Strategic Initiatives

The WSU Long Range Planning committee invites any WSU committee, division, department, bargaining unit and student group to submit initiatives for the university’s planning priority areas.  Campus groups may submit up to three initiatives for each of the five planning priorities. Groups can submit initiatives for only the priorities they want to influence. There is no obligation to submit initiatives for all priorities.

Three all-university committees—Long Range Planning; Finance and Facilities; and Improvement, Accreditation and Assessment—will evaluate all submitted initiatives and make recommendations to campus and President Olson for the top initiatives.

The deadline to submit initiatives is Jan. 6, 2014. Submit initiatives to Patricia Rogers, Provost.

Submitted Initiatives

  • Reevaluate outsourcing of maintenance work
  • Coordinated Testing Center
  • More online classes for adult learners
  • Allow more flexibility for employees to take courses.


  • Faculty/Student Interaction:  increase opportunities for faculty/student interaction outside of the classroom, particularly in the first year.
  • Major Mapping:  Create 4 year “major maps,” for all majors and programs, which would serve as an important recruiting and advising tool, and help students see a clear pathway to timely graduation.
  • Enrollment Plan:  Create a Strategic Enrollment Plan for WSU, which would include enrollment goals, strategies, and an action plan.
People & Place:

• More fully address gender-based violence on the Winona State University campus and comply with the Federal Clery Acts by further enhancing our commitment to addressing these issues via practical and long-term programmatic efforts.

People, Place, Price, Program & Pride:
•    Grow the composite materials technology center (COMTEC)
•    Add one full-time faculty member to support the Professional Science Master’s Degree program 


  • Complete a program planning process based on available data, including qualitative data. Outcomes of the process will result in Academic Directions, a form of strategic planning.

Program, Place, People:

  • Identify HLC Pathway Project for university-wide implementation. The project requires alignment of academic, technology, enrollment, international, athletic, and financial and Strategic planning directions. Plans and the project must align.

• Establish an institutional commitment to attracting and supporting diverse students. This could include additional summer programs to increase exposure to higher education and the creation of more diversity scholarships.
• Establish an induction process for diverse students such as the ELC for international students.
• Improve the financial aid and admissions process to make it more integrated and user-friendly. Seek student and family input as part of the redesign effort.

• Centralize the coordination of student internships.
• Fund and support video and digital media content for marketing and academic purposes.
• Formalize the institution’s lead initiatives to include funding, staff support, reporting and assessment. Examples include sustainability and community engagement.

• Consolidate efforts to improve human interaction with our physical space by creating a grounds master plan that coordinates campus expansion plans and connects all the different groups working to improve our natural environment.
• Create and implement an institutional strategy for improving community relationships.

• Provide more money for student scholarships.

 Place & Programs:

• Conduct a complete inventory of trees on campus.

• Develop and deliver credit and non-credit courses and workshops on urban environmental sustainability, in collaboration with WSU faculty, staff and students, departments and groups, and community experts and groups.

• Develop a volunteer corps, the Friends of the Arboretum, in order to be more fully engaged in the community, model sustainability, and share our arboretum as a huge laboratory for learning.

Programs, People & Place:

  • Establish a permanent Office of Sustainability, including staff and resources, to ensure that WSU continually works to understand the broader scope of its sustainability responsibilities, to ensure that we take the necessary actions to meet those responsibilities, and to assess the effectiveness of our work. Details for this Office are outlined below.
  • Develop investment strategies, purchasing agreements and facility guidelines that will result in cleaner energy sources and more efficient energy consumption, as well as eventual cost savings. The Sustainability Office should be tasked with making specific recommendations in this regard.
  • Appoint a Program Director for the academic sustainability program to adequately support the Sustainability Minor and to lead efforts in developing a certificate and possible major in this area. The Program Director should be a faculty member with expertise in this area who is given a 50% reassignment to serve in this capacity. 


  • Understand the needs of our students in Rochester, particularly our post-traditional students, and develop ways to support them.
  • Attract and support faculty who are passionate about the mission of WSU-Rochester.
  • Directly involve more WSU-Rochester faculty and staff with the long-range planning initiative.
  • Find ways to seek and support diversity and inclusion at WSU-Rochester and throughout the Greater Rochester community.   


  • Keep our current program offerings strong by responding to and anticipating the needs of students and employers.
  • Develop new programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level that build upon our existing strengths and address current and emerging regional workforce needs, for example, Masters in Social Work, Health Information Management.
  • Design and deliver more hybrid and online programs that meet the needs of adult learners and working professionals.
  • Re-envision Adult & Continuing Education into a full-fledged Distance Learning Program that serves adult learners and working professionals in new and different ways throughout the region.
  • Expand our Path to Purple articulated programs with RCTC and our other 2-year Minnesota State partners.  


  • Create a financial model for WSU-Rochester that allows academic departments to adapt and grow in Rochester without negatively impacting Winona campus academic offerings.
  • Establish structures for tuition and fees at WSU-Rochester that make sense for WSU-Rochester students and programs.
  • Provide adequate staffing and support for new initiatives.


  • Strengthen the WSU brand in Rochester on the UCR campus and downtown – start seeing purple.
  • Address the issue of inadequate space at University Center Rochester for classrooms, labs, and student support services.
  • Establish a downtown presence in the immediate future.

