2020 Commission unveils strategic plan draft

Members of the WCU community provided feedback at the 2020 Commission's public forum on April 17, 2012. Photo by Ben Haines

The 2020 Commission of Western Carolina University hosted a public discussion forum Tuesday, April 17 in the A.K. Hinds University Center to invite final feedback on its plans for university development.

The event was open to the public and drew university staff, faculty, students and alumni as well as members of the local community. The 2020 Commission debuted the draft of its strategic plan for the future of WCU and held a Q-and-A session.

The 2020 Commission is a committee of 36 people selected by Chancellor David O. Belcher in summer 2011 to determine priorities and establish goals for the growth of WCU as an institution through the rest of the decade. Twenty-six of the committee’s members are staff, faculty or students at WCU and 10 are external members.

Attendees at Tuesday’s forum found free printed copies of the strategic plan draft at the door. The committee will finalize the draft in May and submit it to the WCU Board of Trustees for endorsement in June, according to the university website.

“We’re not just putting a plan out there,” said Chancellor Belcher at Tuesday’s forum. “We’re putting people’s names by each individual thing so that we can know whom to hold accountable for seeing it through at the university.”

2020 Vision: Focusing Our Future – WCU Strategic Plan DRAFT

“Nothing is going to happen if we don’t have a champion to take it there, and we’re going to name those people,” the chancellor said. “They’ll be responsible and it’s part of their job descriptions.”

Audience members during the Q-and-A session made it clear that WCU’s socio-economic role in the region is an important consideration for many people. “A lot of our programs affect industry and employment well into the surrounding counties,” acknowledged 2020 Commission member Wesley Stone, associate professor of construction management and technology at the Kimmel School.


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