Portfolio for HLC Accreditation > Self-Study > Chapter 3 > Strengths, Challenges, and Recommendations
Chapter 3: SMSU as a Future-Oriented Organization
Strengths, Challenges, and Recommendations
Missouri State University maintains a continuous and open planning process. As a part of this process
Missouri State University is a mission-driven organization. A statewide Public affairs mission, including the broader purpose of developing educated persons, was adopted in 1995. Since then the University has refined but maintained the mission.
Five themes give further focus to Missouri State’s mission. These themes reflect both the University’s traditional strengths, such as teacher education, as well as the emerging needs of its constituencies, such as health care.
The Process Improvement Committee, established in 1999, considers the future of the institution as it makes administrative processes more efficient and conducts environmental screening.
The Executive Enrollment Management Committee monitors resources, facilities, demographics, and legislative mandates to establish appropriate enrollment goals.
The University continually invests in technology for use by students, faculty, and staff. Performance Measures for the Office of Information Technology indicate the goals and accomplishments in bringing technology to the classroom.
As Missouri State University has planned for continuing social and economic changes, it has established several collaborative ventures to better serve its constituents. These include
The University Foundation plays an important role in generating external funding and in managing the University’s endowment.
Many of the University’s academic units use Advisory Groups composed of alumni, employers, and other external constituents to incorporate an external perspective in their planning and operations.
Even though the planning process is open, some members of the campus community do not take advantage of the opportunity to participate.
The connections among the plans of academic and non-academic departments and units and the University’s long-range plans may not always be obvious if they exist at all.
In contrast with the responses of the departments and colleges to questions posed by the HLC Steering Committee, a 2003 study, Institutional Priorities and Faculty Rewards (often referred to as “the Diamond Report”) revealed inconsistent perceptions of the University’s public affairs mission, its application in programs and courses, and its relationship to faculty roles and rewards. These discrepancies suggest further dialogue regarding the public affairs mission is warranted.
Although there is a fairly large budget allocated to classroom technology, not all departments are equally equipped; and the process of submitting requests, ordering equipment, installing, and repairing technology in classrooms needs to be streamlined.
The salaries of the classified staff are too low to secure and retain highly qualified personnel. Those who have reached the final “step” in their salary progression have been disadvantaged in recent years as the cost of their health insurance, parking, etc. has increased faster than their pay increases.
The University has established a disciplined and systematic long-range planning process that involves many constituents. It has demonstrated the ability to modify its plans, thus enabling the University to adapt to a rapidly-changing environment characterized by changing societal and economic trends, changing demographics of the student body and a related change in the needs of students, and an increasingly tight fiscal environment brought on by decreasing state appropriations. The long-range plans have enabled the University to prioritize academic programs, successfully manage enrollment, enhance its information technology infrastructure, and maintain its capital assets at an acceptable level. Generally, planning at diverse levels within the organization is in alignment with the University’s long-range planning processes, which enhances the capacity of the University to fulfill its mission.