Missouri State University

CHPA Vision Statement

Working Document - Send comments to CHPA@missouristate.edu

Vision Statement for CHPA

(Last Edited: August 19, 2009)

The College of Humanities and Public Affairs helps students to understand social, political and legal structures, ethical principles, religious systems, and economic institutions and practices within a global, historical, and contemporary context. CHPA presents the concepts contained in the university’s Public Affairs mission and applies them to real-world problems and situations so that our students will be better prepared to become citizens and leaders.

Mission Statement for CHPA

The College of Humanities and Public Affairs will provide a basic academic foundation of the history, economic character, religious systems, political systems, ethical dimensions, ethnic groups and customs of people throughout the world. Our faculty will help students in order to understand the nuances of social interaction, culturally-based communication, belief systems, and economic practices. CHPA will present the concepts contained in the university’s Public Affairs mission and apply them to real-world problems and situations so that our students will be better prepared to become citizens and leaders.

 

Central Themes for CHPA:

  • Student Success
  • Community Engagement
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Global Perspective

 

It is fairly easy to demonstrate that the dimensions of the Public Affairs mission are at the heart of what we do in CHPA.  Every unit in the college contributes in multiple ways to the advancement and further definition of the university’s mission and to the community at large.  We provide a basis academic foundation of the history, religions, ethical dimensions, ethnic groups, and customs of people throughout the world.  Our faculty helps students to better understand the nuances of social interaction, culturally-based communication, belief systems, and economic practices.  However, they do not simply present these concepts as an academic exercise.  Public Affairs means taking these concepts and applying them to real-world problems and situations and discovering how solutions can be found to social, economic, and cultural problems. 

Over the next five years, the College of Humanities and Public Affairs will continue to discuss and explore the dimensions of the Public Affairs mission.  In the process, these efforts should lead to greater engagement with constituencies at all levels: from community and government groups to local schools to international agencies.  Within the College a greater focus on public affairs and civic engagement will contribute to the enhancement of our development efforts, help build interest in our graduate programs, assist with the development of our research centers, and allow us to take advantage of opportunities to cooperate and collaborate with units throughout the university and with external partners.

 

Achieving the College’s Potential through Strategic Planning

  • Greater emphasis must be given to obtaining private gifts and obtaining external funding through writing external grants.  Workshops have been funded to teach faculty how to do this and internal opportunities for research projects have given them experience in articulating their needs.  The next step must be the submission of follow-up or new projects to foundations and government agencies that provide funding for research, the buy-out of teaching, the funding of graduate assistantships, and the recouping of indirects that will help make it possible for the college to keep this cycle going into the future.
  • Engagement of alumni and friends in development efforts must increase and become more creative in the current fiscal climate.  It will be the responsibility of the Dean and Department Heads to work with the Director of Development to identify and cultivate prospects and donors.  Getting the message out through on-line newsletters, personal visits, and alumni events will be a priority.  Faculty also may be asked to assist with this effort when appropriate.
  • Seeking opportunities to model the university’s Public Affairs mission in the community should lead to partnerships with the library district, local archives and museums, and local governmental and social service agencies.  This would take the form of volunteer service or the lending of professional expertise by faculty and the negotiation of additional internship and practicum opportunities for our students.  There are also opportunities, working with the Community and Social Issues Institute, to organize non-credit workshops and training sessions that have the potential to assist community organizations and provide additional revenue for the Departments and faculty.
  • As the College places more emphasis on community engagement, the research centers (Center for Social Science and Public Policy Research and Bureau for Economic Research) will be encouraged to expand their work to become both educational and financial assets for the college.  A number of new faculty are interested in making use of the survey technology in CSSPPR and if they are successful in tying external grants to this center it can become a showcase for student training and the acquisition of contracts for survey gathering projects.  The Bureau has potential to be a regional asset as a forecast and consulting source. The director will be encouraged to pursue these possibilities and to write external grants to assist with his research and hire student assistants.
  • Strong intercollegiate and interdepartmental links between CHPA departments and those throughout the university already exist and can be further strengthened.  Economics has long supported the MBA program as well as the MPH program; History is working closely with Greenwood and the College of Education to strengthen its BS Ed and MS Ed programs; Philosophy has initiated ties to Biology (bio-ethics) and Art (Aesthetics); Political Science supports the MSAS and the MPH programs and provides a foundation for pre-law advisement and instruction; Religious Studies contributes to all of the Area Studies programs and the Antiquities program; and SOC/ANT/CRM helps support the MSAS program and contributes to all of the Area Studies programs.  All of the departments in the college contribute to the new Global Studies major with its emphasis on giving students an international perspective.
  • Enrollment and resource management will continue to be the responsibility of all faculty and staff in the college.  CHPA has always emphasized excellence in teaching, and now the need to engage in active recruitment and retention measures is tied to the fiscal and academic health of the university.  Additional resources will be made available in the Banner system to assist faculty with new teaching technologies and advising.  A thoughtful discussion of the elements of the Public Affairs mission will continue in order to demonstrate to families and individuals why they should choose Missouri State for their education.
  • The establishment of a separate Department of Criminology will allow the college to tap a strategic opportunity that will benefit our students and should also contribute to our levels of grant writing and community involvement.  The reassignment of college assets to support this program should result in a strong department, an increase in majors for the college, and positive community outreach efforts.
  • Each of the graduate programs in CHPA has great potential for enhancement.  New graduate programs in ANT and CRM are already showing the ability to expand and meet student needs. There has been recent growth in the Masters of Public Administration under vigorous leadership. The opportunity for community partnerships, internships, and workshops has been enhanced through the use of a strong Advisory Board.  The retooling of skills by two of its faculty to address needs in the areas of homeland security and non-profit management should lead to a significant increase in graduate students. In addition, the new track in emergency management will continue to be developed. There also is potential for the creation of a new graduate program in ECO with an emphasis in health care economics.

