Chapter 3: SMSU as a Future-Oriented Organization
Understanding Social and Economic Change
The University’s planning strategies regularly consider social and economic change. The University’s long-range plans, described above, include key input from constituents regarding enrollment management, development of new undergraduate and graduate programs, service-learning programs, continuing education and life of learning programs, and the on-going training of faculty and staff to better understand and cope with the constantly changing environment in which the University operates. To describe more fully the ways in which the University comes to understand the social and economic changes that will influence the institution’s future, this section focuses on two Committees—the Process Improvement Committee (PIC) and the Executive Enrollment Management Committee (EEMC)—and makes references to the many advisory councils affiliated with educational units on campus and to the University’s relationship with the state of Missouri. These entities reflect through their work the University’s evaluation of changes in the environment and its implementation of educational programs to anticipate the needs of constituents in an ever-changing society
The Process Improvement Committee’s mission is to examine, improve, and when appropriate, to eliminate or radically change the University’s fundamental processes.
The Process Improvement Committee
The primary university group that systematically performs environmental scanning related to administrative systems is the Process Improvement Committee (PIC). Appointed by the administration in 1999 to demonstrate its support of change, the PIC’s mission is to examine, improve, and, when appropriate, eliminate or radically change the University’s fundamental processes in order to meet more effectively the changing needs of its constituent groups, both internal and external. The PIC strives to make process improvement an integral part of the University’s culture through an initiative known as Change@Missouri State . The majority of the Change@Missouri State initiatives involve the application of one or more information technologies to transform a University process so it becomes more effective or efficient.
Change@Missouri State, under the auspices of PIC, has an annual budget and is linked to the budget process. The University provides resources to the PIC, which in turn allocates funds to support one or more projects each year. Additionally, the PIC was charged with developing a set of performance measures for the University’s long-range plan, Daring to Excel.
In 1999, PIC surveyed the entire campus community seeking input as to which University processes needed to be improved. From this master list, projects have been prioritized and selected by the PIC based on their linkage and importance to the University’s mission and single purpose. Those projects with the greatest potential to favorably impact the University’s ability to meet its mission and purpose are moved to the top of the prioritized list to be analyzed and, if appropriate, changed first.
In August 2003, PIC completed a ten-month environmental scanning exercise and reported its findings to the Administrative Council. During this exercise, the PIC interviewed several individuals to discuss how effective the University is at meeting its mission and serving the state and local community. The discussion included the
A major emphasis of PIC is collaborative “team development.” The Committee has involved more than 60 faculty and staff on process-improvement teams thus far. The team development methodology involves working with the key stakeholders of any process, including the associated University faculty, staff, and student employees, to consider the impact of process changes on these individuals and to ensure these individuals are intimately involved in the change process. The process-improvement methodology ensures that all stakeholders, both internal and external to the University, are considered and solicited for feedback during each project. For example, the “Positioning” and “Discovery” phases of each project involve the collection and analysis of information regarding stakeholders’ needs and expectations. The methodology specifically outlines how this information is to be used by each process improvement team.
The best evidence of PIC’s work in planning with consideration of social and economic change is the University’s development and adoption of the process improvement methodology itself. Additional evidence of the University’s process improvement successes have occurred throughout the institution. As reported on the Change@Missouri State Web site, the following processes have been changed to become more efficient, more effective, or both:
The PIC’s inclusive methodology forces teams to focus on the University’s culture for accepting change, the willingness of the existing workforce to change, and the communication and cooperation necessary to accomplish change as they plan for the University’s future. Nonetheless, the Self-Study Steering Committee recommends that the PIC’s inclusive work be expanded to incorporate leaders from throughout the state, considering a broader environment as the University fulfills its statewide mission.
The Executive Enrollment Management Committee
Understanding changing social and economic demographics is a crucial part of the Executive Enrollment Management Committee (EEMC). The charge of the EEMC, which includes the president of the University and other members of the senior leadership, is twofold:
Criteria and Core Components supported in this section include 1b, 1d, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3d, 4a, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d.
An enrollment management plan developed by the EEMC has been included in each of the past two five-year plans. In particular, the Committee plans for the future by identifying target areas of greatest need and focusing energy and attention on those items.
