As a great university, Wake Forest is called to continually build upon our strong foundation and strive for excellence. As we look ahead to 2034 — 12 years from now — when Wake Forest University will celebrate its 200th anniversary, it is imperative that we develop a clear vision and direction to further support our mission.  

Through this next year, we will focus our collective efforts on how to frame our journey to 2034. Investing in this effort now will allow us to craft the strategic direction required to deepen and sustain our claim to greatness for our University into its third century. 


Nov. 17, 2022 — Dr. Wente addressed the Strategic Framework in her annual Presidential Address.

Nov. 30, 2022 — Dr. Wente added context to the next steps of the framework process in her blog post.

More: Information about the thematic goals and working groups was shared on Dec. 15, 2022, and Jan. 13, 2023.

Working Groups

In the spring of 2023, five working groups are exploring opportunities within the areas of emphasis announced by President Susan R. Wente on December 15. By design, the working group topics may support multiple thematic goals of the Strategic Framework.

  • Each Working Group is co-chaired by a member of the Core Planning Team and a faculty member new to the Strategic Framework process.
  • A list of potential members was developed based on recommendations of deans, Core Planning Team members, and the Faculty Senate. Wente and Provost Michele Gillespie, who also is the chair of the Core Planning Team, determined the final membership based on those recommendations and consultation with other members of the Strategic Framework team.
  • Faculty and staff from across the College and Schools are represented, and each group has a liaison from the medical school and at least one member who is a Faculty Senator. Careful attention was paid to ensuring representation and diversity across multiple areas, including discipline/expertise, length of service and lived experience.

Each Working Group has been issued a charge to guide their efforts over the remainder of the spring semester, and each Working Group will provide opportunities for campus feedback in February. Their work will culminate in the submission of white papers that will form the basis of the final draft of the Strategic Framework to be presented to the Board of Trustees this summer.


The voices in the Wake Forest community are critical as we work to understand what makes us distinct and differentiates us from other great universities. During the spring 2023 semester, there will be more opportunities for input, and feedback is welcomed through this form.


Provost Michele Gillespie and the Core Planning Team have engaged in an iterative process to develop and propose a set of key areas for focused work. The process, in addition to further review by President Wente and other members of the Strategic Framework team, has yielded the following working group topics:

  1. Enrich the student experience.
  2. Frame the future of excellence in teaching and academic engagement.
  3. Enhance impact through distinction in research, scholarship and creative work.
  4. Build on Wake Forest’s unique role in supporting the well-being of the communities we call home.
  5. Define principles and pathways for engaging in sustainable partnerships locally and globally.