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Strategic Plan Annual Actions

Strategic Plan 2021-2026

SMSU Vision and Values:

SMSU aspires to be recognized throughout Minnesota and beyond for being an inclusive and student-centered university. We value:

  1. Discovery through innovative teaching, research and other high-impact experiences.
  2. Civic engagement and strategic partnerships.
  3. Developing broadly educated and well-rounded leaders.


Priority 1

Affirm and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Increase campus diversity, ensure inclusive learning, social, working, and living environments, and eliminate equity gaps


  • Goal 1: Eliminate gaps in student success and access to educational opportunities.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Disaggregate and review equity gap data for all university gateway and all program-level courses
      • Create Faculty Liaison position for Supplemental Instruction (SI)
      • Redesign developmental courses (Math, EMLS, LEP)
      • Provide trainings in IDI, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Inclusive Leadership
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Create Equity Fellows Program
      • Establish/expand SI (18 sections offered)
      • Increase enrollment in Mustang Pathway Program (nearly tripled over 3 years: 10-17-27)
    • Action Items AY24
      • Develop dynamic tool (Power BI) to report disaggregated course data
      • Continue/evolve SUCCESS program beyond grant period
      • Develop process for using exit survey data
      • Offer 20 SI sections
      • Increase funding for Equity and Opportunity Scholarships and new student success programs
  • Goal 2: Integrate recommendations for strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion into the strategic plan to ensure they receive priority and ongoing attention.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Engage with Marshall DEI Commission
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Hire fulltime CDO
  • Goal 3: Improve the campus climate related to diversity and inclusion. 
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Revise hiring practices to ensure DEI focus
      • Create and integrate Land Acknowledgement Statement
      • Highlight ODI office and Women's/LGBTQ+ Center on campus tour.
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Create Bias Incident Support and Advisory Team
      • Provide student and employee mental health programming
      • Provide Inclusive Leadership training
      • Revise search process to enhance equity and increase diversity of candidates
    • Action Items AY24
      • Integrate DEI focus in recruiting events and tours
      • Convene campus discussion of DEI and belonging issues
      • Include Museum of Indigenous Americans in tour route
      • Admissions and ODI Office collaborate to develop recruitment plan.
      • Increase diversity of tour guides hired
      • Highlight ODI resources during Open House

Priority 2

Inspire academic success and discovery through innovative teaching, research, and student support services, and other high-impact experiences. Foster high-quality teaching and learning and a campus culture that encourages, celebrates, and promotes undergraduate and graduate student and faculty research and creative work.


  • Goal 1: Foster inclusive, high-quality teaching and learning. 
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Establish partnership with San Juan College (NM)
      • Provide Professional Development and Assessment Days
      • Establish Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE) Committee
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Convene strategic discussions with area business leaders.
      • Establish North Star Mutual School of Business
      • Address culturally responsive teaching effectiveness in faculty PDP/PDR
    • Action Items AY24
      • Inventory program-level experiential learning opportunities with goal of providing these to every SMSU student
  • Goal 2: Grow and sustain quality on-campus and distance learning degrees/certificates and graduate education.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Achieve initial accreditation for Exercise Science program
      • Develop COLT to support instruction in all modalities
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Complete successful HLC Multi-location accreditation
      • Approve Wiley partnership for online programs
      • Achieve initial accreditation for all BIS programs
    • Action Items AY24
      • Create committee to oversee online education
      • Complete College Now re-accreditation
      • Implement Wiley services
  • Goal 3:  Increase student regional and national presentation and publication of research and creative works.  
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Create Mustang Ovations Committee
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Establish funding and application process for undergraduate research
  • Goal 4: Encourage and support campus and inter-institutional scholarly and creative collaborations.
    • Action Items AY24
      • Pursue funding to support grant seeking

Priority 3

Foster civic engagement and strategic partnerships. Develop deep, reciprocal, equitable, and sustained partnerships within our community and region that contribute to the public good, positively impact the environment, strengthen the local and regional economy, and enhance the education of our students.


  • Goal 1: Establish long-term partnerships with area, regional, and other employers to provide applied learning opportunities for SMSU students.
    • Action Items AY24
      • Identify 1-2 new partnerships to address this goal.
  • Goal 2: Identify and promote opportunities for students and the campus community to engage in social, entertainment, and service activities in the city of Marshall and surrounding area. Include opportunities for fully online and non-traditional students
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Establish WorldFest as new, annual SMSU-Marshall event
      • Establish SMSU Day of Service
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Host networking luncheon for students and business leaders
      • Host Holiday Social for campus and community
      • Host Prairie Jam concert
    • Action Items AY24
      • Schedule additional planning meetings with city.
  • Goal 3:  Cultivate and build mutually beneficial relationships between potential donors and the University that reflect shared values and align financial support with educational priorities.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Confirm major donor commitments to support campaign priorities (ie. Res Hal, student success, alumni association, scholarships)
      • Communicate impact of funding to advance DEI goals
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Finalize partnership with North Star Mutual Insurance providing $3M for the School of Business
      • Develop donor-supported student/business leader networking lunches
      • Host Donor Dinner to thank SMSU supporters
    • Action Items AY24
      • Establish relationships with new campaign donors and lift up planned giving opportunities.
      • Continue conversations with donors and friends regarding the impact private support can make on DEI priorities

Priority 4

Support student engagement and leadership development. Offer holistic support services and opportunities for student engagement that contribute to the development of well-rounded leaders.


