Strategic Planning: Representing the student body

Zachary Staab
Assoc. News Editor

Results from the convocation polls are in – Millersville’s “ability to embrace new people and programs” and its “commitment to the arts” are among the qualities that make the university special.
The polls, introduced shortly after Dr. John Anderson’s convocation address, assessed two subjects:
“What makes Millersville Special?” and “Trends in Higher Education.” A total of 157 students responded to the polls, which were designed to capture the university’s current atmosphere as well as the direction of Millersville in the future.
At convocation, President Anderson instituted a self-examination of MU’s vision and goals, mission, core values affirmation and three-year goal for the university. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) was appointed to develop plans infused with “wide representation of the student body,” said Anderson. “lack of student voice in this process would be unfortunate.” As a member of the SPSC, the “strong voice” of Justin Miller, student senate president, acts as a representative to the student body.
“It was my idea to have the strategic plan,” said Anderson, “this is not something new when a university elects a president.” Without a plan, he explained, departments could go awry and campus efforts could be misaligned. Anderson does not attend committee meetings to protect the flow of ideas between members. This way, he said, they can talk openly and only “call me if they want feedback.”
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee held several mini retreats since September, facilitated three open forums, and is now asking for interested students to join working groups.
The open forums were held on the following days: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Library Garden Room (Room 117) Monday, October 7, 2013 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Library Garden Room (Room 117) Friday, October 11, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Library (Room 106).
“Our current mission statement is too long”, said Dr. Aminta H. Breaux, Vice President for Student Affairs. “It needs to be changed into something MU’s “core” signifies. Times have changed and the environment has changed,” she added. “We need to reassess that we are able to provide access to those who want to pursue higher education.”
The steering committee is preliminary drafts of themes, new goals and the mission and vision statement to improve the direction of the materials. In previous years, the University Planning Council (UPC) was instituted to reevaluate the university’s strategic plan. This year, however, the UPC will be modified to implement the Strategic Planning process. Contact assistant vice president, Dr. Lisa Shibley, for institutional assessments and planning, for more information on Strategic Planning developments.
Plans are expected to be finished next year.