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WT-125: Theme Groups
WT 125 Theme Groups and Key Ideas


Theme Group: The Panhandle and Its Heart – The I-27 Corridor

Aspiration: Our relationship to our community is critical. Schools, industries, businesses, and cultural activity all play a pivotal role in building a quality place to live and study. This is a mutually reinforcing phenomenon.

  • The Panhandle
  • The Heart of the Panhandle: Canyon – Amarillo – I-27 Corridor Economic Development; Economic Impact
  • Outreach to Public and Private Schools
  • Commerce that Supports Study and Study that Supports Commerce Campus to Community: WT and Beyond; Quality Enhancement Plan Strategic Community Relations; The University as a Neighbor
  • Strengthening Partnerships: WTAMU – Canyon – Amarillo – The Panhandle The Amarillo Center
  • Importance of Basic Programs; Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Contributions of Best Public Universities at Local/Regional Levels Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education Institutions
  • Stature of Institution Relative to the Effects of Conservatism or Liberalism
  • Relationship to K-Community College Education and Future Importance
  • Shared Leadership in Community; Benefits of Community that Impact the Institution
  • Job Opportunities in Community
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers


Actions: The theme group should identify key areas of mutual interest and focus suggestions for even stronger university-community cooperation in areas critical to the University’s development as a preeminent institution. This is especially important in uniting Amarillo and Canyon in service to each and to our students. The heart of the Texas Panhandle is the I-27 Corridor.

 
Theme Group: Our Relationship to Community Colleges (CC)

Aspiration: We must have a modern notion of WT and understand what the historical imperatives of such an institution are, especially as these imperatives affect our role in serving students through a 2+2 model for undergraduate education as a means to cost effectiveness, and reach into various communities.

  • Serving the Panhandle and Texas by Serving our Students
  • Role of a Regional Research University as a “Transfer To” Institution
  • Impact on Local Students and Economy
  • Why Transfer from Community Colleges is Critical
  • Impediments from Within and Without Regarding Seamless Opportunity Dual Credit and Transfer to WT
  • Panhandle High Schools Outreach Efforts
  • Increase Visibility of Freshmen Class
  • Transfer Articulation and Community College Partnerships
  • First-Choice Destination for Transfer Students in the State
  • Student Engagement
  • Buff Branding for Transfer Students
  • Reverse Transfer
  • Residential Education Experience for Transfer Students
  • Trendsetting Partnerships with Community Colleges
  • Importance of Basic Programs; Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Impact of Residential Experience for Transfer Students; Dual Credit Associate Degree Completers and Graduate Students
  • Makeup of Student Populations from Undergraduate and Graduate Student Levels
  • Relationship to K-Community College Education and Future Importance
  • Shared Leadership in Community; Benefits of Community that Impact the Institution
  • Nature of Undergraduate Degrees (Core; Elective Study; Requirements)
  • Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education Institutions
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Actions: Create a culture of acceptance and responsibility in the relationship of WT to community colleges, in the Panhandle, in the state, and in the nation. Focus on the cost effectiveness of education when placed in the hands of those educated.


Theme Group: Undergraduate Academics (UA)

Aspiration: The quality of our student body, the quality of teaching and advising available to them, and the quality of the faculty who work with undergraduates all contribute to the undergraduate academic experience. The strength of a regional research university is defined in part, by the quality of the basic arts and sciences programs offered. While our programs are sound, improvement and strength of identity are needed. The foundation, though, is the quality of the student. We need the very best.

