Provost Previews Strategic Plan

GW plans to hire additional interdisciplinary faculty and explore admitting students to the university as a whole rather than a specific school.

October 03, 2012

Provost Steven Lerman on Tuesday outlined a handful of actions that will be included in a soon-to-be-released strategic plan to lead George Washington University into the next decade.

The plan—which centers on four themes: innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, globalization, citizenship and leadership, and governance and policy—will include a number of “concrete actions” for the university, which Dr. Lerman discussed at the annual Faculty Assembly meeting in Jack Morton Auditorium. They include:

  • hiring an additional 50 to 100 faculty who have interests consistent with the plan;
  • creating an additional four to eight interdisciplinary research centers similar to the Global Women’s Institute, Sustainability Institute and the Computational Biology Institute to “bring together faculty who work on shared problems but come from different disciplinary backgrounds,” Dr. Lerman said; and
  • admitting students to the university as a whole, rather than a specific school or program and working with the faculty to develop a common general curriculum, so all students gain a set of “core competencies” and have the flexibility to move and work across disciplines.

“Great universities are stronger than the sum of their parts, and these initiatives are designed to ensure that this is true at GW,” Dr. Lerman said. Other aspects to further enhance GW’s reputation as a place where cutting-edge research is performed include increasing the enrollment of international students and the funding for graduate and post-doctoral students. “When one aspires to play in the big leagues, you have to put in the resources that make that possible,” Dr. Lerman said.

The plan also calls for increasing affinity and cross-disciplinary graduate student housing, expanding the faculty-in-residence program and continued support of veteran services and an expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program. “It is important that GW both reach out to the Washington community and ensure that the GW community itself is strong and vibrant,” Dr. Lerman said.

George Washington will invest at least $110 million over the next 10 years to implement the plan.

The draft of the full plan will become available on the Office of the Provost’s website by early next week, and GW community members can continue to submit feedback.  The final plan will be released in February 2013.

GW President Steven Knapp said in his introduction that the plan is a “living document” that provides general parameters and sets a course for the university over the next decade.

“We really are trying to build a plan that will have the kind of vision implicit in it that will help give us a sense of where we’re going as an institution, but also will provide a pathway for bringing the resources we need to make that vision a reality,” he said.


Learning & Research

Watch video from the Faculty Assembly