Continue to increase standards
The desire to increase standards and the quality of teaching and learning led to the adoption of the selective admissions standard and its 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. Great strides have been made in all areas. This six-year plan builds on that foundation and raises the standards bar a notch higher than before.
Continue to operate as a system
In the interest of the students and taxpayers, it was essential to operate SMSU's campuses in a systematic way. The university has been successful in this effort and wishes to continue that practice. For example, while SMSU-West Plains is separately accredited, there is a standard approach to system planning and management. Another example is the way in which the campuses are linked electronically (video, voice and data).
In the fall of 1994, the Springfield and West Plains campuses were linked with two-way interactive video to connect students at both sites using voice and video. Since 1994, an additional 15 sites have been added to the distance learning network, with more sites planned during 2000-06 to provide better access for all citizens of southwest Missouri. SMSU is committed to developing learning systems serving all campuses through means of electronic laboratories and classrooms capable of receiving and sending textual, graphic, audio, and video information, and to better serve regional needs through distance learning capabilities enhanced by such technology.
A new focus for the six-year plan is establishing partnerships, a key ingredient to succeeding in the 21st Century. SMSU has enjoyed mutually beneficial partnerships for many years, especially with the public schools and other colleges and universities in Missouri. The university intends to build on the existing partnerships and expand them to include what some may have previously considered "nontraditional partners." These partnerships will always be a means to accomplish SMSU's goal of developing educated persons.
Declaration of University community principles
SMSU operates within a set of guiding principles developed cooperatively and formally approved by all segments of the university community (Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, Staff Advisory Council, and Administrative Council) before being approved by the SMSU Board of Governors. The Declaration of University Community Principles will be disseminated to students primarily through Student Affairs documents. It reads:
The community of scholars that is Southwest Missouri State University is committed to developing educated persons. It is believed that educated persons will accept responsibility to act in accordance with the following principles:
- Practicing personal and academic integrity.
- Being a full participant in the educational process, and respecting the right of all to contribute to the "Marketplace of Ideas."
- Treating all persons with civility, while understanding that tolerating an idea is not the same as supporting it.
- Being a steward of the shared resources of the community of scholars.
- Choosing to accept these principles suggests that each participant of the community refrains from and discourages behavior that threatens the freedom and respect each member deserves.
Choosing to accept these principles suggests that each participant of the community refrains from and discourages behavior that threatens the freedom and respect each member deserves.