Objectives Reflect Focus and Direction

It is understood that a balance between teaching and research is very important to the future of Missouri State University. The University will strategically leverage resources to further capitalize on targeted areas of current strength and to develop new capabilities and productivity in meeting community needs. The Engaged Inquiry strategic direction has a number of components which integrate and work in parallel with the Partners for Progress strategic direction.

There are four major objectives under the Engaged Inquiry strategic objective:

Objective 1: Increase the amount and scope of basic and applied research activity in selected fields where MSU has competitive strength and which are consistent with University's mission and vision

Measure 1: Total number of projects submitted for external funding

2016 Target

Increase from 251 to 300
Track progress
Source: University Benchmark Comparisons

TacticsAccountability
Work with colleges and departments to implement faculty workload policies that provide flexibility in assignments that will enable grant-writing for external funding and promote the work of the department as a unit Director of Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Ensure that changes in the faculty roles and rewards system have components aligned with the objective of increasing research and all categories of grant work Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Maintain the pre- and post-award grants management and research compliance infrastructure necessary to compete for and administer grants and contracts from a variety of external funding sources Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Develop and apply productivity measures to evaluate the University centers and institutes with the goal of aligning resources for greatest productivity Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
OSRP will continue to assist faculty and staff in locating funding sources and proposal preparation Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Maintain MSU internal grant and fellowship programs to incentivize research and course improvement projects Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans

Measure 2: Total external funds awarded

2016 Target

Increase from $20 million to $25 million
Track progress
Source: University Benchmark Comparisons

TacticsAccountability
See "Measure 1: Total number of projects submitted for external funding" tactics Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans

Measure 3: Percent of faculty participating as principal or co-principal investigators - all proposals submitted

2016 Target

Increase from 19.8% to 25%
Track progress
Source: University Benchmark Comparisons

TacticsAccountability
See "Measure 1: Total number of projects submitted for external funding" tactics Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans

Measure 4: Number of proposals for external funding submitted in biotechnology, materials science, natural environment and health

2016 Target

Increase from 50 to 55
Track progress
Source: University Benchmark Comparisons

TacticsAccountability
Continue efforts to develop MSU research teams and collaborations with other institutions and agencies for development of competitive grant proposals Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Maintain and increase use of equipment-matching funds for external proposals Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Continue to provide new faculty in these fields with equipment start-up and internal-grant funding to facilitate research productivity Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Directly link indirect funds from external grants to research support functions of the University (facilities, equipment, support staff, grant-assistance, GAs, etc.) Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans
Include student research funding in proposals submitted for external funding, and use active recruitment to expand the number of students completing degrees in these fields Director of OSRP in coordination with Provost and College Deans

Measure 5: Awards received in the selected fields

2016 Target

Increase from $4.0 million annually to $4.4 million annually
Track progress
Source: Aspirational Increase based upon prior record

TacticsAccountability
See tactics for "Measure 4: Number of proposals for external funding submitted in biotechnology, materials science, natural environment and health" Director of OSRP in Conjunction with CNAS and CHHS Deans

Measure 6: Number of faculty publications (books, journal articles and juried performance and creative works)

2016 Target

TBD
Track progress

TacticsAccountability
In the first year of the plan the baseline for scholarly productivity recorded in Activity Insights (Digital Measures) will be analyzed and 2016 targets will be set for each area reflected in the AIM Dashboard Provost in conjunction with College Deans

Objective 2: Increase the number of student-faculty collaborative research activities

Measure 1: Number of undergraduate research projects and participants

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
In the first year of the plan appoint a task force to assess the current level of undergraduate research activity and to develop a plan to stimulate undergraduate student research Director of Honors Program in conjunction with College Deans

Measure 2: Number of theses

2016 Target

Increase from 127 to 138
Source: University Best Practices

TacticsAccountability
Maintain Graduate College assistance (workshops, guidelines, thesis reviews) and give additional special assistance to relatively new graduate programs Dean of the Graduate College working with College Deans and Program Directors
Continue to provide thesis mini-grants Dean of the Graduate College working with College Deans and Program Directors

Measure 3: Number of graduate research projects/participants in non-thesis programs

2016 Target

Increase from 624 to 650
Source: University Best Practices

TacticsAccountability
Retain graduate program non-thesis research requirements and continue implementing graduate recruitment initiatives designated in Graduate College Recruitment Plan; these include working with Faculty Senate to gain approval of Graduate Council Recruitment Committee Dean of the Graduate College working with College Deans and Program Directors
Develop guidelines for leveraging internships as a mechanism for conducting non-thesis research projects Dean of the Graduate College working with College Deans and Program Directors

Objective 3: Increase the number and impact of collaborative interdisciplinary research projects

Measure 1: Number of projects

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
In the first year of the plan appoint a task force to determine agreement on definition, areas of focus, baseline data and establishment of targets Director of Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) in coordination with College Deans

Measure 2: Number of participants

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
In the first year of the plan appoint a task force to determine agreement on definition, areas of focus, baseline data and establishment of targets Director of OSRP in coordination with College Deans

Objective 4: Expand the capacity of the University to engage in the scholarship of teaching with intended outcomes of improving the design and delivery of the student learning experience

Measure 1: Number of projects

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
Appoint a task force to work with Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to determine baseline and to set targets in first year of plan Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Measure 2: Number of participants

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
Appoint a task force to work with Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to determine baseline and to set targets in first year of plan Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Measure 3: Number of publications

2016 Target

TBD

TacticsAccountability
Appoint a task force to work with Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to determine baseline and to set targets in first year of plan Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Current strengths

During the past five years, Missouri State established both expertise and infrastructure capacity in several specific areas of research/scholarly activity. Infrastructure development in these areas (such as biotechnology, environment and water resources, and materials science) is the result of targeted investment by the University and through externally generated funds. This plan recognizes that these programs will continue to develop and evolve, and that the majority of the funding will continue to be generated through external sources. During this five-year plan, the University will not only support these current strengths, but also target support for those areas identified as having the greatest need as well as areas of opportunity that might arise.

Areas of need

A major initiative to be undertaken during the five-year plan will be to develop strategies and tactics to better utilize University resources and expertise to address in a systematic and sustained way, pressing community issues such as rural health and education, arts and cultures, housing, social welfare, public order and safety, citizen participation, recreation and sports opportunities, and transportation. As part of this planning process, Engaged Inquiry will be viewed as a means of promoting public engagement by the University in search of knowledge-based solutions to local and regional issues.

In addition, the University will expand its capacity to engage in focused research on teaching and learning with the intended outcome of improving the design and delivery of student learning experiences. The University will make strategic investments that specifically promote student-faculty collaborative research as part of improving instruction at the undergraduate and graduate level, increase the number and impact of collaborative interdisciplinary research projects, and expand the capacity of the University to engage in the scholarship of teaching with intended outcomes of improving the design and delivery of student learning experiences. Targeted University investments in this area will be leveraged to generate external funds necessary for successful implementation of this portion of the plan.

During the first year of the plan, the provost will appoint a task force and an action plan will be developed to guide University efforts and investments in these areas of need. One of the major activities of the task force will be to examine the role that the University's various centers and institutes (for example the Community and Social Issues Institute) can play in responding to the region's many needs.