Distinctively Wayne State University -- 2021

WSU emblem on campus landmark

Preamble: By 2021, "Distinctively Wayne State University" will result in a thriving, bustling institution where every student has a clear pathway to academic and career success and the opportunity to flourish in a diverse, collaborative, innovative environment. Through its urban-focused research and community engagement, Wayne State will be recognized nationally and globally both as a leader in the revitalization of Detroit and in implementing innovative pedagogies that enable all students, regardless of background, to progress in a timely fashion to degree attainment.

We will accomplish this institutional transformation by focusing our Strategic Plan implementation around the following key priorities and metrics:

Key Priorities and Metrics

  • Increase the six-year graduation rate to 50 percent, improve overall retention, and grow enrollment to a minimum of 30,000 students
  • Eliminate the gaps in graduation and retention between students from underrepresented populations and students from majority populations
  • Ensure that all faculty and advisors are trained in the use of data to support our strategic goals
  • Increase research expenditures through investment, greater efficiencies, and enhancing alternative funding sources to be commensurate with leading urban research universities
  • Expand the percentage of undergraduate and graduate students involved in research
  • Increase collaboration among our colleges and schools with TechTown Detroit, the Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, the Office of Technology Commercialization, the University Research Corridor, and governmental agencies to promote entrepreneurship, particularly among minority and urban entrepreneurs
  • Increase the number of substantive, mission-aligned community collaborations and the enhanced coordination of community engagement
  • Complete the $750 million capital campaign
  • Increase the endowment to $500 million
  • Create the Office of Multicultural Student Success, which will report to the associate provost for diversity and inclusion
  • Create the Office of Research Development
  • Create an entrepreneurship council
  • Establish a centralized community engagement database¬†


To ensure the efficient execution of Wayne State University's Strategic Plan with the assistance of The Barthwell Group, tactical action plans aligned with the university's goals and objectives have been developed by each of the university's schools, colleges, and operational and academic units. These plans, as well as the Strategic Plan, will be reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary to reflect substantive changes in the university's internal and external environments.