CWU News

From the President: Projects on the Horizon for 2022

Barge Hall on the CWU campus

CWU has a number of exciting projects on the horizon this year, and the entire campus community will be involved.

Dear Wildcat community,

I am writing to share several important updates on initiatives that are designed to take our university to the next level, with a special focus on increasing our enrollment and ensuring a thriving tomorrow. We have shifted our admissions strategies to emphasize a relational approach to our work, and we have connected our recruitment efforts to more targeted marketing initiatives. I appreciate the work that our admissions and marketing staff have done in this challenging year, along with staff from Financial Aid and other areas.

This is just the beginning. There is more work to be done that will provide a foundation for our future success. Below, please find a brief description of four initiatives, with details to come.

New Website 

We are in the final stages of partnering with a company that will assist us in designing and programming a new website. This endeavor is long overdue and will be a central component of ensuring our future success. In terms of recruitment, a university’s website is one of the first places that prospective students go to learn more about all of you—our faculty and staff and fellow students. Our website needs to be user-friendly, mobile compatible, and geared toward a prospective student audience. 

Shifting the audience for our website will mean that it will look different, include new and different content, and change how we interact with and conceive of the website. We will form a committee that will be led by Public Affairs. More about this work will be coming soon.

Student Engagement and Success

In order to create a more seamless and integrated process for recruitment, retention, persistence and success, we will be conducting listening sessions to learn how we can implement an integrated vision for student engagement and success. During these sessions, Dean Gregg Heinselman and I will share some thoughts on this vision and then solicit feedback on the opportunities and challenges we face to bring the vision to life, as well as what type of organizational structure might assist us with advancing this aspiration. We are especially targeting all staff in Student Success, Admissions, and Financial Aid for these sessions, but the entire university community, including students, is welcome to join us. Session dates will be announced soon.

University Branding

We have contracted with Campbell & Company to assist Central in identifying a clear brand identity that will be essential in increasing our enrollment, guiding our marketing, and expanding our capacity for fundraising. The branding work will be directly tied to our vision and mission work, as well as to the website design and Student Success listening sessions. As noted previously, it will also be connected to our fundraising efforts. We will be working with a variety of groups at the university for these sessions, including faculty senate, exempt and classified staff leadership, and student leadership. Again, we will have more to come in the next several weeks.

Vision and Mission

The Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan Steering Committee has drafted vision and mission statements that are ready for university and community review and feedback. As a reminder, we provided definitions of a vision and mission, as follows:

  • A vision statement is an aspirational, memorable, future-oriented statement that is big and bold enough to propel the university forward. It should inspire the members of the institution to strive for their dream and constituencies outside the institution to support that dream.
  • A mission statement captures the university’s core purpose and inspires consistent, high quality, and intentional actions by which the vision will be achieved. It guides strategic planning and decision making.

Our goal is that Central Washington University’s vision will inspire our community to dream; our mission will inspire us to action. Interactive sessions to solicit your thoughts and feedback on the draft statements will be announced in the coming weeks.

I appreciate the multiple fast pivots all of you have made over the last few weeks, with a pandemic still ever present, with a significant snowfall that I brought with me from the Midwest, and with purposeful change before us. In times like these, I remind myself that it is our community that will get us through to the other side—together and stronger.

Stay safe, care deeply, and be well,