Commencing his first full semester post-inauguration, Morgan State University President Dr. David Wilson unveiled a strategic plan intended to spearhead infrastructure upgrades, encourage community development and double student enrollment over the next 10 years.

The newly minted leader, who was inaugurated last October, said his plan will boost enrollment by expanding competitive research and academic programs, increasing online degree options and streamlining agreements with local community colleges.

“Now more than ever, Morgan has numerous opportunities to become a viable economic engine of growth that increases employment opportunities, stimulates local redevelopment and draws renewed investments and businesses to the neighborhoods surrounding the campus,” Wilson said. “Morgan will fully embrace its mission as Maryland’s public urban university.”

His proposals come as Morgan celebrates record enrollment of nearly 8,000 students. Morgan’s new Alabama-born leader says he predicts even higher student numbers in coming years.

Wilson, 54, said his comprehensive plan incorporates capital facility improvements, including a renovated conference center and new student housing, as well as increased study abroad opportunities. He also intends to build an Office of Research to “protect innovation” and invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to prepare the next generation of minority scientists and innovators.

Morgan is already producing a substantial number of mathematicians, he said during his address to faculty earlier this month. Roughly 15 percent of Blacks who graduate with doctoral degrees in math earned their undergraduate degree from Morgan, he said.

University officials said the 10-year strategic plan called “Growing the Future, Leading the World,” will commence over the next nine months. Wilson has already appointed a steering committee – comprised of school administrators, alumni, and community and business leaders –to oversee the endeavor.

According to a project timeline posted on the university’s website, the committee presented a blueprint of the plan to the Board of Regents last October. They will reveal a preliminary outline to university stakeholders as early as April, and the Board of Regents will consider the plan in August.

Prior to serving as Morgan’s head, Wilson was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, an effort that applies university research to neighboring communities.

Wilson is calling on the state of Maryland, federal government, MSU alumni and philanthropic groups to increase financial assistance to implement Morgan’s strategic agenda.

“There is no way the nation is going to go where it needs to go without us,” he said.

Shernay Williams

Special to the AFRO