The EEMC plans for the future by identifying target areas of greatest need and focusing energy and attention on those items.
The University has been successful in achieving its primary enrollment objectives. Measures of success include
As noted in “Significant Changes Since 1995,” the increasing admissions standards advocated by the EEMC have had an impact on the University. They were employed with thoughtful planning and have been continually monitored. The EEMC also plans and tracks other changes regarding enrollment and retention, considering the overall goals of the University. For the fall 1995 semester, for example, the University began phased implementation of higher admission standards based on a selection index (sum of high school class rank percentile and ACT or SAT percentile) model established by the Missouri CBHE. A selection index of 80 was used for the fall 1995 semester, and the index has subsequently been increased eight times. For the fall 2005 semester, a selection index of 107 is required. Additional noteworthy data includes
In spite of these measured successes, the EEMC recognizes that there may be issues or concerns of which it is not aware. In order to better understand changing needs of students, for example, the EEMC in 2001 employed Noel-Levitz, a national enrollment management consulting firm, to survey students regarding their satisfaction with the University. The Student Satisfaction Survey results showed that SMSU students were more satisfied than students nationally on 68 of 73 standard items measured by the survey. A Retention Committee was formed to address areas that were identified as needing the greatest attention. Selected information was shared with the colleges, which responded to the Committee with planned initiatives to improve areas within their colleges.
Other recent and ongoing initiatives include
Other activities of the EEMC have included support for the development and promulgation of summer youth programs on campus, and a review of data to assess trends and benchmark enrollment against other Missouri universities and comparable institutions. Both of these reflect a concern for the future. The former grooms young people for potential enrollment in years to come and the latter helps the University to locate opportunities for providing education to state residents and others.
The EEMC has actively provided relevant information and data to the campus community through multiple means: a Web site that includes current and historical enrollment data and summaries of research on the University’s students; a series of presentations given to the Board of Governors during the Spring of 2004; and published long-range plans related to enrollment management (Performance Measures 29, 32, 34, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 63, 64, and 65). In addition, President Keiser regularly incorporated elements of the enrollment management plan in his State of the University addresses and periodically made reference to enrollment management objectives in his monthly Focus newsletter for faculty and staff.
The enrollment management component of Daring to Excel incorporates enrollment objectives at the college level. Requiring each college to be responsible for establishing enrollment targets (undergraduate and graduate) should result in even greater involvement of the campus community in the enrollment management effort.
The State of Missouri
As a state-assisted public university, Missouri State considers state as well as local needs when it prepares for the future. The University must be a good steward of public funds as it provides a quality education for its students; indeed, the institution’s planning processes, described above, assure this quality.
Criteria and Core Components supported in this section include Criteria 1,2,3,4, 5. Core Com-ponents 3b, 3c, 4a.
The crisis in funding for Missouri’s institutions of higher education, as elsewhere in the country, is not over. One major structural factor in the state’s deteriorating financial picture involves changes in Federal tax policies. Because Missouri pegs its own personal income tax, corporate tax, and estate tax to the Federal tax, changes in Federal taxes impact state tax revenues. Specifically, President Bush signed three federal tax cuts in his first term, thus reducing personal income taxes, corporate taxes, and estate taxes. The Missouri Budget Project reports that in FY 2005, changes in the Federal estate tax alone reduced Missouri’s tax revenues by $117 million (2004, p5). The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that Federal tax changes between 2002 and 2005 have cost Missouri $320 million, ranking Missouri third among the states adversely affected.(2004, p.1). Obviously, structural changes like these adversely affect state revenues and thus contribute significantly to the imbalance between revenues and spending.
One factor unique to Missouri’s financial situation is the “Hancock and Carnahan/Farm Bureau Amendments.” The Hancock Amendment, passed in 1980, limits total state revenues by linking them to personal income. The limit is set by multiplying total state personal income by 5.64% (Moody 2003, p.4). If state revenues surpass that limit, some must be refunded to personal and corporate income taxpayers. Hancock was first triggered in 1995. From 1995 to1999, more than $980 million dollars was refunded. In response to these increased state revenues, in the second half of the 1990s legislators enacted 21 new tax credits and 14 new tax cuts. In the first year of their implementation, FY2000, the tax credits cost the state $170 million while the tax cuts cost another $648.1 million. In short, changes to Missouri’s tax code resulted in a loss of $818.1 million dollars in FY2000, and they have eroded its tax base by 11% annually. (See Table 3.1 on the following page.)
