our neighbors locally and our industry colleagues globally.

Communication

We value responsible and transparent management and communications, technological advancement, and lifelong learning.

Courage

We make space for experimentation, risk taking, learning from failure, and working at the edges of media, arts, and design.

Identified Areas of Focus

After extensive review and analysis of all feedback and data from our stakeholders, seven areas of focus emerged that shape the goals of our strategic plan. In analyzing this feedback and data, we clearly heard and recognize that diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism must be deliberatively embedded into our goals and strategies. These goals represent ambitious, bold statements that will guide our future work as a college.

Westphal Strategic Plan Pinwheel with seven priorities listed

For each of our goals, stakeholders from within and outside Westphal shared specific ways that each goal could be achieved. Hundreds of ideas were collected and compiled. Our strategies were determined by grouping these ideas into their common elements.

Student Experience

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Enhance the Westphal student experience to create a strong sense of belonging by ensuring all students have the resources and educational experiences they need to launch their careers and engage in their communities.

Faculty Experience

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Ensure that all Westphal faculty are supported, rewarded, and provided with the resources, professional development, and opportunities for continued growth and success.

Staff Experience

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Ensure that all Westphal staff can excel in their roles through the intentional and equitable creation of opportunities for collaboration, efficiency, and professional growth.

Curricular Infrastructure & Innovation

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Enrich Westphal curricula through collaborative approaches, continuous enhancement, and new learning methods that provide our students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Research Scholarship & Creative Work

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Expand scope, reach, and impact of Westphal faculty's research, scholarship, and creative work by leveraging our specialized knowledge and expertise, fostering transdisciplinary collaborations, and developing a robust culture of inquiry.

Identity & Communications

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Elevate Westphal's external presence and internal communications through a visual and narrative identity that articulates its unique value, strengthens community and industry relations, and reflects our values.

Facilities & Operations

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Establish a cohesive and expanded physical and technological presence for Westphal that provides equitable and efficient access to the facilities, tools, and resources necessary to innovate, collaborate, and grow.

Implementation: Putting Our Plan Into Action

To successfully implement our plan, we will create an implementation process that is as inclusive and comprehensive as our planning process. We must leverage our individual and collective expertise and create the time, space, and support necessary to empower everyone to play a leadership role in implementing our strategies.

The College has many existing structures that will be mobilized to implement our plan. These structures will provide leadership and guidance in implementing specific strategies related to areas of expertise and responsibility:

Faculty Caucus

The Faculty Caucus and its standing committees will play an important role in leading the implementation of strategies that relate to curricula, scholastic standards, and faculty affairs.

Academic Council

Our Academic Council comprises the senior faculty and staff leadership within the college. Their role in our plan’s implementation will be to actively participate in and lead the implementation of specific strategies that require coordination among all Westphal departments.

Staff Advisory Council

Our Staff Advisory Council, comprised of professional staff who advise the college on ways to improve how our staff support and manage our operations, will implement strategies that seek to improve our efficiency, effectiveness, and operations.

Research Council

The Westphal Research Council provides support and leadership to all Westphal faculty engaged in their own research, scholarship, and creative work (RSC), as well as promoting collaborative, interdisciplinary research within the University and with external partners, building a Westphal culture that embraces RSC.

Dean's Council

The members of the Westphal Dean’s Council serve as outside advisors to the Dean and act as advocates and ambassadors on behalf of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Members of the Dean’s Council, many of whom are Westphal or Drexel alumni, are senior leaders in a variety of creative industries.

Student Council

The members of the Student Council advise the Dean and Westphal leadership on how to create the best student experience, serve as liaisons to our student body, and ultimately, use their voice to shape the future of the college.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council

Following the lead of Drexel University’s Anti-Racism Task Force, Westphal’s Strategic Planning Task Force unanimously decided that issues surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism are critical to address within the larger plan for Westphal’s future and its surrounding communities. The DEI Council would determine the implementation process for and guide the implementation of Westphal's DEI and Anti-Racism strategies.

Implementing our plan will also require new ways of working together, with faculty, staff, and college leadership:

Dean's Fellows

This new initiative provides opportunities for faculty to enhance their careers through partnership with the Dean’s Office to address relevant topics that have emerged from our strategic planning process. Dean’s Fellows will be given the time and resources to lead the implementation of specific strategies aligned with their expertise.

Ad-hoc Working Groups

We will also leverage ad-hoc working groups to create new teams of faculty and staff who are committed to addressing specific strategies from our plan. These existing and proposed groups include, among others: Graduate Programs and Lifelong Learning, Facilities and Information Technology, Incentivizing interdisciplinary research and teaching, Mobilizing Creativity and Design at Drexel, and Anti-Racism and DEI initiatives.

Measuring Success And Holding Ourselves Accountable

Throughout the implementation of our strategic plan, we will consistantly measure success and hold ourselves accountable. For each of our 46 strategies that have been prioritized for each of our seven goals, the first step we will take is to define what success looks like and identify the metrics that will determine that we’ve succeeded. This task will be undertaken by Academic Council, with assistance from Faculty Caucus, after the plan is published. A public dashboard will be made available to ensure accountability and regular monitoring of progress.

Westphal For All

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University is a dynamic community that seeks to make meaning in our world and transform it through the power of our creative, entrepreneurial, and scholarly pursuits. We have a diversity of disciplines spanning the entire spectrum of the media, performing and visual arts, and design fields. Our unique College empowers the next generation of creative professionals and leaders for the fast-growing $877 billion creative economy.

At Westphal, we never stop striving to be at the forefront of our fields. Westphal's Strategic Plan will ensure that our college leverages its strengths, addresses critical challenges affecting the future of our fields, and becomes a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist college within Drexel University and in our world. Join us in our ambitious work to design the future of our college, a Westphal For All.

Click here to access the full PDF of Westphal's Strategic Plan: Westphal For All