Board of Governors approves new long range plan for MSU-WP

Members of the Missouri State University (MSU) Board of Governors last week approved a new long-range plan for Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP).
The plan, approved by members of the Missouri State University Board of Governors, outlines the goals and objectives of MSU-WP for the next five years.
"As we look to the future of Missouri State-West Plains, our focus must be on two key things or, as we like to call them, two key guardrails – facilitating student success and meeting the educational needs of our region," said MSU-WP Chancellor Dennis Lancaster. "This new five-year plan does just that, I believe, providing us with a broad but realistic direction forward utilizing our twin guardrails to keep us headed in the right direction."
A core team of faculty and staff led by Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Orf and Associate Professor of Child and Family Development Dr. Brenda Smith began the planning process in July 2021. From August 2021 through April 2022, the team reviewed the strategic planning process and analyzed the current campus goals while focusing on the framework of student success. Throughout the process, team members kept the campus mission and vision statements in mind.
"In developing the long-range plan, we kept student success as the focus of everything we considered," Orf said. "We concentrated on developing a plan that would continue the mission of the university while realizing that the landscape of higher education was changing and we would need to adjust to this new landscape. We feel like we have a solid plan that considers these changes for the next five years."
Over 100 campus and community stakeholders were selected for focus groups to aid in the plan's development. These groups represented staff, academic advisers, information technology staff, Student Government Association members, students, faculty, online and seated nursing and allied health students, and the administrative council.
Comments from the focus groups were used to complete an analysis of current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges and identify areas for improvement, Orf said. "These formed the basis of the goals and strategies agreed upon by the core team members," he added.
Smith said themes derived from the analysis included student success, opportunities offered through programs and degrees, student services, resources, communication and information technology. From that information, the following goals were developed:
- We will seek to establish new partnerships and enrich existing collaborations to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
- We will clearly define, articulate and communicate our distinctive value to the regions we serve.
- We will strive to provide a comprehensive, positive higher education experience.
- We will offer relevant and valuable educational opportunities through numerous mediums and pathways.
- We will effectively utilize existing and future resources to fulfill our mission.
Now that the plan has been approved, Smith said work will begin on establishing key performance indicators for the goals and strategies.
More information about MSU-WP and its mission can be found at
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