To view the full workbook of 2009-10 strategies see page 18 of the Strategic Plan
Fiscal Year 2009-10 Active Strategies Summary:
The Fiscal Year 2009-10 strategic investments focus on enhancing the international campus network, reinforcing current partnerships, building a limited number of key new partnerships, investing in online instruction and upgrading recruitment and retention activities. The proposals are shaped by the current uncertain economic environment. Protecting or enhancing key revenue sources in challenging times are the common themes among the new strategies.
The difficult economic environment also prevents the University from making significant strategic personnel investments in FY2009-10. Strategy 1.a.3 Continue the Global Staff Exchange is the exception to the rule. This relatively inexpensive program, $12,000, will allow staff positions to experience the international network, even though Energizer grant has expired. An adjustment to healthcare cost sharing is the other significant personnel strategy for FY2009-10. Strategy 6.a.4 addresses the adjustment. The bullet points below and on the following page highlight the key fiscal year 2009-10 strategies.
• Strategy 1.b.4 Strengthen the Study Abroad Affiliate Program calls for increased enrollment in the international campus network by drawing more students from the affiliate network. One proposal will extend the World Traveler $1,000 airline ticket benefit to students from affiliated institutions. Growing the affiliate network by recruiting additional schools is also under consideration.
• Strategy 1.d.4 New School Partnership: Webster University is considering an international partnership program with the New School. The locations of Brazil and Dubai are under consideration. This strategy came forward mid-way through FY2008-09. The Chancellor is charged with developing the strategy.
• Strategy 1.d.5 Regent’s College Deeper Cooperation takes advantage of exciting moves made by a partner institution. Regent’s College is adding new staff and programs, including a possible London School of Film, Media and Performance. Webster University should take advantage of these additional opportunities and draw Regent’s operations deeper into Webster University.
• Strategy 1.d.6 BLCU Partnership: The Beijing Language and Culture University is a partner in the Confucius Institute. Tong Tu, Webster’s operation in China, will take advantage of the existing relationship and develop a program to offer graduate degrees to expatriates in Beijing.
• Strategy 1.d.7 Resurgence of the Leiden campus combines several current strategies and ongoing university actions into one strategy. These steps are directed at improving both the financial and academic performance of the Leiden campus. This proposal is evidence of the growing sophistication of the strategic planning process, where various actions are targeted at achieving a common goal. The former strategies and new actions are described below.
• Strategies 2.a.4 E-Portfolio and 2.a.5 Blackboard Next Generation: Implementing an e-portfolio solution and the Next Generation Blackboard software support a number or strategies and institutional goals. An Electronic Portfolio solution is needed for assessment of student work in the School of Communications, College of Fine Arts, and School of Education. The electronic portfolio will allow the institution to sample student work and will serve as a tool for external reviewers in documenting Webster's measurement of student learning.
• Strategy 2.b.3 Swiss Accreditation for the Geneva Campus: Local accreditation is a boon to the international campuses, as witnessed by the benefits realized at the Vienna and Leiden campuses. The Geneva campus will follow the other European wholly-owned campuses and seek Swiss accreditation. Geneva will invest in the faculty and other resources required for Swiss accreditation over the next three years and seek accreditation in FY 2012-13.
• Strategy 3.a.4 Stabilize and Reposition New Freshmen Class Recruitment is not simply a financial aid strategy even though it does increase the New Freshmen discount from 42% to 46%. The higher discount rate is a response to Webster’s position in the marketplace and recent economic upheavals. The Office of Enrollment Management is also reconsidering and revising all of the New Freshmen recruiting efforts with the help of Hardwick Day.
• Strategy 3.c.1 Military Marketing: For the first time, Webster University is embarking on a national advertising campaign aimed at military students. The program will expand the current advertising for military to the level that achieves national exposure.
• Strategy 3.d.2 Marymount College Partnership outlines a new agreement between Webster University and Marymount College. Marymount College, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, is a two-year institution specializing in preparing undergraduate students for four-year bachelor degree programs. Market research indicates that Marymount College students may be willing to complete a bachelor’s degree program at the Rancho Palos Verdes campus. Combining Webster University’s expertise in managing extended campus programs with Marymount students is a positive move for both institutions. Webster University has an opportunity to grow the full-time undergraduate student transfer class while Marymount College will offset fixed operating costs with a new revenue source.
• Strategy 3.d.3 Professional Enrichment Scholarship for Alumni program started this winter/spring. It offers alumni an opportunity to start a graduate degree program at a deeply discounted rate.
• Strategy 4.a.1: Themed Living Floors is expanded for FY2009-10. A new floor in FY2009-10 and another FY2010-11 will augment the current two floors. Themed Living is a proven strategy to increase student retention.
• Strategy 4.c.1 Online Student Services and Retention Initiative is another program to enhance online revenue sources. It is targeted at the 2,000 fully online students who would benefit from additional interaction with the institution.
• Strategy 5.a.2: Create and launch a worldwide campus engagement process that results in an integrated marketing plan. Identify a Webster team to work with a specialized higher education research, marketing and branding firm to design a process for engaging individuals across the worldwide campuses with the purpose of making explicit the key positioning elements that form the basis of branding messages for Webster University.
• Strategy 6.b.1 Create a General Counsel position is one of the few administrative strategies coming forward in FY2009-10. The proposal is funded from internal resources. If implemented, the position would fill a gap in the administrative team.
• Strategy 6.a.4 Healthcare Cost Adjustment addresses the effect of a 40% increase in employee health insurance contributions. Such a large increase will place a strain on many employees with family health insurance coverage, especially for those employees outside the HMO coverage areas. These families must use the more expensive PPO family plan. In order to address this situation, management is proposing a realignment of employee contributions from 7% for single employees and 38% for families to 16% for single employees and 30% for employees. The revised contribution plan will make family health insurance more affordable. The revised employee contribution amounts are based on industry benchmarks. Management is proposing a $1,000 compensation adjustment per benefits-eligible domestic employee to help offset the 40% percent increase and the realigned employee contributions. The $1,000 amount should allow employees to chose health insurance coverage based on needs instead of cost. The total cost of program is $1.08M, $930K in salaries and $158K social insurance costs.
• Strategies 6.e.1 Market-Responsive Academic Program Development Fund: Create and pilot a version of a market-responsive academic program development fund; evaluate the pilot results to develop and fund an FY2010-11 action plan. Identify a team including Webster faculty, staff, students, and alumni who research and benchmark similar efforts at other institutions. This team should also engage constituencies from the worldwide campuses to vet ideas for the pilot plan. Create and pilot a plan designed uniquely for Webster that includes clear statements of purpose, eligibility for and process of awarding funds, metrics for success, synergy with other Vision 2020 strategies, and accountability requirements., FY2009-10 levels compared to FY2008-09 levels. Retention defined as online students reaching the half way point of their graduate degree program, six classes. The institution will develop stronger metrics for the strategy over time.