We have made history at Missouri State over the past 20 years.
Milestones include adopting the public affairs mission, changing the university’s name, and establishing IDEA Commons and a campus in China.
More recently we fought for funding, advocated for new programs outside of our traditional mission, and leaned into public private partnership opportunities.
We have been the second largest public university in the state for some time. However, we have become more recognized and respected over the last 10 years. Our reputation and profile has grown, and our influence is greater.
These things didn’t just happen. We made them happen.
The same will be true as we look toward the future. We cannot just wait for our next successes to happen. We must make them happen.
Embracing big ideas
When we began working on our next long-range plan, we decided to infuse it with our entrepreneurial spirit and take a little different path in its development and presentation.
Our plans in the past have been good. They have helped us become who we are today as an institution.
For our next plan we wanted to go farther. We wanted to create a new plan that doesn’t just tell people what to do. We want the plan to inspire our faculty, staff and students. We envisioned a plan that allows everyone in the university community to dream bigger.
I challenged the steering committee to embrace big ideas, and they have crafted a long-range plan that does just that.
See yourself in the stories
Our past plans laid out lists of things we will accomplish over the next five years. You will not see that in our 2021-26 Long-Range Plan.
You will instead see a plan that tells stories and gives examples of big ideas that will guide our decisions and our reality over the next five years.
We want you to see yourselves, your units and departments in the stories. We want the stories to evoke emotional reactions (positive or negative), inspire other ideas and help you think of ways you can contribute to the future of our university.
Unlike a top-down list of instructions and action items, this plan allows more people at the university to be creative and develop their own initiatives, programs and ideas.
Building action plans
This doesn’t mean we will wholly abandon lists of action items. The long-range plan will have metrics. We will still work through our central process of developing an annual action plan with bulleted lists of action items organized under the themes set forth in the long-range plan.
Each division throughout the university will be responsible for developing their own lists of action items that align with the themes of the plan.
We will all continue to be held accountable for completing the tasks set forth in these traditional organizational documents.
These are important processes for linear thinkers (like me). However, our long-range plan will appeal to and elicit buy-in from a broader, more diverse group of people.
The long-range plan will exist as a creative sketch of our future. It will provoke and drive the action items, initiatives and programs that will make our future happen.
Presenting the long-range plan
We will present the long-range plan to the Board of Governors in May, and they will vote on it at their meeting in June.
In the meantime, we’d like your feedback as we finalize the plan. If you missed last week’s town hall meeting on the long-range plan, you can view a recording of the presentation online.
Once you have viewed that presentation, if you have ideas or thoughts you’d like to share, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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