Aug. 5, 2020
Reading time: 2 minutes, 51 seconds

The University of West Georgia has begun the process of strategic planning for the future of the university with a strategic vision expressed by its president.

Dr. Brendan B. Kelly, UWG president, announced the three pillars of his vision for the university – relevance, competitiveness and placemaking – in a video address to campus and community stakeholders.

UWG will host a virtual event – titled “Becoming UWG: A Virtual Gathering on Strategic Planning” – on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. EDT. During the event, Kelly will inform attendees of the steps of the strategic planning process and how they can become engaged with setting goals and imperatives for the university. The event can be streamed on UWG’s Livestream page.

“I look forward to sharing more information about how we will engage our stakeholders both on- and off-campus to set the course for the future of UWG,” Kelly said. “We’ve chosen the theme of ‘Becoming UWG’ to reflect that we are engaging in a process that is rooted creating our future – our institutional becoming.”

Becoming, Kelly said, is about what people, organizations and communities grow to be, and the university’s “becoming” should be the central focus of its daily work.

While the strategic plan will be driven by a large collection of stakeholders who are invested in and impacted by UWG, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and community members, Kelly set forth three strategic pillars that will serve as the institution’s focus to imagine the future.

I. Relevance

To break new ground in the landscape of higher education, UWG will need to continue to evolve to be more relevant to the needs of students – both inside and outside the classroom, and a changing world and economy.

“We must be host to the most meaningful academic programs and student experiences that anticipate the future of work and society,” Kelly said. “We need to develop our portfolios in these areas everyday to ensure we are delivering on that promise for years to come.”

II: Competitiveness

To remain competitive, Kelly said UWG should build its operations around higher expectations in order to emerge as the first choice for prospective students.

“Higher education is a competitive marketplace, and we need to focus on raising our performance standards all the time,” Kelly said. “Enhancing competitiveness requires coming to terms with who we are versus who we want to be. Every action, every decision, and the investment of every dollar must reflect the philosophy of meeting the needs of all our end-users.”

III. Placemaking

Kelly said a public university is the unique institution in the United States that has the capacity to provide a holistic “sense of place,” adding that UWG should live up to that expectation all the time.

“We must build on our assets and inspiration, our relevance and competitiveness, and intentionally create public spaces and experiences that promote people's health, happiness, civility, and wellbeing,” Kelly said. “This will strengthen the connection between people, places and the experiences they share.”

The goals of the strategic plan should reflect growth and excellence, Kelly said – but not just growth in enrollment.

“Growth of a public university is marked and measured by its complexity, sophistication, depth, scope and sense of purpose,” Kelly said. “We need to grow in size, scope and influence in the lives of stakeholders and the communities we serve by enhancing and elevating our collective relevance, competitiveness and sense of place.”

For more information on the strategic planning process and the virtual event to be held Aug. 11, visit

Videography by Steven Broome