  • Goal 1: Provide an array of services to meet the diverse needs of students and strengthen the success of students of color, first generation students, and Pell-eligible students.
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Hire health navigator; partner with Avera clinic to provide services
      • Hire new Coordinator of Accessibility Services as part of Student Success Center
    • Action Items AY24
      • Increase support for student mental health
  • Goal 2: Identify, support, and strengthen campus opportunities designed to foster student engagement with a focus given to students of color, first generation, and Pell-eligible students.
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Expand and incentivize campus housing options
      • Collaborate with Marshall to fund and construct outdoor basketball court
    • Action Items AY24
      • Convene group to discuss expanding campus programming
      • Develop Athletics Strategic Plan
  • Goal 3: Develop, support, and promote opportunities designed to develop student leadership. 
    • Action Items AY24
      • Establish president-level leadership development program for full-ride scholarship recipients

Priority 5

Ensure Effective Institutional Operations and Community Well-being. Create a highly-supportive environment focused on the physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being of the University community.


  • Goal 1: Provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for students, staff and faculty. 
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Renovate university pool
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Lease Social Sciences building for occupancy by the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative and the Marshall Public Schools
      • Relocate and redesign offices and classrooms with closing of Social Sciences building
      • Host faculty and staff appreciation reception
      • Provide Employee Appreciation and Mustang Ovations recognition events
      • Conduct campus Safety and Security audit
      • Embed Crisis Advocate in Public Safety Office
      • Establish MOU with mental health and crisis prevention providers
      • Install secure exterior door access in residence halls
      • Complete planning for future phone systems that can support enhanced campus security services
      • Refinish PE gym floor
    • Action Items AY24
      • Convene campus discussion of DEI and belonging issues
      • Secure capital and HEAPR funding for first phase of facility redesign
      • Implement plan to expand deployment of campus security cameras
      • Create and equip Education model classroom
      • Renovate ST 169 as interactive, high-tech lab space
  • Goal 2: Provide an innovative and accessible technological environment that supports University community success.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Implement Quinncia (AI tool for resumes and mock interviews)
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Enhance and expand classroom technology capabilities
      • Implement Alertus notification system
    • Action Items AY24
      • Increase Quinncia usage; promote with faculty and with online learners
      • Implement Slate CRM
      • Install Zoom Phones
  • Goal 3:  Emphasize the creation of an environment that supports inclusive lifelong learning processes across the University community.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Provide programming for professional development of faculty and staff
    • Action Items AY24
      • Develop onboarding program
  • Goal 4: Promote student, faculty, and staff physical and psychological well-being and engagement.
    • Action Items AY24
      • Reconstitute SMSU Wellness Workgroup
      • Increase mental health resources for online students
  • Goal 5: Develop, implement and routinely review mechanisms and controls that support broad-based administrative and financial management planning.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Fund fulltime CDO position and DEI training for faculty/staff.
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Match leveraged funds to purchase over $1M in academic equipment (AY22 & AY23)
      • Hold successful M4L Days to support campus programs
    • Action Items AY24
      • Review programs to assess viability and guide resource allocation
      • Establish systematic review of policies and procedures to ensure currency and equity

Priority 6

Increase enrollment and improve retention. Create and maintain academic and student affairs partnerships to increase and retain enrollment.


  • Goal 1: Develop and strengthen joint ventures with two-year colleges to provide students with desirable degree-completion opportunities.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Offer MBA to Slumberland Office Complex (Oakdale, MN)
      • Establish partnership with San Juan College (NM)
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Establish Nigerian MBA partnership
    • Action Items AY24
      • Identify 1-2 new partnerships to address this goal
  • Goal 2: Appropriate resources for maintaining and strengthening both graduate and undergraduate academic partnerships to enhance enrollment.
    • Action Items AY24
      • Create committee to oversee online education
  • Goal 3: Assess effectiveness of academic partnerships to improve enrollment management initiatives (such as recruitment, retention, persistence rate, graduation rate) for both graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Goal 4: Support and enhance current and new initiatives designed to increase student access, success, and retention.
    • Accomplishments AY22
      • Implement SUCCESS program for at-risk students
    • Accomplishments AY23
      • Hire second SUCCESS coach
    • Action Items AY24
      • Create/Implement Strategic Enrollment Management Plan
      • Convene retention data team
      • Support SUCCESS program beyond grant period

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