Regents Approve New Strategic Plan

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 12, 2008 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new strategic plan for the University, including a mission statement, strategic vision statement, priorities and objectives designed to guide the University over the next three to five years.

The new plan is the result of a year-long process which began last December when the Board established a strategic planning steering committee chaired by Board President Brad Bedell. The committee represented all areas of campus, including Willie Redmond, Harrison College of Business; Margaret Dalton, College of Education; Shelba Branscum, College of Health and Human Services; Dieter Jedan, College of Liberal Arts; Bill Eddleman, College of Science and Mathematics; Shuju Wu, School of Polytechnic Studies; Cathy Roeder, Kent Library; Gerald McDougall, College of Deans; Liz Reisenbichler, CTS Council; Ruth Vetter, Professional Staff Council; and Sarah Snyder, Student Government. The committee hosted a forum in February attended by 130 individuals from the campus and the surrounding communities with the goal of developing a consensus on the major tasks to be faced by the University in the next three to five years. Subsequently, the steering committee held several meetings and open forums to refine the list of tasks developed at the February forum and develop a revised mission statement, a strategic vision statement, and a set of five priorities. Those items were approved by the Board at its May 9 meeting.

Since that time, the steering committee drafted objectives for each of the five priorities.  The steering committee facilitated 11 on-campus open forums and one open forum at each of the regional campuses to obtain feedback from campus and external constituents regarding the objectives.  Based on that input, a final version of the strategic plan was presented to the Board of Regents today.

The plan adopted today replaces the University’s former strategic plan approved by the Board of Regents in June 2004.

The mission statement adopted as part of the new plan calls for the University to provide students with real-world experience and with opportunities providing a global perspective in an effort to prepare them for a diverse and technologically advanced world. 

The strategic vision statement calls for Southeast to be the University of first choice for students; for faculty and staff; and for employers in the region and to be nationally recognized as a leader among all area higher education institutions in serving the agriculture, arts, business, education, health, human service, science and technology needs of the region.

The first priority of the plan focuses on academics and student experience and includes seven objectives:

• Maintain or enhance the current quality of all academic programs, including achieving national accreditation for any unaccredited programs for which such national standards are available, enhancing opportunities for experiential learning, strengthening student transitions and retention programs, internationalizing the campus and the curriculum, and identifying undergraduate and graduate academic programs required to meet the needs of the multi-state service area.   • Evaluate and improve the support of research and creative activities to enhance the student experience and outreach to our multi-state region. • Enhance the educational experience of students by evaluating and improving student support services, advising, extra- and co-curricular activities, and campus life to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students. • Enrich the Southeast experience and develop a stronger sense of community and pride among students, faculty, staff, and alumni by highlighting and improving campus life. • Evaluate and enhance the quality of all athletic programs, including providing opportunities for student participation as both student athletes and fans; strengthening and enhancing funding and facilities; enhancing the educational experience, retention and graduation rates of student athletes; and cultivating meaningful relationships with fans and benefactors. • Update and implement the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan that establishes the desired size, quality, and diversity of the student body. • Improve student services and community outreach and evaluate the need for additional degree programs at the regional campuses as feasible based on available resources and potential student enrollments.   The second priority calls for recognizing and valuing people associated with the University – students, faculty, staff, benefactors and employers who hire Southeast graduates. Four objectives are outlined to address that priority: • Improve the ability of the University to attract and retain highly qualified faculty and staff by offering competitive salaries, benefits, and professional development opportunities. • Develop succession plans for recruiting and retaining excellent and diverse faculty and staff due to an increased number of projected retirements. • Continue to cultivate meaningful relationships with local communities, employers, and potential benefactors to expand economic development initiatives and advance the region’s economic appeal and strength. • Maintain and improve effective structures for shared governance that value input from students, faculty, and staff.   The third priority of the plan concerns communication and the importance of the University being recognized by the public as an outstanding public comprehensive University in this region. The communications priority calls for the University’s message to be communicated internally, as well as regionally, nationally and globally to the University’s alumni, employers of graduates, prospective donors, government officials and others. Objectives outlined to meet that priority are: • Define, develop, and market a unique Southeast brand based on the University’s attributes, resources, mission, priorities and objectives. • Develop and implement an integrated marketing and communications plan which improves both internal and external communications.   The fourth priority centers on funding, calling on Southeast to partner with stakeholders to identify alternative funding sources to support its mission, to initiate innovative programs and services that meet the changing needs of students and the region, and to continue providing high-quality education at a reasonable cost.  Objectives to meet that priority are: • Maintain and/or enhance fiscal responsibility and the proper stewardship of the University’s limited resources. • Enhance private fund-raising through strengthened focus, alignment, and planning among the Foundation and the University to include developing and building relationships with alumni, corporations, foundations and private donors. • Evaluate the need and rationale to establish differential fees to support high-cost and/or high-demand academic programs. • Develop, enhance, and strengthen strategies to educate and inform local-, regional-, state-, and federal-elected officials about the financial needs of Southeast Missouri State University, with special emphasis on needed capital expenditures to maintain and enhance the quality of academic programs.    The fifth priority of the plan focuses on infrastructure, calling for Southeast to offer its students, faculty and staff an aesthetically pleasing campus and access to state-of-the-art facilities and technology.  This priority also calls for the University to promote safety and sustainability and lead the region’s efforts to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. Objectives outlined to meet this priority are:

• Update the Campus Master Plan (all six campuses) to include the need for and/or the use of physical facilities, land, landscaping, construction, routine maintenance, and capital improvements, taking into consideration energy efficiency, sustainability and staffing. • Update the University Information Technology Strategic Plan to incorporate new academic and non-academic technologies, applications, and programmatic needs. • Update the Technology Village Master Plan, addressing areas such as infrastructure, construction, and maintenance to support economic development and provide faculty and student applied-research opportunities.  • Develop, enhance and strengthen strategies to promote ecological sustainability and to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.