During the past few years, the university has engaged in significant work to better understand the national, state and regional conditions that impact our work and our future. One of the most notable efforts has been the drafting of an academic master plan that provides a roadmap, focused on academic excellence, for our new strategic plan. Through Engage West!, we now have an updated university vision, mission and strategic plan to guide our sustainable growth through 2020.

A working team assembled in July 2013 to update the vision, mission and strategic plan and extend goals and objectives into the next six years. In the first phase, the team reviewed the significant work already reflected in the existing UWG and University System of Georgia strategic plans, the academic master plan, the campus master plan, reports from other internal work groups, reviews of peer and aspirant institutions and the development of key performance indicators.

Using this information, the team began its second phase of work by developing a draft strategic plan. It then sought feedback from various internal groups -- including students, senior leadership, faculty, staff and alumni -- as well as key external constituencies, such as the UWG Foundation Board of Trustees.

The team conducted open forums, town hall presentations and numerous small group discussions and sought feedback through e-mail. The collected comments identified missing elements, influenced certain priorities, and provided a broad-based consensus for the final plan.

In the final phase, team members revised the strategic plan before presenting a final version to the internal and external stakeholders and, finally, to the University's System of Georgia's Board of Regents, which approved the plan in August 2014.

For more information on Engage West!, please visit westga.edu/engagewest.