Goals and Mission

Goals for the plan

At the conclusion of this five-year plan, Missouri State University will have completed a number of specific tactics to achieve major objectives under six strategic directions.

As the plan was developed, it was guided by three overarching and enduring commitments:

  • Student learning
  • Inclusive excellence
  • Institutional impact

The purpose of the long-range plan is to direct strategic actions that yield demonstrable outcomes and progress in support of these commitments.

Through this plan and its directions, measures, targets and tactics, by 2016 the University intends to accomplish four major goals.

The four major goals are:

  • Improve the undergraduate programs across campus through emphasis on student learning outcomes, and elevate multiple programs to destination program status.
  • Strengthen and expand focused graduate programs to positively impact the region and state.
  • Create a more diverse student body and workforce.
  • Establish the University as an employer of choice.


Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The University's identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

The academic experience is grounded in a general education curriculum which draws heavily from the liberal arts and sciences. This foundation provides the basis for mastery of disciplinary and professional studies. It also provides essential forums in which students develop the capacity to make well-informed, independent critical judgments about the cultures, values and institutions in society.

The Missouri State University campuses are structured to address the special needs of the urban and rural populations they serve. Missouri State University-Springfield is a selective admissions, graduate level teaching and research institution. Missouri State University-West Plains is a separately accredited open admissions campus primarily serving seven counties in south central Missouri. Missouri State University-Mountain Grove serves Missouri's fruit industry through operation of the State Fruit Experiment Station. Missouri State Outreach provides anytime, anyplace learning opportunities through telecourses, Internet-based instruction, iTunes U and its interactive video network. The University also operates various other special facilities, such as the Darr Agricultural Center in southwest Springfield, the Journagan Ranch in Douglas County, the Jordan Valley Innovation Center in downtown Springfield, the Bull Shoals Field Station near Forsyth, Baker's Acres and Observatory near Marshfield, the Missouri State University Graduate Center in Joplin, and a branch campus at Liaoning Normal University (LNU) in Dalian, China.

Developing educated persons

Missouri State University's purpose is "to develop educated persons." It is committed to the expansion and preservation of knowledge. It recognizes that inquisitive people explore and push back the boundaries of the human intellect and the physical world. In an age in which knowledge can become quickly dated, the University is committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge that serves the future.

The characteristics of educated persons are readily assessable and recognizable:

  • They cultivate their aesthetic tastes.
  • They are critical thinkers.
  • They are serious readers who are broadly literate.
  • They dedicate themselves to being inquisitive and contributing citizens in an increasingly global society.
  • They balance an in-depth mastery of at least one academic discipline with a broad appreciation of the liberal arts.
  • They understand and adhere to the common community principles.