Our Four Pillars

The uniqueness and strength of the Destination Weatherhead strategic plan lies in the synergistic combination of our twin strategic focus areas and four pillars:

  • Market-focused Education
  • Research
  • Distinctive Brand
  • Diverse & Inclusive Environment

This fusion among these pillars will create a learning organization that brings value to all our students, staff, faculty, alumni, Case Western Reserve University and our larger community both within Cleveland and far beyond. Learn more about the strategic planning taking place at Case Western Reserve and Weatherhead School of Management:

Pillar One: Imparting Market-focused Education

We will build excellence in analytics and healthcare management while building an infrastructure to monitor and react to marketplace demands and trends.

Two key insights emerged from our strategic planning process:

  1. The strategic initiatives must be inherently connected to the marketplace's current and likely future needs; and
  2. the marketplace demands a closer alignment between educational programs and specific industry sectors, and seeks professionals that can fill critical skills gaps. 

In response, we will focus our initial strategic initiatives on:

  1. management of the healthcare vertical and
  2. analytics and data-driven management.

Other industry verticals and skill sets can be added in the future consistent with market-based trends.

Goal 1

Deliver vibrant, agile, market-aligned degree programs, majors and executive education offerings that consistently place our graduates at the forefront of their fields and advance our alumni's lifelong learning.

Objectives Actions Measures
1.1 Build excellence in analytics and healthcare management

1.1.1 Expand the adoption of analytics into existing and/or new analytics-based curriculum

1.1.2 Expand the focus on healthcare management by: (a) Adding content in the existing and new curriculum where appropriate; and (b) Developing new degree and executive education programs

  • Increase number of modules (case studies, exercises, courses)
  • Increase number of faculty with demonstrated expertise
  • Increase number of enrollments or credit hours taken
  • Increase number of students placed in roles in these focus areas
  • Increase number of industry advisors
1.2 Invest in the long-term success of the MBA and undergraduate program suites 1.2.1 Enhance the number and quality of incoming students in the MBA program, specialty master's programs, and undergraduate program suite

1.2.2 Evolve the portfolio of programs, concentrations, majors and minors to reflect market trends

  • Increase proportion of CWRU first-year students choosing a major or minor at Weatherhead
  • Improve credentials of incoming students
  • Improve the ranking for the MBA program to be among top 50 in the U.S. and the undergraduate program to be among top 30 in U.S. News & World Report rankings
  • Increase the number of students enrolled in Weatherhead courses, majors, minors and programs
1.3 Deliver alternative learning opportunities 1.3.1 Develop online and hybrid technology-driven learning models

1.3.2 Expand experiential learning into every degree program

1.3.3 Develop alternative campus programs through alliances with other institutions

1.3.4 Build connections between executive education and degree programs

  • Expand the number of online and hybrid degree and executive education program(s)
  • Increase faculty, staff, and student satisfaction with alternative learning experiences
  • Increase the number of experiential learning offerings and student participation (e.g., university competitions, Treks, LEAD)
  • Increase the number of alliances for alternative campus programs
  • Increase the number of referrals from executive education to degree programs and vice versa
  • Award scholarships to executive education certificate holders for entry into degree programs
1.4 Emphasize continuous marketplace readiness of our students and alumni 1.4.1 Integrate faculty in student recruitment and placement

1.4.2 Establish and sustain a formal recruitment network to boost placement quality and quantity

1.4.3 Supplement existing curricula with additional beyond-the-classroom opportunities for students to develop interviewing, case analysis, presentation, and interpersonal skills

1.4.4 Foster opportunities to connect students and alumni through speaker series, career development workshops, and school events

  • Increase faculty participation in networking events and career fairs
  • Increase the number of Internships and placements for all programs
  • Increase student participation in beyond-the-classroom opportunities
  • Improve student satisfaction and employer feedback regarding student readiness
  • Increase the number of student collaborations and mentoring programs
1.5 Build an infrastructure to monitor and react to marketplace demands

1.5.1 Implement a systematic review mechanism of programs every 3-5 years to reflect market trends

1.5.2 Establish processes for evaluating financial contributions and profit margins of programs

1.5.3 Identify liaison staff for corporate relations, recruiting, placement, executive education, and development

  • Review processes in place
  • Annually review program margins
  • Assign or hire role(s)

Pillar Two: Engaging in Research of Enduring Consequence

We will support, incentivize, and reward research that is valued both within the academy and by the marketplace through quality research output and PhD/doctoral programs.

Goal 2 

Be highly recognized for research that matters to the academic, business and alumni communities.

