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Community Voices, October 2015

Over the past year the SMSU community has engaged in a robust strategic planning effort focused on involving the entire campus. We have been working hard on establishing our strategic direction for the next five years. Since our founding, Southwest Minnesota State University has been a center for learning and opportunity. Each successive generation of students, faculty, and staff - with the support of the community - has contributed to the ongoing success of the institution and we are proud of our tradition of excellence, informed by our ongoing strategic planning process. 

During the month of October, we have reached out to our broader community of alumni and friends to listen to their voices and input on our preliminary plan.  I want to thank those of you who have attended our open sessions and shared your thoughts.  I would also like to invite and encourage others to review our efforts thus far and provide your feedback.  It is important to ensure that our plans align with the needs of the various communities that we serve.

To guide our planning throughout the year, close attention was given to our Mission, Vision and Core Values. The Vision Statement and Core Values recognize the University’s emphasis on attention to excellence and student learning; civic and community engagement; promoting respect for diverse voices and global awareness; and encouraging stewardship.

Further, the University mission aligns with the MnSCU mission … “Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system of distinct and collaborative institutions offers higher education that meets the personal and career goals of a wide range of individual learners, enhances the quality of life for all Minnesotans and sustains vibrant economies throughout the state.”

With the three pillars of academic excellence and distinctiveness, student learning and success, and meaningful partnerships and engagement as our guide, the preliminary plan has come forward from our strategic planning committee with five primary goals.  The goals will be supported with a series of strategic objectives that will be finalized later this fall.  The five goals are as follows:

  1. Foster quality teaching and learning
  2. Create a campus and community climate that embraces differences and inclusiveness
  3. Enhance campus life experiences by aligning facility resources with university and community needs
  4. Increase comprehensive enrollment
  5. Foster an institutional culture that supports students and employees

It is important now that we hear from more of you as we begin to close the gaps and finalize our plan.

Please join us in this next phase of the University Strategic Planning Process by watching a short video and taking a brief survey. Both can be found at the following link on the SMSU webpage 

Your input and your voices are valuable to us as we plan for the future of our University and build a bright future together.


Published in the Marshall Independent, October 31, 2015

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