  • Enrollment in Higher Education: Challenges and Management
  • Responsiveness to Excellent Students in the Top 26 Counties
  • Indicators of Quality; Pool, Acceptance, and Retention of Undergraduate Students Student Mix: Class Size and Character
  • Resources for Undergraduate Students; Curriculum; Study Abroad; Scholarships Undergraduate Enrollment Growth Cap/Targets
  • Hispanic-Serving Institution
  • Distance Education: Creating Affinity
  • Pipeline Programs to Texas A&M University (College Station)
  • 100% Internship Initiative; Stronger Career Fairs
  • Ideal Mixture of On-Campus and Distance Education
  • Responsiveness to Industry across Disciplines; Marketable Skills
  • New Academic Programs to Meet Emerging Regional/State/National Industry Needs
  • Promoting Academic Innovation Competency-based Education
  • Top-3 Destinations for Panhandle High School Graduates in Top 10% of Class Setting More Stringent Automatic Admissions Targets (Top 20% of Class)
  • RELLIS Program Offerings
  • Building Future Alumni with Current Undergraduate Students
  • Marketing Perceptions and Strategies; True Product/Services Price Comparisons µ A College of Arts and Sciences* (Core Courses of Study; Student Attraction; FacultyAttraction)
  • Importance of Basic Programs, Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Program Ranking and Relationships of Rankings and the General University Rankings
  • Quality of Undergraduate Students by Increasing the Quality of Primary and Secondary Educational System
  • Aspects of Faculty (Full-Time or Part-Time; Matters of Tenure; Faculty Work Life) Relationships of Graduate to Undergraduate Enrollment and Effects of Residential and Non-Residential Students
  • Relationship to K-Community College Education and Future Importance
  • Nature of Undergraduate Degrees (Core; Elective Study and Requirements) Quality of Teaching Metrics
  • Classroom Instructional Issues (Size; Quality; Learning Environment)
  • Teaching by Graduate Students, Impact of Teaching Quality and Graduate Fellowships
  • Makeup of Student Populations from Undergraduate and Graduate Student Levels Relationship Between Class Size and Teaching Quality
  • Leadership Training
  • Impact of Basic Sciences Emphasis
  • Role of Honor Societies and Prestigious Scholarships Definition and Roles of Professional Programs
  • Degree Completion Time and Impacts on Funding Graduate Academics Marketing Strategy
  • Impact of Residential Experience for Transfer Students, Dual Credit Associate Degree Completers and Graduate Students
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education Institutions
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Actions: Review all aspects of the undergraduate academic environment including admission, development, and retention policies, in order to enhance the undergraduate academic experience. Undergraduate study at WT must respond to, and support, the values and culture of the Texas Panhandle. We should not apologize for who we are, but herald our traditions and fabric as our greatest strength.


Theme Group: Graduate Academics (GA)

Aspiration: Good faculty attract good graduate students. The best universities have the best graduate students and research programs. It is that simple. Our move to doctoral status is driven and sustained by carefully conceived graduate programs. These programs must be responsive to the needs of the Texas Panhandle and similar geographic regions.

  • Graduate Student Population; Enrollments
  • A Regional Research University*
  • Professional Programs
  • Resources for Graduate Students
  • Attractiveness for Industry and External Resource Streams
  • Pipeline Programs (Relationship with the System as a Regional Research University) Hispanic-Serving Institution
  • Enrollment Growth Cap/Targets
  • Residency (Campus Visit) Requirement for Fully Online Students Competency-based Education
  • Responsiveness To Industry Across Disciplines* [Market Informed Education]
  • Increasing Employers at Career Fairs
  • Building Future Alumni with Current Graduate Students Marketing Perceptions and Strategies
  • True Product/Services Price Comparisons across Complementary Goods
  • Aspects of Faculty (Full-Time or Part-Time; Matters of Tenure; Faculty Work Life)
  • Relationships of Graduate to Undergraduate Enrollment and Effects of Residential and Non-Residential Students
  • Support of Graduate Students Through Fellowships and Impact on Graduate Student Quality
  • Quality of Teaching Metrics
  • Classroom Instructional Issues (Size; Quality; Learning Environment)
  • Teaching by Graduate Students, Impact of Teaching Quality; Graduate Fellowships Makeup of Student Populations from Undergraduate and Graduate Student Levels Program Ranking and Relationships of Rankings and the General University Rankings Leadership Training
  • Leadership of Graduate Programs and College Autonomy Impact of Basic Sciences Emphasis
  • Role of Honor Societies and Prestigious Scholarships Definition and Roles of Professional Programs
  • Faculty Chairs and Professorships and Support for Hiring and Retaining Faculty Structure of Centralized or Decentralized Graduate School
  • Degree Completion Time and Impacts on Funding
  • Graduate Academics Marketing Strategy
  • Types of Research Funding
  • Impact of Residential Experience for Transfer Students, Dual Credit Associate Degree Completers and Graduate Students
  • Contributions of Best Public Universities at Local/Regional Levels
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education
  • Institution
  • Impact of Graduate Student Recruitment and Graduate Student Quality on Research Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries
  • Things People Like About Good Universities Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Action: Work to define a culture and environment that supports excellence in graduate study in all dimensions in the core disciplines of a Regional Research University. Embrace and trumpet the idea of a Regional Research University.

