Whitworth 2021

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Vision: Whitworth 2021

Vision Statement

Whitworth University will deepen its commitments to academic excellence and the integration of Christian faith and learning, equipping graduates to respond to God's call on their lives with intellectual competence, moral courage and deep compassion. Expanded student opportunities for experiential learning, intercultural engagement and postgraduate preparation will elevate Whitworth's standing as one of the finest Christian liberal arts universities in the country.

Vision Narrative: Whitworth in 2021

Educational Programs

Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Demonstrating a commitment to comprehensive and sustainable excellence, Whitworth will stabilize its full-time, matriculated day enrollment at approximately 2,300 students. The living and learning environment on campus will be enriched by a student body that increasingly reflects the racial/ethnic diversity of the U.S. population, that includes 50 percent of its members from outside the state of Washington, and that welcomes at least 100 international students from among 30 or more countries. Continued growth in student demand, coupled with focused financial-aid strategies and new initiatives to attract high-achieving students, will enable the university to achieve admissions goals for academic quality (measured in part by an average SAT of 1850 and average GPA of 3.75) and demographic profile, and to enroll students who embrace and advance Whitworth's unique mind-and-heart mission.

Whitworth will offer a rigorous general education core, grounded in the liberal arts and explored through the lens of Christian faith, that provides an excellent foundation for approximately 50 academic majors located in the School of Business, School of Education, and the newly formed College of Arts and Sciences. Where appropriate to address competitive or educational objectives, academic programs will achieve and/or sustain the highest level of accreditation in their disciplines. While strengthening intellectual vitality across the campus, the university will place special emphasis on supporting interdisciplinary programs and scholarship and on enhancing quality and capacity in biology, chemistry, health sciences and business. Excellence will be sustained and strengthened in programs that bring national recognition to the university, such as education, forensics (debate), intercollegiate athletics, journalism, music and theology.

Graduate Programs
Whitworth will be the university-of-choice in its market for graduate programs in business, education and theology. Sustained enrollment growth will be achieved through innovation in the scope and format of existing programs, and by strategic expansion into academic areas that advance Whitworth's mission and that demonstrate high market demand.

Continuing Studies Programs
Whitworth will elevate its position as the recognized leader for bachelor's degree programs serving non-traditional learners in the Inland Northwest. Continuing Studies will continue to increase its enrollment at an average rate of 5 percent or more per year. Planned growth will be achieved through expansion of program offerings and strategic development of off-site locations that meet market demand and fit well with Whitworth's educational mission.

Effective Teaching and Learning
Whitworth will deepen connections to the liberal arts across the curriculum and will strengthen students' understanding of a liberal arts education integrated with Christian faith and character development as uniquely designed to encourage lifelong learning, principled leadership, and meaningful service to society and one's profession. Informed by the latest developments in neuroscience and learning technology, Whitworth will implement a vision for teaching and learning in the 21st century that encourages robust intellectual engagement between and among students and faculty and that expands experiential learning opportunities such as internships, service learning, research, and study abroad. By 2021, Whitworth will rank among the top ten master's-level universities in the U.S. in study-abroad participation, with at least 70 percent of its traditional undergraduates participating in cross-cultural study experiences.

Student Life
Partnering with Academic Affairs in the educational enterprise, the Student Life program will continue to emphasize whole-student development. The institution-wide emphasis placed on student responsibility in the context of community will equip students to be good decision-makers, and not just good rule-followers. Rich and varied leadership experiences will cultivate in students leadership skills, community commitment, and a sense of citizenship. As a meaningful extension of the university's mission to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity," expanded community engagement programs will enable a growing number of students to participate in off-campus service and to deepen their understanding of our corporate commitment to the common good.

Residence Life
By 2021, at least 70 percent of traditional undergraduate students will live in university residence halls, theme houses or international centers. Higher residency rates elevate students' academic and social outcomes and will contribute to freshman-to-sophomore retention rates of 90+ percent and six-year graduation rates of 80+ percent. A broader age mix of students living on campus will strengthen peer leadership and commitments to shared community values that shape Whitworth's distinctive campus culture.

The university will empower a mission-driven educational program that cultivates in students, faculty, staff, and trustees the capacity to work effectively across multiple dimensions of human diversity. Whitworth will achieve and sustain a level of excellence that emphasizes the deep truth, love and grace of the Gospel, contributing to an inclusive and diverse community and a thriving environment for learning, working, and living. Initially, special emphasis will be placed on issues of intercultural competency and equity related to gender, race and ethnicity. Whitworth will make steady progress toward achieving gender parity and reflecting the racial/ethnic diversity of the U.S. population among its employees.

Spiritual Life
Whitworth will equip all students to explore, discern and respond to God's call on their lives. In a continuing effort to support the spiritual health and development of all members of the campus community, the university will expand the number and variety of small groups available to students for faith exploration and growth, and will engage students, faculty and staff in formal and informal worship and in community service and outreach. As a function of its educational and theological identity, Whitworth will nurture a community of scholars and staff members from diverse Christian faith traditions and will welcome and respect all students, regardless of faith background, who seek to join our community.

University Resources

Faculty and Staff
Whitworth's dedicated faculty and staff members will be unwavering in their commitment to the centrality of Christ and the authority of scripture and in their commitment to the integration of faith and learning. Professors will be known regionally and nationally for excellent teaching and scholarship. A strong belief that the best education occurs in the context of relationship and community will be reflected in maintaining a low student-faculty ratio (13-to-1 using U.S. News methodology and 17.5-to-1 using internal methodology). The university will benefit from 10 endowed chairs or professorships, 10 faculty research/teaching fellowships and 10 post-doctoral teaching fellowships for the Core worldview studies program. Whitworth will recruit and retain diverse, mission-centered staff and faculty members who are supported by competitive compensation and an expanded professional development program that encourages excellence in one's vocation, continuous institutional improvement and the integration of Christian faith in all facets of life.

Whitworth will double its endowment to $180 million, fueled by significant new additions and astute financial management. An ambitious and comprehensive fund-raising plan will engage an expanded group of individual and foundation donors in supporting the university's annual giving, capital improvement, and endowment goals. A robust culture of philanthropy will contribute to donors giving $150 million over 10 years to the university and the alumni giving rate increasing to 25 percent.

By 2021, the university will have completed or initiated construction on state-of-the-art facilities including the second phase of the science initiative (expanding and renovating Johnston Science Center to serve physics, math and computer science, environmental science, and plant biology); dedicated performance, rehearsal and teaching venues for the performing arts; an indoor intercollegiate athletics facility that provides a multipurpose center for university events; and new residential, dining, and intramural/recreation spaces for students. Planning will be under way to address facilities needs for administrative functions, faculty and staff offices and facilities services. All new facilities will reflect institutional commitments to quality, accessibility and environmental sustainability.