Programs, People & Pride:

  • Reestablish Winona State University’s CAST Program as an Outstanding Program with national recognition


Programs, People & Place:

  • Develop a project plan for enhancing physical facilities on the WSU-Rochester campus by replicating a home environment, similar to the Etta Wangell Wheeler Mock House within the Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program on the Winona campus, and adding a community/ambulatory care environment.  This will support interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate relationship-centered care with individuals and families focusing on health assessment, health promotion, and nursing leadership within communities.

  • Develop a project plan for enhancing technological capabilities which support graduate and undergraduate programs in nursing.

  • Design teaching methodologies feasible for use in faculty-supervised learning scenarios that are highly interactive and focused on graduate level nursing skills.  This would include teaching professional skills to support behavior change in health promotion and for use with employees/students that the nurse in advanced practice may supervise in the future.

  • Design faculty-supervised teaching methodologies that are highly interactive and focused on undergraduate level nursing skills.  In Rochester this will be aimed at the burgeoning RN to BSN completion student base. Specifically, teaching methodologies that support interactive learning will be addressed.


  • Establish an annual recruiting budget for coaches of all teams in the amount of $107,250 (which is the average for NSIC schools).
  • Improve our mid-term grade-reporting system (APRS).
  • Increase marketing efforts for the University and Athletics.


  • Academics: Provide an undergraduate coaching major and graduate program for sports administration/coaching.
  • Establish a sports psychologist/sports counselor position with Student Health.
  • Develop a concussion research program utilizing our student athletes in contact sports (e.g. football/soccer).


  • Establish 200 meal plan scholarships through our food service provider.
  • Develop an ongoing campaign, and include in future capital campaigns, for endowed scholarships for athletics and admissions.
  • Establish a University funded work-study program that trades the cost of tuition for services/hours worked.  Tuition could be provided as a scholarship to enhance existing programs (i.e. athletics, music, performing arts) or hours worked in campus departments (facilities, business office, admissions, etc.).


  • Build an indoor track/field house.


  • Designate funds on an annual or one-time basis to develop ways to tell the compelling story of our athletic successes.
  • Identify key areas on campus that can promote the successes of our athletic teams.  
  • Develop an annual maintenance fund to upgrade/maintain our athletic facilities.

Programs, People & Pride:

  • Establish Graduate Student Scholarship Dissemination Fund in the amount of $15,000 per year for graduate students to attend and present at local, regional, or national conferences 

People & Programs:

  • Expand the successful TRIO Student Support Services formula to serve and retain more students with a focus on the under-represented student population. Name the expanded program Winona Support Services (WSS).

Programs, People, Place & Pride:

  • Develop a model for evidence-based service learning in health and social care by strengthening a new inter-professional collaborative involving faculty within the departments of: Nursing; Health, Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences (HERS); Psychology; Sociology; Counselor Education; Recreational Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation (RTTR); Child Advocacy Studies Team (CAST) and Social Work.
  • Create a comprehensive, integrated, futuristic simulation program for all levels of nursing education (undergraduate through doctoral, including RN to BSN) at Winona State University. This program would be an educationally leveled simulation program including appropriate types of simulation technology that would assist students to reach desired levels of nursing competence within the undergraduate, graduate or doctoral nursing curriculums now and in the future.


  • Re-vision and rebuild WSU Paralegal Program through a review of the current curriculum and re-visioning process
  • Develop consistent and clear descriptive materials about the program, in various media
  • Develop a recruitment plan 

People, Price, Place & Pride:

  • Dark Skies Initiative: Further Winona State University’s goal of becoming more sustainable through more efficient lighting practices such as LED light sources and full cut‐off light fixtures while providing better access to the natural resource of our night sky and Universe.
  • Establish an off‐campus, outdoor environmental education center with a facility that includes classroom and laboratory space, educational display space, an art gallery, an astronomical observatory, outdoor educational gardens, nature paths, a weather station, an outdoor performance space and other nature‐based educational resources. The facility would serve as a year‐round location to provide environmental education across all disciplines to the Winona area community ages pre‐school through retirement.


  • Leverage our experience and success with technology by developing a next-generation student digital literacy program that best prepares our graduates to excel in a digital world and that positions WSU as a global leader in this area of student preparation.
  • Create a more personalized, focused, and collaborative employee professional development model, one that could be expanded across the system using a shared services approach. The PD+ system would be a centralized, online professional development that is integrated with existing professional development processes and offers personalized, differentiated features and functions that are specific to an employee’s career phase.


  • Expand the Classroom Report Card, a classroom evaluation rubric, to become trusted, shared resource used across the entire organization to make collective, informed decisions about learning spaces.
  • Development two Teach Labs, one each in Winona and Rochester. These physical, classroom-like spaces would include features designed to support faculty training and professional development. The spaces will have digital media production capabilities, high-end equipment for easy set up to record lectures, and multimedia production tools to allow instructors to create interactive learning modules.

People, Place & Program 

  • Provide innovation stations on both campuses. An innovation station is an open workshop or miniature maker space where students can work alone or in teams to create something new. This workshop can contain anything from inexpensive raw materials to high-end computers to allow students to model, experiment and iterate. These spaces will offer a place for students to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, be flexible, and iterate until they are successful.