Learn to Thrive: Strategic Plan 2022


The initiatives were developed to achieve the objectives described within the imperatives, with each initiative intentionally “moving the needle” on more than one objective. At this stage of the strategic plan’s five year scope, the university community has woven all eighteen (18) of the initiatives into the fabric of the university.

Visibility: We created a comprehensive strategy to increase the visibility and awareness of the university and its three campuses among constituents internal and external (e.g., students, donors, medical communities, alumni, faculty, staff, partners, government, professional associations, employers, media, etc.).

  • Redesigned and improved content (visual and written) and the accessibility of the university’s website—our most important 24/7 global communications channel.  We switched from an internal to an external communications focus, positioned the website as the hub from which we can leverage all university communications (including social media and digital marketing), implemented a new, agile content management system (T4) and a digital asset management system to significantly expand the cataloging and management of our photography and videography assets.
  • Launched a new TWU brand program with consistent messaging; new logo and wordmarks; new athletic logo marks and the first-ever mascot, Oakley, a Texas barn owl; and narrowed down the range of maroon color shades and a new, student-designed plaid to unify and broaden the visual identity of the university; We trademarked our visual assets to increase usage revenues and drive usage consistency of our visual assets in retail stores and across our three campuses.
  • Developed new significant print pieces (e.g., “Strong Past. Bold Future.” and “Connecting the Dots”) that are also available on the web, regularly distributed digital newsletters (e.g., Boldly Go and Inside TWU), expanded distribution lists for print and email communications, and led a social media evolution.
  • Expanded our media outreach from largely a Denton print focus to a proactive statewide (print and broadcast)/regional/national focus, including important higher education and diverse audience outlets.

Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership: We have created a nationally distinctive, comprehensive institute for women’s leadership, which includes the Center for Student Leadership, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, and Center for Women Entrepreneurs.

  • Built infrastructure to staff the three centers, welcome visitors to the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall exhibit space as well as to the archives for researchers, and space and resources to host training and networking events, particularly for women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses
  • Founded an advisory council of powerful women from across the State of Texas 
  • Launched speaker series and book series focused on women’s leadership
  • Established grant programs and scholarships together with external funding sources for the institute
  • Launched research initiatives to become a national resource for scholarship on topics and issues pertaining to women

Health and Wellbeing Initiative: Developed leadership and strategies to foster and sustain a culture of health and wellbeing that emphasizes self-care, practice, and resilience.

  • Developed a mission, vision, and framework of themes based on the university’s unique environment and the expertise of faculty, staff, and student leaders
  • Established co-curricular course designations, including resources and assessment, to support academic efforts of incorporating wellbeing into the curriculum
  • Created the Pioneer Advantage Health and Wellbeing Distinction Award, a recognition program designed to encourage students to advance their skills in wellbeing practices
  • Built mechanisms to amplify health and wellbeing activity, both institutionally and to external audiences, through media, online resources, and funding opportunities
  • Established means for collaboration among campus and community partners with an intentional focus on self-care, inclusion, and leadership to foster and refine programming related to health and wellbeing

Master Plan & Space Utilization: Developed a 20-year master plan with a focus on sustainability and meaningful use of protected green space as well as established a space utilization process to identify needs and effectively manage existing space across all campuses.

  • Showcased a physical model of the 2567-acre Denton campus with an accompanying website that includes cataloging space in Dallas and Houston
  • Used the plan in guiding recent construction projects including philosophy about land use, green space, building placement, and consistent style of exterior façade
  • Formed the Space Utilization Advisory Committee to field space requests and prioritize those requests within the larger university context 
  • Evolved the Space Utilization Advisory Committee into a capital planning and budget processes

Competitive Sports: Developed sports programs plan that acts as a catalyst for increasing enrollment of students who would not otherwise select Texas Woman’s while providing opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to spectate in an enjoyable and competitive atmosphere, on or near the Denton campus.

  • Identified eight new, non-scholarship competitive sports teams with an implementation plan, conference alignment, revenue-positive model, and regional access to recruit competitive prospective students
  • Launched the Pioneer Pride Dance Team, including the mascot Oakley
  • Started artistic swimming and hired former US Olympian as head coach 
  • Implemented phase two plans including hiring an All-American STUNT coach
  • Recruited another US Olympian medal winner as head coach of the first women’s wrestling program at a state university in Texas, joining three other private schools to allow a large contingent of high school women wrestlers to continue their sport in state 

Research Culture: Developed support services and infrastructure that fuel a vibrant research culture across the university.