State appropriations have dropped for three of the last five years.
Required student fees at Missouri State remain slightly below the mean for state universities in Missouri.
Table 3.1: SMSU Revenues (in dollars), Fiscal Years 2000-2004
One way in which the University’s planning process is responding to the shrinking state revenues is by increasing external funding sources. The University’s planning process guides the Missouri State Foundation in its activities. The Foundation was responsible for Performance Measures 53, 54 and 55 in Countdown to the SMSU Centennial. These measures relate to growth of the annual fund and to growth of the endowment, assuring that both current and future needs of the University are addressed. The mission of the Missouri State Foundation is to develop an environment that promotes giving and therein to seek, receive, manage and distribute resources in a manner appropriate to support the University’s programs of teaching, research, and public service. Frequent interactions between faculty, staff and the various donor constituencies encourage responsiveness and engagement. It is evident from the more than 30,000 gifts made annually, that both internal and external constituents value the services of the Missouri State Foundation.
The Foundation employs and supports a variety of resources and activities to engage with its constituencies. Examples include
To improve student learning in the future, the Missouri State Foundation manages an endowment of approximately $36 million and proactively seeks additions to the endowment for the benefit of student learning.
Gifts made for the benefit of the university through the Missouri State Foundation often reflect the value and support for effective teaching and effective learning environments. Resources for faculty and for facilities were goal areas of the University’s first capital campaign: The Campaign for SMS: Imagine the Possibilities. The goal of this $50 million campaign, which was successfully completed with the aid of the Foundation in June, 2005, was to fund projects and initiatives that will help Missouri State accomplish numerous goals in five targeted areas:
2005 saw the successful completion of the University’s first capital campaign. The $50 million Campaign for SMSU: Imagine the Possibilities will help the University accomplish goals in five targeted areas.
In addition to continually adjusting to the state’s budget and emphasizing the growth of other sources of funding, the University works with other state agencies and private organizations to respond to economic, cultural, and social needs within Missouri. For example, Missouri State collaborates with St. John’s Regional Medical Center and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to present Health Styles on Ozarks Public Television. Previously presented monthly and starting in the fall of 2005 to be shown weekly, this program reflects the University’s awareness of changing demographics in the region. While part of the region has a high percentage of elderly population, another part has seen an influx of younger Hispanics. Health Styles is targeted to the needs of such specific populations.
The University’s assistance to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education serves as a second example of considering the state’s needs when forming long-range plans. The College of Education routinely works with small school districts such as the Niangua School District and the Wheatland School District and sponsors the College of Education Beginning Educator Assistance, Renewal and Support Program (BEARS). This program provides an extensive system of support mechanisms to Missouri State teacher education graduates for the first three years of their teaching careers. This program is particularly important in helping to meet the State of Missouri’s goal of improving its public schools system.
The University considers the social and economic changes of the communities it serves through numerous cooperative agreements with public and private entities. These include the Discovery Science Center of Springfield, the Springfield Business and Economic Development Center, and cooperative agreements between the Center for Applied Science and Engineering and numerous private- sector research and development groups. Other examples include
These are among the numerous collaborative ventures discussed further in Chapter Five, “Missouri State as a Connected Organization.”Advisory Groups
One of the means by which the University considers the futures of its constituents and makes adjustments to its educational programs is through an extensive network of advisory groups consisting of volunteers from throughout the region and the campus. The work of four such groups is described below.
Criteria and Core Components supported in this section include 1b, 2a, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d.
Other advisory groups include
In sum, environmental scanning performed by groups such as the PIC and the EEMC is crucial to enabling the University to consider social and economic changes that impact its constituents as it plans for the future. Consideration of the economic trends within the state as well as the state budget is essential to the University’s planning process. Small groups such as advisory councils keep the University apprised of environmental changes that should be incorporated into its academic programs.