CHPA Strategic Planning and the Public Affairs Mission Over the Next Five Years

o   Create partnerships with local governmental and non-governmental agencies, businesses, museums, libraries, national parks, and civic organizations.

These partnerships will lead to the establishment of practicum opportunities and internships in several of our programs that will provide our students with practical experiences and encourage them to become involved as active and educated citizens.

Combining our expertise and talent with local initiatives will increase the college’s visibility, help with recruiting of students, and facilitate activities that local groups might not otherwise be able to afford if they had to go outside the area to obtain professional experts and consultants.  The departments will work with the CSII to identify likely agencies and groups to contact.

Once it is made clear that the college is interested in consulting and in the teaching of workshops and non-credit courses, the faculty and local leaders can work together to meet their needs and generate revenue for the college.

o   Take advantage of the new focus in Public Sociology to provide students with internships and practicums, and get faculty involved in assisting local service groups and agencies with their research needs. 

The newly developed Social Capital Survey, whose results were recently presented to the
Community Foundation of the Ozarks, along with an associated web site will serve as a data resource for information and a one-stop link to studies related to the report. This project will be useful as the public sociology program establishes networks within the community.

o   Promote the use of the CSSPPR and the Bureau of Economic Research as resources for community agencies and government entities to provide expertise on survey research and produce economic forecasts on local and regional development and planning efforts.

Students will gain invaluable experience working for these research centers.  Clients will obtain cost effective assistance and the university will reap the goodwill created by these cooperative efforts.

o   Seek ways to promote and enhance the Area Studies programs in conjunction with the efforts in COAL and CNAS.  Among the shared items are the annual celebrations of the various “Heritage” months both on campus and in the community.  This will raise the level of diversity discussions and provide expertise for off-campus events.

Aside from advertising these events and inviting participation by public schools and the community, CHPA faculty can operate as a speakers’ bureau to provide programming in conjunction with the Greene County Library System and with civic organizations.

o   Find ways to promote the Center for Archaeological Research as a resource for local enthusiasts and the Masters in Applied Anthropology as a program supplying students with experience in the preservation of cultural heritage through archaeology and ethnography.

o   Find better ways to promote the legislative internship program in Jefferson City (state legislature) and in the offices of Congress members or non-governmental organizations in Washington, D.C.

 

Keys to Success for CHPA:

  • Embrace the Public Affairs mission as an opportunity to advance the college’s initiatives in teaching, research, and service
  • Effectively communicate university goals, initiatives, and priorities to faculty and staff
  • Engage in transparent Strategic Planning – drawing faculty into the process on a regular basis
  • Insist on accountability on the part of the Dean and Heads for their decisions and actions
  • Take advantage of strategic opportunities and shifting resources as needed
  • Encourage faculty to continually improve their teaching methods and skills
  • Provide the resources, incentives, and recognition to facilitate faculty research and external grant writing