June 28, 2013

Advancing Northwood University’s Strategic Plan 

Success in business and life is the product of steady and ongoing effort. Despite the temptation to believe otherwise, there is no “middle” or “neutral” ground on which to stand. Institutions and individuals are either improving or they are not; they are either advancing their mission or they are not.

As the following highlights of Northwood University’s June 28 System Wide Update remind us, our faculty and staff clearly understand and appreciate this principle and are working hard to ensure we are advancing our Strategic Plan for success, both today and into the future: 

New Board Leadership

  • Dan DeVos, Board Chair
  • Al Zehnder, Board Vice Chair
  • Robert Grubb, Trustee
  • Patricia Riley, Trustee 

Strategic Theme 1: Enhance the Learning Environment - Academic Update

  • We are rolling out new specialty degree programs with more to come.
  • New offerings include:
    • Undergraduate
      • Operations & Supply Chain Management
      • Sustainability Management
      • Franchising Management  
      • Marketing & Management of Innovation (2014)
  • Graduate
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)
  • Intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
  • We are on course for Business Specialty Accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Strategic Theme 2: Nurture a Learning and Continuous Improvement Organization - HR Update

  • Our  faculty and staff are working hard to service our students, increase retention rates, engage alumni, and work collaboratively with their colleagues in support of our goals.
  • Dollars for Scholars Program growth
    • $3,075 awarded to students for 2012-13 academic year
    • $6,983 will be awarded to students for the 2013-14 academic year

Strategic Theme 3: Cultivate Student and Programmatic Growth - Enrollment Update 

  • Total student enrollment is up.
  • Total student applications and inquiries are up YTD 2013 vs. YTD 2012.
  • ADP summer enrollment is up.
  • Fall MBA DeVos commits are up.
  • Our Admissions team is working with faculty and staff system wide on increasing conversion rates:
    • New and innovative high school program in planning for 2013-2014 recruitment year
    • Approval of territory expansion plans—hiring in July/August
    • Department call-a-thon nights taking place
    • Admissions summer field family visits regularly occurring
    • Positive showings with students and parents at new student orientations
    • Implementation of our social media plan with new Student Coordinators, Student Ambassadors, and the Digital Web Services team at each residential campus
    • Launch of the “Keep Calm It’s Not Too Late” campaign aimed at driving registrations through the end of the summer 

Strategic Theme 4: Strengthen Brand Equity and Reputation - Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations Update

  • William Gagliardi is bringing fresh leadership and focus as our new Associate VP of Marketing, Communications & Public Relations.
  • Ongoing efforts to expand brand identity and impact via news media are succeeding.
    • Total media placements are up 79% year-to-date.
    • Faculty and staff are driving brand building events system wide—locally, regionally, nationally.
    • The redesign of our website is underway; completed launch is set for August 2013.
      • Key tool for driving enrollment
      • Most prospects connect with NU through our website
      • We launched the new online version of IDEA Magazine.

Strategic Theme 5: Execute Advancement and Alumni Plan - Capital Campaign and Alumni Update  

  • Number of Northwood Alumni, including engaged alumni, is growing.
    • Over 49,000 alumni worldwide
      • Engaged alumni activity up system wide
      • Official NU LinkedIn Alumni group up 34 % year-to-date
      • Alumni events doubled from last year to this year.
      • Alumni donors continue to grow substantially.
  • Capital  Campaign
    • $57,150,862 of $80,000,000 raised as of May 2013
    • Strong effort to date but we have more work to do.
    • The Capital Campaign ends on December 31, 2014.

We accomplished quite a bit since our last System Update and we have the opportunity to contribute further to Northwood’s success through our enrollment efforts over the next two months—like our summer campaign says, “It’s not too late.”  If you were unable to attend or watch the live System-Wide Update Meeting, a link to watch the recorded version of the meeting will be available next week.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640