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College of Engineering Releases Five-Year Strategic Plan

January 9, 2018
Man poses for photo near Engineering Building
CEAS Dean Michael Pishko and top administrators have developed a five-year strategic plan for the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) at the University of Wyoming will establish a premier academic culture, foster innovative growth, engage in productive economic development and become a best-practices organization by 2023, according to a strategic plan adopted in December 2017.

A recently approved strategic plan was presented to CEAS faculty and staff Dec. 8 and will serve as a framework for advances within the college over the next five years.

“This strategic plan was crafted with input from faculty, students and staff in our college, and reflects the values that our institution stands upon,” CEAS Dean Michael Pishko says. “The plan represents a comprehensive effort to elevate our college to the next level in academics, growth and innovation, outreach and perhaps most importantly, add value to the state of Wyoming.”

The CEAS was established to help fulfill UW’s core land-grant mission: to serve Wyoming through outstanding undergraduate education, research in areas of economic importance to the state, and outreach to stakeholders across the state. The Tier-1 Engineering Initiative, established by the Wyoming Legislature in 2012, represents a major reinvestment in engineering and computer science, and is a recognition of the importance of these jobs to Wyoming’s economy.  

The strategic plan represents the next phase of the Tier-1 vision and operationalizes the initiative. In executing this plan, the college will attract, retain, and develop world-class human capital including faculty, staff and students, will produce high-value, economically relevant research, and will be recognized internationally for innovation in education and research. To align with the UW strategic plan, three- and five-year target metrics will be developed.  

“We know how important our college is to the state and we recognize we have a duty to deliver tangible results to the citizens of the state from a research and workforce standpoint,” Pishko adds. “We’re firm in our commitment to be an integral part of our state’s economic future.”

The college has developed a strategy map to document primary goals and will use the Balanced Scorecard, developed by the Harvard Business School as a performance-management tool.

Earlier in the fall semester, CEAS leadership hosted a community day wherein staff and faculty met to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the college and its structure. A consulting firm gathered the feedback from the meeting and condensed it into themes. From there, CEAS “theme” teams devised initiatives and met as a large group to determine priority and timing of proposed changes.

“This is not everything that we’ll consider moving forward to improve the college,” Pishko says. “This is just a good starting point to begin the process.”

While the strategic plan will feature some changes from an organizational standpoint, college leadership will ensure the college stays committed to its core values, which include: focusing on student success, fostering collaboration, being collegial and respectful to all, featuring teaching and research activities that reinforce and enhance each other, staying committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and have a sense of honor to serve Wyoming.

Below are the tenets of each initiative in the strategic plan.

A Premier Academic Culture
This initiative includes national recognition of programs, investment in high-impact practices and developing a unique community of scholars.

Innovative Growth
This will lead to transformational partnerships, expansion of college fundraising efforts, efforts to control the college’s financial future and pipelines for enrollment growth.

Productive Economic Development
Efforts in this area will lead to pipelines from science to technology, interdisciplinary Centers of Research Excellence, investment in faculty and incentives and rewards for faculty engagement.

A Best Practices Organization
This effort will lead the college to become a high-functioning organization, investing in people, organizing for success and development of research and data infrastructure.

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