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Westphal Strategic Plan: Westphal For All

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.

The Future of Westphal College

Through our strategic plan, Westphal For All: A Vision For Our Future, 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.

Forming our strategic plan was a year-long, broadly inclusive and deliberative process. Our mission, vision, and values laid the groundwork. 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 strategic plan is the result of an inclusive process that will shape our future as we implement our plan and measure our success over the next five years.

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 created an implementation process that was 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 have been mobilized, and created new structures, to implement our plan. These structures provide leadership and guidance in implementing specific strategies related to areas of expertise and responsibility:

Faculty Caucus

The Faculty Caucus and its standing committees 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 is 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 determines the implementation process for and guides the implementation of Westphal's DEI and Anti-Racism strategies.

Dean's Fellows

A new initiative under our strategic plan, "Dean's Fellows," provide opportunities for faculty and staff 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 are given the time and resources to lead the implementation of specific strategies aligned with their expertise and interests.

Ad-hoc Working Groups

We 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

Implementation of Westphal for All is well underway through a broad and inclusive process. Committees and working groups are actively developing and implementing their recommendations to address the 46 strategies within our seven goals noted above.

Our first phase of implementation was guided by eight committees and working groups, who developed close to 100 recommendations to be implemented. Each recommendation is aligned with specific metrics that will determine our success.

In many of our commitees and working groups, the second phase of implementation is now underway -- moving from recommendations to actions. Actions are clustered around the specific strategies of Westphal for All that were identified as priorities. These priorities and the projects currently being implemented are listed below.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA)

  • Hired Inaugural Associate Dean of IDEA
  • IDEA-focused Committee on Westphal Faculty Caucus
  • Requiring “demonstrated diverse and inclusive teaching” in Hiring
  • IDEA Micro-Grants for Inclusive Teaching

First-Year Undergraduate Experience

  • Customized Pre-Arrival Outreach to Incoming Students
  • “Westphal Ready” Programs for First-Year During Welcome Week
  • Year-Round Cross-Disciplinary Extracurricular Programming
  • Expanded Peer Mentoring for All First-Year Students

Co-op Experience

  • Enhancing COOP 101 Course
  • Creating Faculty-Industry Liaisons to Expand Coop Opportunities
  • Expanding Coordination with Steinbright Career Development Center
  • Improving Communications to Prospective Coop Employers

Interdisciplinary Courses and Curricula

  • Baseline Assessment and Data Collection of Current Interdisciplinary Efforts
  • Program Directors Creating Processes for Course Development
  • Faculty Caucus Role in Fostering Interdisciplinarity


  • Created of Standing Westphal Facilities Advisory Council
  • Developing Process to Address and Prioritize Facility Improvements
  • Created Method to Solicit Facility Enhancements
  • Planning Phase for New Westphal Facility

WestphalOne Knowledge Management System (KMS)

  • KMS Software Selected
  • Initial Documents and Content Collected and Organized
  • Phase 1 Launch, June 2024


From time to time, we will update our implementation and measured success section to share more progress. To stay connected to our strategic planning work, subscribe to our newsletter.