 
Theme Group: Residential Education Experience (REE)

Aspiration: Our identification with and capabilities for providing a complete experience that includes leadership development and life skills should never fall below any other priority of the institution.

  • Residential Life*
  • Leadership Training and Development; Honors Programs Traditions
  • National Measures, Leadership in Action Learning Communities
  • International Students Student Engagement
  • Student Employment Opportunities (On Campus Internships) Career Services
  • Student Campus Experiences (On Campus and Off Campus) Campus Master Plan
  • Housing Master Plan
  • Residential Living Cost Analysis*
  • Housing Partnerships (Public and Private) Building Alumni Relations
  • Veterans Services Support Title IX
  • Effects of Intercollegiate Athletic Programs
  • What it Means to Be a Buff and Alumni Perception Addressing Extracurricular Activities Concept
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education
  • Institutions
  • Impact of Residential Experience for Transfer Students, Dual Credit Associate Degree Completers and Graduate Students
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Actions: Describe initiatives that will continue to enhance campus life and personal development opportunities for all students and develop national awareness of our strength in this area. Build on the institution’s distinctive tradition of Panhandle values, and de Tocqueville’s American exceptionalism, citizenship, character, and leadership.


Theme Group: Financial Resources (FR)

Aspiration: The quality to which we aspire will be achieved with appropriate material support. Resources may not lead to quality, but quality always leads to resources. Quality first.

  • Financial Resources Funding
  • Who Bears the Cost Giving
  • Parsimoniousness
  • Relationship between Public and Private Resources Industry Responsiveness/Industry Resources
  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Student Debt*
  • Scholarship Funding Opportunities Philanthropy Efforts
  • Offsetting Losses in State Support
  • Investing in Successful Programs/Initiatives Strategic and Unique Fundraising Initiatives Top Panhandle Performers Scholarships
  • Types of Research Funding
  • Faculty Chairs and Professorships and Support for Hiring and Retaining Faculty Faculty Compensation System and Issues Comparative to Industry Model
  • Importance of Extramural Funding
  • Discussion of Orders of Impact and Cost Effectiveness
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education
  • Institutions
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Peers and Aspirant Peers

Actions: Develop strategies that will build the resource streams – state, federal, corporate, and private – required to support the University’s rapid evolution toward a doctoral university that embodies the notion of a Regional Research University.


Theme Group: Intellectual Resources (IR)

Aspiration: The core of the campus, its heart, is the flow of intellectual resources, insight and wisdom. No aspiration of WT 125 will be achieved without substantial commitments in information technology, the library, the PPHM, and other resources that power the mind and provide insights to students, faculty and the Panhandle community.

  • Information Technology*
  • IT and its Impact on Learning
  • IT and its Impact on Creative and Scholarly Work
  • Developing Access to Distant Resources, Our Connections to Everything o Toolsets to Lead the Region and Beyond
  • Budgeting/Costing
  • Research and Development o IT Supply and Demand Needs
  • Expanding Bandwidth and Redundancy
  • Resources to Support Expanding Doctoral Programming Needs
  • Pedagogical Support
  • Data and Analytics (Civitas Learning; AdmitHub)()
  • Innovative Technology Initiatives; Mobile; Web Accessibility and Compliance; Security; Database; Web Applications and Development; Internet of Things (IoT)
  • The Library*
  • Nature of the Library at a Regional Research University
  • Library Holdings, Quality; Staff; Expenditures
  • Ranking System of Library
  • Special Collections
  • The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum*
  • PPHM Fully Integrated with the University
  • How PPHM Complements Library
  • Online Programs; Quality
  • Focus on and Funding Spent on Information Processing
  • Distance Education (Define Distance Education; Role of Distance Education as Regional Research University); Accreditation; Class Size; Branding; US NEWS Ranking; Courses Offered; Percentage Student Enrollment; Education on Demand
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education
  • Institutions
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Actions: The theme group should identify strategies that will increase the power to learn while equipping students and scholars with the best insight, access, and widely distributed intellectual resources, simultaneously reflecting the past and projecting the future.



