Providing the best undergraduate education in the nation. Showing how a university can blend cutting-edge research with powerful teaching. Producing leaders in all walks of life. Constructing a powerful financial foundation for the 21st century. Setting the standard for intercollegiate athletic excellence both on the field and in the classroom.
These are among the aspirational goals President Taylor Reveley discussed Thursday during a joint meeting of the W&M Board of Visitors, the W&M Foundation Board and the Alumni Association Executive Committee.
“Aspirational goals need not be readily attainable or easily quantifiable. Some of them may even seem to be beyond realistic reach,” Reveley said to the boards. “Dreams, however, can prove more powerful than facts. And great institutions are always under construction, always reaching to achieve their greatest potential.”
With a few exceptions, the aspirations for William & Mary trace their ancestry back into the strategic planning process of the last five years, Reveley said. They also reflect his conversations with many members of the university’s boards, the Board of Visitors especially. He added that the list does not encompass everything that is important at William & Mary. It is a work in progress and will evolve as conversations continue with the university community.
“These aspirations should help sustain William & Mary as the quintessential ‘public ivy,’ renowned not only for its storied past as the Alma Mater of the Nation, but also for its contemporary excellence as a university rooted in the liberal arts,” Reveley said.
Reveley began with a number of broad goals and ended with several more explicit markers for 2020. Those broad goals include:
- The brains of a great research university and the heart of a small liberal arts college. William & Mary will combine powerful teaching with cutting-edge research and scholarship. W&M will show how to blend teaching and research, sacrificing neither on the altar of the other.
- Best undergraduate education. W&M will provide the best undergraduate education of any college or university in the country and will be recognized as providing the best.
- Professional and graduate programs. Professional programs in law, business and education will be outstanding, and they will make consistent progress in their national standing, as will our graduate programs in Arts & Sciences and marine science.
- Outstanding faculty. W&M will recruit and retain outstanding professors and administrators, paying them commensurate with their peers nationally. Faculty compensation will reach the 60th percentile of W&M’s SCHEV peer group by 2018 and the 75th percentile by 2023.
- E-learning. W&M will experiment aggressively with digital technologies as one means of expanding revenues and slowing the rate of growth in instructional costs, while enhancing the quality of learning on campus.
- Producing leaders. The university’s historic tradition of educating leaders willing and able to change the world will grow even stronger, and W&M will produce leaders in all walks of life.
- The “William & Mary Way.” Varsity athletics will set the standard nationally for how intercollegiate sports should be done. The Tribe will consistently win at least 60 percent of the time in each varsity sport. Coaches will be effective teachers. Athletes will be genuine students who learn in the classroom as well on the field and graduate at the same rate as their classmates.
- Lifelong connections. W&M will achieve broad recognition for the loyalty of our graduates and the strength of their lifelong ties to alma mater and one another.
- Strong financial foundation. William & Mary will construct a strong financial foundation for the university’s success in the 21st century. This foundation will rest on four mutually supportive legs: (1) innovation on campus enabling W&M to excel at a lower cost than current practices permit and to create new revenue streams; (2) significant earned income from both out-of-state and in-state students, coupled with enough need-based aid so students of limited means can attend; (3) a critical mass of alumni and friends who support the Alma Mater of the Nation in a manner akin to the private ivies; and (4) funds from the Commonwealth, especially for bricks & mortar. Essential to the strength and stability of this financial foundation is confidence that all members of the William & Mary family are doing their part: faculty and staff through productivity gains on campus; students and their families through tuition and fees; alumni and friends through giving for annual support, endowment and bricks-and-mortar; and the Commonwealth through William & Mary’s share of public funds for higher education.
- Regional Economic Development. William & Mary will champion integration of the region that has Williamsburg as its mid-point and runs from Richmond through Virginia Beach, including union of the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas now comprising the region, and the university will strongly promote economic development from its central position in the region.
***Specific goals by 2020***
The president also shared several specific goals that he urged William & Mary to achieve by 2020. Those goals include:
- At least 60 percent of undergrads will have an international experience.
- Every undergraduate will have a serious research experience.
- The demonstrated financial need of undergraduates, both in-state and out-of-state, will be met.
- The 1693 Scholars Program will have class cohorts of 8 to 12 scholars, totaling 32 or more on campus at any time.
- The graduation rate of W&M undergraduates will be the best among public universities and one of the best among all universities, private as well as public.
- W&M’s undergraduate alumni will have an annual giving participation rate of at least 40 percent.
- William & Mary’s law school will be ranked among the top 25 schools in the U.S. and the business and education schools will see similar increases in their national rankings.
- William & Mary’s endowment will grow to $1.5 billion.
Todd Stottlemyer, Rector of the Board of Visitors, said William & Mary has made great progress toward a number of the goals. He also stressed the importance of setting the bar high.
“President Reveley is absolutely correct that great institutions like William & Mary are truly always under construction,” said Stottlemyer ’85. “If we’re doing this right we’ll always be a work in progress. We appreciate the president’s leadership in helping us get where we want to be.”