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Strategic Plan, President's Institute Press Event held on the Macomb campus June 14. An event was also held on the Quad Cities campus Wednesday afternoon.
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President Jack Thomas
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VP for the Quad Cities and Planning Joe Rives
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Becky Paulsen, development director, CBT
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President's Executive Institute and Strategic Plan Supplement Initiatives

June 15, 2017

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University will be the partner of choice for addressing the needs of the region and will continue to chart a course for a strong future, providing outstanding educational opportunities to the citizens of the state and beyond. This was the message shared June 14 at two public events, which were set to outline the institution's future goals and priorities, at the University's Macomb and Quad Cities campuses

The initiatives and goals of the President's Executive Institute (PEI) and the Strategic Plan Supplement for 2017-18 were presented by WIU President Jack Thomas and Vice President for Quad Cities and Planning Joe Rives. The complete presentation can be found at and The archived live stream of the press events can be found at and

"Today, Western Illinois University moves forward. We will advance by implementing the goals and priorities in the 2017-18 Strategic Plan Supplement and the President's Executive Institute," Thomas said. "These plans and goals involve each of us at WIU. We all contribute to these important and necessary processes."

The five goals of the 2017-18 Strategic Plan Supplement, which was approved by the Board of Trustees at the June 9 meeting, include the following:

• Stabilize total enrollment of 10,000 students, while remaining dedicated to academic excellence and educational opportunity.

• Provide enhanced educational opportunities, including new and expanded academic programs, that are mission driven and meet marketplace demand.

• Expand Community Engagement. Western will enhance its relationships with its host communities to work together to recruit and retain students, businesses and entrepreneurs.

• Increase external funding, while limiting cost increases to students, through grants, contracts, business and industry partnerships and fundraising.

• Continue to support conservative, mission-driven planning and fiscal management.

The complete supplement, including goals and initiatives, can be found at

The President's Executive Institute, which was piloted under the direction of President Thomas during FY16, is led by Rives and Becky Paulsen, director of development for the College of Business and Technology, and is comprised of approximately 20 members of the University community. The guiding force behind the PEI is the University's core value of social responsibility. The PEI can be found at

"Through the University's strategic plan and the President's Executive Institute, Western serves as an even greater resource for, and stimulus to, educational, cultural, environmental, community and economic development in our region and beyond for the public good," Thomas added. "Members of the PEI are helping Western, with your support and actions, to engage in innovation and transformation in the region."

The goals of the PEI, which align with the Strategic Plan Supplement, include:

• Stabilize enrollment.

• Support community and economic development through a variety of unique initiatives.

• Engage external organizations.

"Despite the challenges we face, through the implementation of our planning, Western will continue to excel," Thomas said. "We will not let this budget impasse define our University. We are here because of our students, and we will continue to provide them with a world class, high quality and well-rounded education."

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