Our Quest for Distinction: Strategic Plan


Download the PDF


Fairmont State University will be renowned for its innovative pedagogical practices and programs and as the first-choice institution for students seeking a transformative educational experience.


Fairmont State University is a comprehensive, regional university committed to educating global citizen leaders in an environment distinguished by a commitment to excellence, student success and transformational impact.

Core Values And The Goals That Address Them

Family - establishing interdependence and mutual support

Diversity - engendering a culture of respect where all people’s views are acknowledged and valued

Excellence - ensuring distinction in programs, service, faculty, staff and students

Entrepreneurship – supporting creative and innovative initiatives that may have an element of risk

Safety - promoting an environment free from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss

Trust - inspiring confidence in a person in whom responsibility or authority is placed

Respect - having esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of our people

Integrity - adhering to the highest standards

Transparency - establishing visible foundations for decisions and plans

Stewardship - responsibly overseeing and protecting the things considered worth caring for and preserving

Goals And Objectives

A. Strategic Theme #1: Student Success: Retention

  1. Increase first-year retention rate
  2. Increase 6-year graduation rates
  3. Reduce transfer-out rate
  4. Ensure student career/graduate school placement
  5. Provide 4-year scholarships


  1. Minimum of 75%
  2. Minimum of 50%
  3. To no more than 25%
  4. To 90% within 6 months of graduation
  5. 100% of students receiving a scholarship will have a 4-year commitment


  • Enhance the University’s advising model to ensure best practices across campus.
  • Centralize First Year Experience initiatives under the Office of Retention and develop new programs and initiatives to support students’ transition to Fairmont State.
  • Develop a method to identify and support students who may be at greater risk of withdrawing from college.
  • Improve student access to mental health services.
  • Enhance the availability and accessibility of important campus information.
  • Develop a specialized orientation program and other support structures for international students.
  • Develop data through the Office of Career Services to track job placements and admission to graduate school.


B. Strategic Theme #2: Enrollment Management: Growth

  1. Re-engage non-traditional students by understanding, creating, and offering unparalleled innovative programs
  2. Systematically identify and attract out-of-state and international students
  3. Increase enrollment of non-traditional learners
  4. Expand educational program-to-program articulation agreements with community colleges and senior institutions
  5. Create cross-border programs in foreign countries
  6. Improve accessibility


  1. A minimum of 10 new on-line or low-residency programs
  2. Minimum of 20% out-of-state and a minimum of 500 international students
  3. Minimum of 30% non-traditional learners (including part-time and full-time)
  4. Minimum of 100 program-to-program articulation agreements
  5. A minimum of 2 new programs
  6. Maintain tuition and average net price below those of peers; a minimum of 5 new Co-op programs


  • Increase visibility and expand geographic footprint of Fairmont State University to increase the percentage of students who enroll from outside of West Virginia to 30%.
  • Enhance marketing materials to reach specific populations (i.e. in-state, out-of-state, international, transfer, non-traditional, veterans, etc.)
  • Develop/enhance online and mobile application process.
  • Enhance processes and initiatives to improve applicant pool and yield rates. 
  • Develop program and infrastructure for international recruitment.
  • Formalize study abroad and exchange programs.
  • Establish articulation agreements.
  • Identify and market academic programs of distinction that create a unique identity for the University.      


C. Strategic Theme #3: Resource Diversification: Philanthropy

  1. Increase grant funding
  2. Grow foundation endowment to a minimum of $50 million
  3. Increase the number of endowed student scholarships
  4. Increase alumni engagement/philanthropy to a minimum of 5 percent above the national average


  1. Minimum of $5 million/year
  2. Minimum of $50 million
  3. Minimum of 300
  4. Minimum of 5 percent above the national average


  • In partnership with the Foundation and Alumni Association, engage alumni to reconnect with their alma mater, to support current students, and to help sustain the future of the University.
  • Strengthen and maintain integrity of constituent database and improve communication outreach.
  • Establish and strengthen relationships with alumni affinity groups, such as athletes, Greek life, majors, retired faculty and staff, and others.
  • Establish annual “President’s Tour” to areas with high concentrations of alumni.
  • Encourage and support alumni chapter development.
  • Develop an alumni mentoring program for current students.
  • Establish University-wide funding priorities that correlate into focal objectives for a scholarship campaign and a comprehensive capital campaign.
  • Encourage and support increased grantsmanship across campus.
  • Foster partnerships within our regional community.
  • Organize a collaborative relationship with local and state government officials and civic organizations to create a town and gown cooperative.
  • Actively seek and create corporate partnerships to develop opportunities for student internships, service learning, guest lecture events, public-private partnerships, and collaborative initiatives for community development.