Western Rising Compass
Western Rising

A New Direction for the Future

Strategic Plan 2024 – 2030

Western Rising
Dr. Manohar Singh

A Message from
the President

Dr. Manohar Singh

Founded on June 12, 1903, as the Danbury Normal School, Western is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. While the world has experienced significant change, Western has stayed true to its mission of preparing compassionate leaders. This reflects the intellectual leadership of its faculty, dedication of its staff, and inquisitiveness of its students in advancing shared goals for the betterment of mankind. We have much to be proud of.

As a dynamic institution of higher learning, we are responsive to the needs of the rapidly changing socioeconomic and political fabric of our society. As a result, Western finds itself ready to embark upon a new path of strategic planning while building upon its legacy and rich traditions. In addition, we have experienced seismic shifts in the higher education landscape nationally and globally over the last decade. These changes have not only posed challenges to higher education, but offer a wealth of opportunities a dynamic institution like Western to stay at the forefront of discovery and impact. This is a propitious moment for us to come together and envision a shared future. Collectively, we can craft our next mission-centric strategic plan as the previous plan comes to its conclusion in 2024.

During my listening and learning tour with several stakeholders over the past 12 weeks, I realized that our progress emanates from our collective strength and purpose. A strategic plan developed in an inclusive and collaborative manner, as enshrined in the principles of shared governance, will unite us with greater resolve to meet the challenges ahead. Guided by faculty and staff colleagues, we are initiating a strategic planning process. The 2024-30 strategic plan, “Western Rising,” embodies our collective indomitable spirit to continue to rise beyond limits and toward brighter horizons.

Through Western Rising, our College community will discuss, develop, and initiate fresh and bold strategic priorities to advance Western Connecticut State University’s excellence, inclusiveness, and opportunities for all.

Strategic Planning Process

This six-month inclusive process will engage our diverse community in an in-depth self-evaluation that will yield a collaborative vision to guide us to shared institutional aspirations. It will navigate our mission, vision and values to shape the next six years as we outline our short-term goals and long-term mission-centric strategies as a regional public university — one of our society’s most powerful catalysts for economic prosperity, social mobility, nation building and personal wellbeing. 


The process will have four stages. The first stage is planned to be launched on November 21st. The process will yield a comprehensive strategic plan that represents a diverse set of perspectives and shared aspirations.  

President Launch - 11/21/23 – 3/10/24

Phase 1:
Listening and Learning

To launch our strategic planning process, we will do the following:

  1. Create the Strategic Planning Committees with representation from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administration.
  2. Host two sessions to frame the strategic planning process. These sessions will be in person and via WebEx. Each session will followed by small focus groups to gather feedback and shape next steps.
  3. Evaluate the initial survey and the data from the focus groups and use them to identify our strategic priorities

03/11/24 – 04/02/24

Phase 2:
Envisioning Our Future

During this phase the Strategic Planning Committees will meet with university and community stakeholders to develop the critical objectives that stem from the strategic priorities.

05/08/24 & 05/09/24

Phase 3:
Crafting our Plan

The strategic planning team will transform the fully developed objectives into action steps and responsible parties.


Phase 4:
Honoring our Promise

Step by step, year by year, action by action, together we will make our strategic plan a reality.


Upcoming Events

Higher Education & Western Roundtable

MT Student Center Restaurant (former student cafeteria)

Snacks and beverages will be served.

Higher Education & Western Roundtable

WS 218, President’s Reception Room, WS Classroom building

Coffee, tea and pastries will be served.

News & Updates

The Launch for Western Connecticut State University’s Strategic Plan, Western Rising 2024 – 2030, took place on November 21, 2023. To view a video recap of the launch click the link – STRATEGIC PLAN LAUNCH

The Best Practices & Socio-Cultural, Political & Economics Roundtable was held on December 1, 2023. Transcription 12/01/23 ➔

The WCSU Positioning for Success and Higher Education Landscape Panel Discussion was held on December 5, 2023. Stay tuned for a video recap.

An Opportunity to Engage

The Planning Process

Organization structure:  

We plan to set up three groups to implement the process. The five-person Process Management Group (PMG) appointed by me will conduct the administrative tasks to manage the process and real-time communications. The next larger group with 8-10 members will be the Steering Committee (SC) that will collect, summarize, synthesize and craft the final strategic plan based on the multiple rounds of information gathering, feedback, consultations and discussions conducted at various events planned throughout the process. The Steering Committee will be a body of various stakeholders — faculty, staff, students, alumni — who choose to send their representatives as members. Finally, the largest group that will engage in the process is the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) a collection of various subcommittees and working groups that correspond to various strategic plan domains.  

Process Management Group (PMG) will consist of five individuals:


Staff- Institutional Design

Presidential Assistant

Divisional Appointment 1

Divisional Appointment 2

Steering Committee (SC) will consist of 7-10 individuals:

Senate President

Dean of School

Dean of Students

VP of Enrollment Mgmt. and Student Affairs

Financial Administrator 


Staff (Director of Administrative Services)



Alum/Foundation Board