  • Established the Center for Research Design and Analysis and Center for Student Research, bolstered research facilities on Dallas and Houston campuses, and have begun the process of embedding associate deans for research in individual colleges
  • Refined internal grant programs to include publication funding and program officer visits for researchers to be more successful in obtaining external funding
  • Expanded innovation to include refining intellectual property policies and procedures; contracted a consulting firm to support inventors in the patent process, moving from no patent applications to more than four in process or granted
  • Engaged in entrepreneurial innovation by collaborating with I-CORPS, an NSF sponsored program to promote product development

Financial Vitality: Developed capabilities for financial modeling and long-term planning as well as identified new revenue opportunities and systemic cost-saving measures.

  • Identified strains on the university’s operating budget and barriers to long-term budget modeling during FY2019, communicated these issues to the campus community, and began addressing barriers including a platform to assist with multi-year budget models
  • Partnered with the City of Denton to identify economic development strengths of the city that the university could capitalize on as well as identified the need for similar partnerships with Houston and Dallas community leaders
  • Partnered with Innovative Academic Programs initiative to develop a model for assessing the financial impact of launching new programs
  • Developed a net tuition revenue model to analyze the impact of exemptions/waiver and statutory set-asides on semester tuition income  

Student Success: Finalized the integration of Pioneering Pathways: Learn by Doing—Texas Woman’s five-year quality enhancement plan required by our ten-year accreditation—to enhance opportunities where students can find their sense of purpose, develop marketable skills, and ultimately complete a degree or certificate program.

  • Built a sustainable model of experiential learning, under the direction of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence, that includes student scholars and faculty fellows, Learn by Doing-designated courses, and partnerships with the Career Connections and employers
  • Associated marketable skills with every degree plan, published in the course catalog and described on the marketable skills webpage
  • Formed the Strategic Retention Council to guide the ongoing development of university-wide strategies and tactics designed to increase persistence and graduation rates
  • Expanded the integrated model of student success through initiatives such as the development of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence in Dallas and Houston, increased tutoring and academic support opportunities, and deepening student academic connections through intentional programming including the book-in-common

Innovative Academic Programs: Created a process to: 1) assess and address societal needs, develop innovative programs, and modify current programs to address those needs (e.g., women in STEM fields such as informatics, which leverages our historic strengths in health and interprofessional collaboration), 2) develop innovative pathways to degree completion, including expansion and support for community college transfer programs and second-admit programs, and 3) develop an integrated approach to scheduling and program offerings that maximizes ancillary services, space utilization and parking, with a focus on student opportunity.

  • Developed a set of criteria and a process for requesting and reviewing proposals for innovative academic programming in 2018, including: analysis of the potential markets for students and graduates, alignment with university mission and strategy, clear enrollment and financial projections, and academic review and approval processes that involves academic departments, deans, graduate or undergraduate councils, and other academic administrators
  • Evalued 25 proposals during the initial call to work new proposals through the newly established process and now has an ongoing workflow for proposals
  • Transitioned several business, education and nursing programs to seven-week, year-round terms, offering more flexibility for working professionals, making better use of facilities, and laying the groundwork for other programs to follow suit
  • Sunset some programs while expanding others for a net decrease from 52 bachelor’s programs to 46, 57 master’s to 51, and an increase of one doctoral degree to 22, all while growing fall enrollments from 15,472 to 16,338

Dallas and Houston Expansion: Explored strategies for leveraging two of Texas Woman’s greatest assets—its urban campuses positioned in the middle of eminent world medical centers—to amplify the university’s innovation and inter-professional renown, multiply its relationships with nonprofit, academic, and corporate partners, and greatly enhance the visibility of the university’s statewide impact.

  • Achieved the status as Texas Woman’s University System on May 26, 2021 a first step in developing a more autonomous identity for each campus in Dallas and Houston
  • Established the Texas Woman’s University Task Force to shepherd the process of operationalizing the system status and found independent universities in Dallas and Houston
  • Explored options of acquiring other schools to complement existing programs on the Houston campus and partnering with Midwestern State and North Central Texas College to expand offerings to Flower Mound
  • Hosted, on the Houston campus, a prominent celebration of 50 years of the nursing Ph.D. program among other events such as Texas Tribune events and system celebration events in both Dallas and Houston

Purposeful Partnerships: Establish the process and criteria for beneficial partnerships along with measures of impact, including community service, faculty research and collaboration, and student internship and employment opportunities.

  • Bolstered the Career Connections Center with robust tools and dedicated personnel for partnering with employers across the state
  • Integrated internships deeply into the curriculum of more degree programs
  • Folded intentional foundation support into the strategic portfolio of annual gifts and support

Talent Acquisition & Development: Created a comprehensive university strategy to attract, acquire, develop, and retain diverse talent necessary for long-term university success.

Belonging: Created an improved climate where each person—student, faculty, staff, and alumni—feels a sense of valued place at the university.

