Wilson Hall

The Graduate School Strategic Compass

2021/22 - 2024/25


To transform the lives of graduate students, nurture staff and inspire faculty

The Graduate School Mission
To lead and coordinate the graduate enterprise in promoting the success of JMU’s graduate programs and graduate students

JMU Graduate Education Mission
To serve the public good by providing graduate students with high quality academic experiences and professional development thorough its diverse, collaborative and engaged community.

As a community of administrators, faculty, staff and graduate students, we value collaboration, compassion, diversity, efficiency, fun, self-expression, stewardship teamwork.

Major objectives by year

  1. 21/22 Prune - Focus on inherently post graduate issues to capture all efficiencies
  2. 22/23 Infrastructure – Disrupt tradition to increase the impact of the graduate enterprise
  3. 23/24 and 24/25 – Seek First to Understand - Find out what we know, what data do we have and what data do we need? 

The Graduate School’s Strategic Compass aligns with the Academic Affairs Strategic Plan (AASP) including:

AASP Goal 1: There is a broad consensus that our future as a national university, hinges on the establishment of a distinctive, JMU blend of liberal arts, research, and professional education.

Toward this goal, TGS aims to:

  • Coordinate efforts to increase the number of research-focused graduate programs
  • Create and maintain a list of potential new research-based and professional programs, updating yearly. This list will help TGS prioritize programs needing assistance in curriculum creation and marketing
  • Partner with stakeholders to cultivate new revenue-generating certificates
  • Partner with colleges to assess program-specific needs
  • Create organizational framework for additional applications (Hire an additional Admissions Team's member
  • Capture information from International Student Group “Global” to raise visibility of international student needs
  • Improve student transferable skills development opportunities


AASP Goal 2: Centering evidence-based anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment national best practices, Academic Affairs will foster an inclusive and evolving community that supports a thriving and supportive academic culture.

Toward this goal, TGS aims to:

  • Employ Faculty Fellow and Graduate Assistant for Inclusive Excellence
  • Tell the Graduate Education Story for Awareness and Fundraising Efforts Use services of campus marketing to create new view book and branding
  • Highlight graduate student success (licensure passing rates, etc.)
  • Partner with Colleges (SREB) as they recruit graduate faculty and students
  • Recognize programs with innovative inclusive excellence efforts (awards)
  • Partner with FA and others to change assistantship timing to put awards on accounts sooner
  • Use resources from National Name Exchange membership
  • Pilot staff telecommuting
  • Increase TGS’s Global Reach: Participate in JMU’s International recruitment, partner with REDI for international research initiatives, Recruit Globally
  • Advocate for additional graduate student housing
  • Support/start existing student affinity groups - International and minoritized students, staff and faculty
  • Create sustainable framework for graduate student data collection
  • Perform Equity Audits including: data collection, surveying graduate students (climate survey)
  • Create initiatives to bolster English language proficiency


AASP Goal 3: Academic Affairs uses the division’s expertise and experience gained in the pandemic and beyond to learn, grow and innovate together in order to positively impact the world.

Toward this goal, TGS aims to:

  • Create additional assistantships and scholarships by eliminating the current “V-List.” This allows TGS to pay in-state tuition for all full-time graduate assistants increasing the number of tuition packages with the same budget without a corresponding budget increase
  • Right size The Graduate School Staff
  • Conduct a Departmental Study with HR
  • Pilot digital marketing strategies
  • Develop fundraising strategy
  • Manage graduate degree alumni
  • Develop programming for Graduate "Student Research Lab" to include transferable and research skill building
  • Coordinate efforts to adjust selected program's OS tuition to competitive rates
  • Recognize TGS Heroes, staff member partners
  • Capture student services events for better public relations initiatives
  • Create social media strategy
  • Overlap hiring of Assistant Director of Admissions
  • Implement a Strategic Enrollment Management framework

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