As Texas State experiences rapid growth, the administration has to adjust for the physical growth of the campus and the goals and objectives of its student body. Faculty and staff have created the University Strategic Plan plan.
Under the plan’s first goal to support student retention and graduation, students will be involved in activities that “improve the student experience,” have enhanced advising services and should expect an increase in scholarships and more.
Lisa Garza, director of University Planning and Assessments, said the university operates under this plan and has done so for 30 years.
“Our university practices under a Strategic Planning Process and this is like a roadmap that guides us into our desired direction over the next six years,” Garza said.
Garza explains that the process is long and features involvement and consideration from everyone on campus. Starting in January of last year and rolled out Sept. 1, Garza explains that multiple student organizations including Student Government and the Graduate House were contacted to solicit feedback.
“We did a mission statement review, we did a shared values review, with feedback and input, then we drafted the statement, got it approved by the cabinet, sent it back out for feedback from the campus community and once approved we sent it to the board of regents and the coordinating board,” Garza said.
The next part of the planning process as Garza explain is looking at the mission statement and shared values created and asking, “what are our primary areas of focus over the next six years?”
Goal two under the Strategic plan is Academic and Educational programming.
“We’re always looking at what is in demand nationally, regionally, in the state, what is there a growing need for,” Garza said.
Garza explains that the nursing program was developed in a similar way. There would be a shortage of nurses in the future and Texas State hoped to help fill that gap.
“New programs are always proposed, that doesn’t mean they are always implemented but we are always looking,” Garza said.
Goal three, Research and Creative Activity at national standards, Texas State has been trying to enhance to be competitive with other Universities and it’s not just faculty research.
“Our new Quality Enhancement Plan for this next reaffirmation is undergraduate research, so there is a lot of hands on deck to try to find ways to encourage undergraduate research, and that’s Goal 3,” Garza said. “Giving students the opportunity to conduct research, to be involved in research and to do national presentations on their research, so it’s really about bringing in the student as a future researcher.”
Goal four is the “behind the scenes support for everything that is happening.” Support Services that includes but is not limited to recruiting high-quality faculty and staff, safety training, health and wellness, data security and growth in facilitates to support student needs.
Annually, all areas of the university submit a progress report of each one of these initiatives and halfway through the cycle officials do a formal review of the plan and see if they need to add or subtract initiatives from the plan.