  • Built intentional programming for first gen students including Pioneers First reception for parents and students, Pioneers First College Celebration Day, Pioneers First newsletter
  • Launched peer support communities focused on transfer students, graduate students who are also parents, and students who want to maintain emotional wellness
  • Formed a group that is championing the alignment of data, strategies, and practices for greater intentionality in serving Hispanic students in accordance with our designation as an Hispanic Serving Institution
  • Started outreach work to involve parents and families 
  • Established the Chancellor’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council as a hub of communication about DEI activity on campus, thereby growing our belonging capacity from a grassroots level

Process Efficiencies: Seeded a culture of continuous improvement by broadly engaging the university community in identifying and improving processes to 1) enhance user experience, 2) reduce process complexity, and 3) improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Formed a steering committee to guide the work, received 310 proposals, which generated 85 unique process improvement ideas and an additional 65 non-process improvement opportunities
  • Adopted six principles:1. Design for the end user experience; 2. Design for good, not just better; 3. Minimize review and approval steps; 4. Don’t be limited by skill set; 5. Honor cultural context, but don’t be bound by it; and 6. Take an institutional view
  • Process improvements projects include: purchasing, travel, hiring, on-campus hiring for student jobs, maintaining policies, a unified communications system, mandatory training system, and student recruitment and retention via a new customer relationship management (CRM) system
  • Seeded a culture that better understands and owns ongoing process improvement rather than a one-and-done fix to outdated processes
  • Building on that continuous improvement mindset, launched further developments making the CRM platform more holistic and began assessing the university’s next enterprise resource planning system for human resources, finance, and student services with promises of dramatic improvements in efficiency and functionality 

Transfer Student Success: Designed innovative approaches to seamless curricular and co-curricular support of transfer students.

  • Hired pre-matriculation advisors to help in recruiting transfer students and implemented Transferology software
  • Invested in a summer bridge program and success coaching
  • Entered into last-dollar “Promise” agreements with Dallas, Tarrant, and Grayson counties as well as the Red River Promise for Cook and Montague county
  • Integrated Texas Common Course Numbering System into all four-year degree sequences
  • Joined transfer alliances with Lone Star College in Houston and Amarillo College with more on the way
  • Started online transfer orientation designed for transfer students to improve onboarding

Health Care Professionals: Addressed the shortage of health care professionals by leveraging Texas Woman’s leadership in graduating high-quality faculty to teach and prepare the next generation of health care professionals.

  • Secured $100M in state funding to construct a health-focused building with particular emphasis on address challenges with rural health in Texas
  • Founded the Nursing Center for Scientific Research and Discovery at the Dallas campus to support faculty scholarship with satellites in Denton and Houston
  • Expanded the Center for Global Nursing’s reach with new international opportunities for service learning and study abroad
  • Working through the approval process for a new accelerated BSN second degree program for 2023 on Denton campus and planning for a new traditional BSN program in Denton later
  • Added a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track to the MSN program
  • Grew interprofessional opportunities for faculty and students in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech language pathology to work with the same patient at the Stroke Center in Dallas
  • Refocused efforts to “educate in place” for the Speech-Language Pathology program so it can deliver on the promise to increase more professionals in rural areas
  • Maintained investment in the PhD program for physical therapy that already has graduates represented in more than one-fifth of the 264 accredited physical therapy programs in the US with 16 more in international universities
  • Recalibrated the Institute for Women’s Health as a interprofessional, team-based space that prepares professionals for today and the future

Global perspectives: Increase global perspectives through faculty exchanges, enrollment of international students, education abroad, and international collaborations.

  • Established the International Affairs department within Academic Affairs in order to centralize TWU international efforts and affirm the importance of global perspectives within the academic mission
  • Created new webpage for International Affairs to house information about TWU’s international efforts in one location on TWU’s website
  • Designed and administered a survey within Academic Affairs to collect data from staff, faculty, and administrators who have or are engaged in international efforts (e.g., faculty exchanges, international students, education abroad, international collaborations, global learning at home, and other international experiences)
  • Implemented the awarding of an International Scholar Medallion to graduating students who either studied abroad or are international students
  • Identified a list of assessments which could be used to assess the impact of TWU’s international efforts on students, faculty, and staff
  • Proposed the development of an International Efforts Council consisting of select faculty, staff and students who would share information and ideas on international activities and programs at TWU and facilitate the communication of information on international activities and opportunities to the campus community

Innovative Childcare Solutions: Launch an initiative to develop sustainable solutions that address childcare needs within the context of academic success.

  • Awarded a multi-year federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) from the US Department of Education offering sliding-scale support via child care vouchers
  • Gathered child care resources on a website
  • Conducted self assessment on all campuses using National Family Friendly Campus Toolkit to improve outcomes of student parents and inform services provided
    • Assessment of services on campuses
    • Survey of student parents across system
    • Focus groups with undergraduate and graduate students on all campuses
    • Information will be disseminated during the 2022-23 school year
  • Assessed current child care support models at universities nationwide and proposed alternatives to meet TWU student needs