Message from the President

May 9, 2018

During its March 29 meeting, members of the University Planning Council reviewed a great deal of information related to an extensive "environmental scan" which included reports from campus and community focus groups and surveys.  Council members engaged in productive discussions about multiple issues of potential strategic importance to the University.  
It was decided that some of the strategic priorities of Vision 2017 remain relevant, and that the development of new strategic priorities for Vision 2025 should be accomplished by evolving the Vision 2017 priorities.  Ultimately some of these priorities may carry over, some may be modified, some may be eliminated and some new priorities may be added. 
Additionally, several strategic themes were gleaned from the information discussed during the meeting.  Members pondered these themes over several weeks and shared additional observations, comments and suggestions through a discussion board in Moodle. 
The resulting eight strategic themes are as follows:
Given the realization that our current funding model, both state and self-generated funds, is driven almost entirely by student enrollment, progression and completion, student recruitment and success must remain institutional priorities.
As an evolving area of growing importance, our approach to distance education will likely require a more focused strategy to ensure consistent quality of delivery and positive impact on enrollment and student success.
New student markets warrant more attention, potentially including non-traditional students, out-of-state students and international students, among others.
Our efforts to more effectively market and promote Southeastern to new students and other constituents, and to further clarify our brand and identity, warrant more focus.
Given several areas of disappointing results in comparison with peer institutions from NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement), a re-commitment to personal engagement with our students in their classes and curriculum is warranted.
As they represent our greatest opportunity to engage with students and positively impact student learning, our institution must ensure that we foster positive morale of our faculty and staff by supporting their professional development, engaging them in university governance, and rewarding their ongoing commitment and efforts to support and engage students.
While newly constructed facilities offer tremendous opportunities to students, some existing facilities and campus infrastructure are in need of additional cleaning, maintenance and updating, as well as accessibility and technology upgrades.
Given changing workforce needs, and the importance of program workforce relevance to student recruitment and success, consideration should be given to strategic evaluation of workforce relevance for current and potential new degree programs.
Keep in mind that these eight themes are not intended to be the strategic priorities for Vision 2025; rather, these themes are intended to help guide future deliberations and discussions in evolving the strategic priorities of Vision 2017 into those for Vision 2025.
This campus update will be posted to the Strategic Planning Portal, and I encourage members of the campus community to continue to monitor the Portal for additional developments in the planning process.  
John L. Crain