Theme Group: Human Capital (HC)

Aspiration: Faculty and staff are the University. We must recruit, reward and retain, retain the very best. The conditio sine qua non of all faculty and staff, at every level, must be teaching and the support thereof in its diverse manifestations.
  • Faculty and Staff
    • The Work and The Needs
    • Measures of Excellence
    • Support Structures
    • Reward Structures
    • Qualifications
    • Recruitment Efforts
    • Hiring Efforts
    • Orientation Programs
  • Diversity* (Define Diversity; Manifestations of Diversity; Diversity and Quality; Changing Graduate Student and Undergraduate Student Demographics)
    • Mentorship Program
    • Recognition Program
    • Retention Efforts
    • Competitive Salaries
  • Faculty
    • Work Load Symmetry and Fairness; Shifting Allocations of Teaching, Service, Research/Scholarship
    • Scholarship, Creative Activity and Research o Faculty Resources & Needs
    • Endowments; Research Stipends; Signing Bonuses; Performance o Tenure & Promotion Expectations
    • Doctoral-Level Faculty
    • Student-Faculty Ratio
    • Faculty Depth and Critical Mass
    • Faculty Compensation System and Issues Comparative to Industry Model o Recruit, Retain and Reward Faculty
    • Aspects of Faculty (Full-Time or Part-Time; Matters of Tenure; Faculty Work Life) o Faculty Chairs and Professorships and Support for Hiring and Retaining Faculty
  • Title IX
  • Job Opportunities in Community
  • Importance of Administrative Costs
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Institution’s Size in Relation to Best Higher Education
  • Institutions
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

Actions: The theme group should identify issues that will support excellence for faculty and staff, in teaching, research, and service that extends the University’s reputation within the academic and extended communities in teaching, research and service.


Theme Group: Research and Infrastructure (RI)

Aspiration: Sustain excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities. Excellence in research and scholarship will attract human and material resources. This is our goal.

  • A Regional Research University – The Needs of the Panhandle*
  • Quantity of Research and Scholarship Quality of Research and Scholarship Sources of Funds
  • Management Focus Areas
  • Adequacy of Lab Spaces for Research Faculty/Industry Collaborations
  • Emerging Research Needs of the Panhandle
  • Aspects of Faculty (Full-Time or Part-Time; Matters of Tenure; Faculty Work Life)
  • Impact of Graduate Student Recruitment and Graduate Student Quality on Research Program Ranking and Relationships of Rankings and the General University Rankings Discussion of Orders of Impact and Cost Effectiveness
  • Types of Research Funding
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries Things People Like About Good Universities
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers
 

Actions: The theme group should identify key areas for growth in research, scholarship, and creative activity based on extant strength, new focus areas, and Panhandle, state and national needs – and identify key actions required to pursue these opportunities. Niches that lead to recognition as a Regional Research University are essential. We must do what few, if any aspiring regional universities do – use our context not as a limitation or an excuse, but as a driver of scholarship, knowledge generation, insight and unique experiences for our students and faculty to pursue and expose new ideas that benefit our society.



Theme Group: Leadership Governance and Organization (LGO)

 

Aspiration: Great universities exist where there is enlightened leadership. This is true at the state, system and university levels. It is true from within, and from the outside. It comes from every rank of university life: staff, faculty and administration. No segment has the corner on the market of innovation and insight, and recognition will make WT better.

  • Organizations that Respond to Excellence An Empowered Faculty
  • WT, the System, the Panhandle, and the State Risks and Rewards for Leaders
  • Overall Organizational Structure (Organizational Chart) Academic Organization Structure
  • TAMU System Collaboration
  • Consistency in University Processes & Services (Registration, Admissions, Advising) Alumni Engagement and Membership
  • Government Relations; Local, State, National Elected Delegation
  • Stature of Institution Relative to the Effects of Conservatism or Liberalism
  • Aspects of Faculty (Full-Time or Part-Time; Matters of Tenure; Faculty Work Life) Capital and Resources for Building Image
  • Discussion of Orders of Impact and Cost Effectiveness
  • Leadership of Graduate Programs and College Autonomy Distinctiveness and Market Niche
  • Nature of Relationship to the System Importance of Administrative Costs
  • Defining Our Relationship to the Texas Industries
  • Shared Leadership in Community; Benefits of Community that Impact the Institution How Leadership Elevates High Visibility Programs
  • Things People Like About Good Universities Defining a Regional Research University
  • WTAMU Compared to Comparison Peers, Aspirant Peers and Geographic Peers

 

Actions: Identify structural impediments to institutional excellence and suggest such changes to the governance framework as may be required to support the University’s continued development and further enhance its reputation as a Regional Research University.