Welcoming the 21st Century

A Long-Range Vision and Five-Year Plan (1995-2000)

Preface

This long-range plan for the Southwest Missouri State University system is the product of a two-year (1992-94) effort in response to the joint initiatives of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, the Board of Regents, and the university community to achieve three goals:

  • improve the focus of the university mission list improve the focus of the university mission
  • improve the focus of the university mission
  • increase standards in both teaching and learning list increase standards in both teaching and learning
  • improve the focus of the university mission
  • increase standards in both teaching and learning
  • operate in a systematic fashion list operate in a systematic fashion
  • improve the focus of the university mission
  • increase standards in both teaching and learning
  • operate in a systematic fashion

Sharper focus

The first goal was to establish sharper focus in mission and mandate by emphasizing the real and unique strengths of the university and of its location. The result was adoption of the designation "metropolitan university" and identification of the five themes of the metropolitan conversation: professional education, business and economic development, health, performing arts, and public affairs.

Increasing standards

The desire to increase standards and the quality of teaching and learning led to the adoption of the selective admissions standard and implementation on a reasonable schedule, the move to enrollment management in policy and tactics, the adoption of a host of measurement and outcomes assessment activities, and the campus-wide emphasis on the student-centered and professional obligations of faculty and staff.

Systematic approach

In the interest of the students and taxpayers, it was essential to operate the three campuses and other facilities in a systematic way. Thus, the West Plains Campus was separately accredited and a standard approach to system planning and management was adopted. All units were connected through a sophisticated communications system.

Evolution of the plan

The University Planning Advisory Committee (UPAC) was appointed in 1992 to begin work on a comprehensive plan. UPAC produced a first draft in January 1993.

In spring 1993, the Board of Regents adopted the selective admissions standard. The university based its response to the CBHE's request for an approach to a series of essential policies in Critical Choices presented to the CBHE in the fall of 1993.

In January 1994 the university conducted a university-wide reorganization to better focus on the five themes in its mission and mandate which had been adopted by the Board of Regents.

Finally, intensive internal discussions have been held on the elements of this long-range plan, and regular meetings have been held with the SMSU Board of Regents and the staff of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Thus, this plan contains the elements necessary to move SMSU toward the new century while it fills a special and unique role within its region and the state of Missouri.

Implementation of the institutional plan involves the initiation of action plans designed at the unit and functional level, and their integration and acceptance at the central administration level. Each of the academic and administrative units on campus will develop detailed operational or tactical plans based on the institutional plan. These operational plans will focus and direct institutional processes, including development of academic programs, facilities and support services, information technology strategies, and enrollment management plans. These plans will serve as the basic building blocks in the development of the annual institutional operating budget.