Objectives Actions Measures
2.1 Support and promote rigorous, relevant research 2.1.1 Increase systemic support for research by faculty and students

2.1.2 Consistently assess research activities for both rigor and relevance to effectively incentivize research production

2.1.3 Elevate awareness of research output through media outreach

  • Increase support for research grants
  • Improve per capita research published in top-tier journals
  • Improve position in top tier research rankings (Business Week, UT Dallas, Financial Times)
  • Improve citation impact of faculty research
  • Improve faculty satisfaction with research support
  • Align faculty incentives to research productivity
  • Increase the number of media hits about Weatherhead research output in select publications
2.2 Advance PhD/Doctoral Research 2.2.1 Implement the redesign of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program

2.2.2 Improve doctoral student engagement in research by increasing opportunities for research assistantships and standardizing teaching and service commitments across disciplines

  • Enhance the number and quality of DBA students
  • Enhance the quality of incoming PhD students
  • Increase the number and proportion of PhD students placed in peer institutions
  • Increase the number of scholar-practitioner research presentations, projects, book chapters, and papers
  • Increase the number of top-tier publications (solo and co-authored with Weatherhead faculty) by doctoral students
2.3 Improve research collaboration within Weatherhead, across campus and with external partners 2.3.1 Incentivize interdisciplinary research

2.3.2 Support the development of industry partnerships and funded research

2.3.3 Support ongoing hubs of collaboration by supporting new and existing Centers of Excellence

  • Increase percentage of funded interdisciplinary projects and seminars
  • Improve faculty awareness about funding opportunities
  • Increase number of faculty funded by industry and foundations
  • Create and sustain three new endowed Centers of Excellence

Pillar Three: Creating a Distinctive Brand

We will engage meaningfully with our Weatherhead family (alumni and community) to expand our reputation and become the "school of choice" for learning, research and employment. We will promote the many accomplishments of our alumni, students, and faculty and staff. We will strengthen our relationship with our constituents, especially domestically and regionally, thus increasing both the pipeline of high-quality students and executive education participants and the field of employers.

Goal 3

Be recognized globally as the place for a lifetime of advancement in management education.

Objectives Actions Measures
3.1 Deliver differentiated branded content to expand our markets and constituencies 3.1.1 Be perceived as an active promoter of management practices for more effective organizations and a better society

3.1.2 Maximize the digital content being created to feature faculty research and class content

3.1.3 Expand and communicate our global presence

  • Increase faculty participation in activities (webinars, media interviews, etc.) surrounding current events and management concepts
  • Increase number of stories featuring our students, alumni, and faculty partnerships
  • Increase the number of international experiences for students, faculty and alumni
3.2 Foster a Weatherhead family (alumni and business community) for life 3.2.1 Expand opportunities for alumni and industry to collaborate with Weatherhead

3.2.2 Offer attractive lifelong learning opportunities for alumni

3.2.3 Enable connection among alumni, staff, students, faculty and industry

3.2.4 Celebrate achievements of alumni, faculty, students and staff

  • Increase participation of alums and industry experts in Weatherhead activities (e.g., as speakers, mentors, advisory boards, event co-hosts, executives in residence, executive education guests and instructors)
  • Increase alumni involvement in Weatherhead lifelong learning opportunities (e.g., webinars and connections to Sears think[box], Veale Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship)
  • Increase interactions between current students and alumni
  • Recognize outstanding contributors to Weatherhead among alumni, faculty, students and staff
3.3 Implement systems that enable the delivery of our message to our existing markets and constituencies 3.3.1 Advance the digital component of our marketing strategy to stay abreast of changing trends used by industry and potential candidates
  • Strategy developed outlining purpose of marketing and media channels
  • Increase the number of qualified leads
  • Increase web traffic based upon keyword searches
  • Increase media contacting faculty resulting in articles/quotes
  • Increase lead conversion/yield

Pillar Four: Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Environment

We will cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment where our students, staff, faculty and alumni of all backgrounds feel a sense of belonging, respect, and being valued.

Our student-centered value requires a learning environment where local, national and international students succeed academically, professionally and personally. We will be the employer of choice for faculty and staff, and the source of pride and center of engagement for our alumni. We welcome a broad set of ideas from different disciplines and schools, and develop our teaching, educational programs, and research in an interdisciplinary manner.

Goal 4 

Provide an environment and culture where our faculty, staff, students and alumni work inclusively in research, service and teaching.

Objectives Actions Measures
4.1 Provide a support infrastructure to drive inclusive behavior and culture 4.1.1 Support and celebrate activities in which students work alongside Weatherhead faculty, staff and alumni to advance social causes and the betterment of society

4.1.2 Cultivate relationships with employers who have diversity initiatives

  • Increase percentage of faculty, staff, alumni and student attendance and involvement (e.g., Sustained Dialogues, Diversity 360 series, Safe Zone series)
  • Increase number of events held at Weatherhead promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Increase number of organizations recruiting our students
  • Increase number of students engaged annually in social impact projects
4.2 Proactively adjust the student, faculty and staff compositions to improve diversity 4.2.1 Achieve a balanced mix of domestic and international and underrepresented students in graduate programs

4.2.2 Recruit and retain underrepresented faculty and staff

  • Increase the proportion of domestic students in the MBA and Master of Science graduate programs
  • Increase the proportion of underrepresented students, faculty and staff
4.3 Develop an interdisciplinary approach to management curriculum 4.3.1 Streamline overlapping content across disciplines and programs

4.3.2 Develop new courses that are co-taught by faculty

  • Increase number of courses designated as interdisciplinary
  • Increase number of courses co-taught or co-designed by faculty working together across Weatherhead departments and CWRU schools
  • Decrease redundant content across courses