Working Draft Strategic Goals: 2011/2015

Northeastern State University
Charting the Second Century: 2011/2014
Working Draft Strategic Goals
Approved for distribution by the University Planning Group November 20, 2009

The following Working Draft Strategic Goals are derived directly from the Mission, Vision, and Values of Northeastern State University.

Definition of working draft strategic goals: A working draft has received serious and meaningful consideration by a group of individuals who are interested in the topic and represent a range of university units, organizations and stakeholder groups. It is a work in progress that is to be exposed to a broader spectrum of those stakeholders, including university organizations and individuals. These strategic goals will be considered working drafts until they have been fully reviewed by the university community and our colleagues in each of the units to ensure full communication and consideration of all feedback.

Strategic Goals in this document (Charting the Second Century: 2010/2014) are fully articulated statements designed to provide meaningful and adequate direction in the development of academic and administrative unit Five Year Growth and Development Plan updates, with the intention that our colleagues throughout the university will provide critical and important input in charting the future of the university. The final “Charting the Second Century: 2010/2014” will be completed after full two-way communication with university stakeholders and with all units in a collaborative effort.


Goal 1. Develop a culture of learning and discovery throughout the university.

The two components of the Culture of Learning and Discovery are inextricably bound (interwoven). Together, these two components form the basis for developing intellectual inquiry on a university campus. Learning implies that each of us at Northeastern State is interested in promoting learning among all individuals within the university community (not just students). It also implies that learning is an important investment for Northeastern State and that we all have a personal interest in the success of learners (including student success, faculty success and staff success). Discovery is multifaceted and relies not only on traditional research, but also takes the forms of basic, applied, action research, synergistic experiences, observational opportunities and community oriented service.

An institution that embraces a culture of learning and discovery:

  • Focuses on student learning outcomes;
  • Inspires individuals to become lifelong learners;
  • Provides excellent curricular and co-curricular programs that meet student, community, and/or state needs;
  • Encourages creativity and innovation in solving real world problems;
  • Provides an investment in human potential/capital for students, faculty, staff, and administrators;
  • Promotes intellectual inquiry (discovery/scholarship) using a teacher/scholar model;
  • Fosters excellence through continuous quality improvement, transformative learning, best practices, accreditation, and impeccable integrity;
  • Recruits, retains and graduate students from diverse settings;
  • Sets academic priorities which foster growth and vitality of the region and state;
  • Develops various teaching/learning modalities and schedules to accommodate a variety of student learning needs;
  • Provides a comfortable, clean and safe learning environment that supports technology.

Goal 2: Develop sustainable communities, encompassing environmental responsibility and community capacity-building.

Sustainable communities can be communities of interest (e.g., the arts, business, education) and/or communities of geography (e.g., Northeastern State University, Cherokee County, Green Country).

On campus this entails adopting practices to reduce, re-use and recycle as they apply to all resources. We will model the way in innovative and best sustainability practices on campus to reduce our carbon footprint, and share them with others off-campus.

Through a holistic, systems-thinking approach in Northeastern State’s external service area, faculty experts, student interns, and research teams will be coordinated to address the breadth and depth of leadership capacity building as well as sustainability-based community planning, development, commercial, social and cultural opportunities that ultimately define the quality of life on our campuses and across the region. By encouraging economic improvement through community capacity building and sustainability best practices, communities will generate resources that may be applied to resolve sociologic problems and enhancing cultural development.

An institution that embraces sustainability practices on campus and in its service region:

  • Becomes a "Model for Cash Positive - Carbon Negative, Sustainable Campus / Community Design";
  • Benchmarks indicators and tracks integrated data on ecologic integrity, social justice, and economic vitality;
  • Achieves maximum self-sufficiency and commercial value through vertically integrated campus, business and community models;
  • Creates synergistic partnerships to build sustainable economic development, community arts, health care, and education through collaboration with community leaders and other forms of civic; and,
  • Enables communities to find common ground by developing the abilities of community residents to enhance their decision-making to achieve preferred outcomes to the benefit of all.

Strategic Goal 3: Build and reinforce an environment that values full inclusion, collaboration and shared leadership in the life of the university and in all
external relationships.

Our commitment to inclusion, collaboration and shared leadership is designed to harness the power of diverse skills, backgrounds, experiences and capabilities of our many stakeholders. Our commitment to these values drives the way we act, how we treat each other and how we make decisions in every aspect of university life.

A culture that embraces inclusion encourages all to feel that he or she is a valued member of our larger community, and that each individual’s contributions to the university is recognized, welcomed, and respected. Collaboration encourages and rewards cooperation across functions/ colleges/departments, among faculty, staff, students, and alumni, among leaders and associates at all levels of the organization, across our three campuses, and between internal and external constituents. Shared leadership provides meaningful opportunities for input from all stakeholders, builds mutual trust and ensures transparency in decision-making.

An institution that embraces inclusion, collaboration and shared leadership:

  • Ensures equal access to all services and opportunities;
  • Proactively seeks input from diverse groups ensuring that these voices are not only heard, but actively sought;
  • Prioritizes robust, comprehensive and honest two-way communication at all levels;
  • Develops specific mechanisms and structures that encourage collaboration across the university in a broad spectrum of activities and programs, specifically capitalizing on the strength-in-diversity of our three campuses;
  • Creates and lives by a principle-based decision-making model that is fully transparent, includes the right stakeholders, focuses on the most important issues, values diversity, builds trust, accepts failure, and encourages leaders at all levels of the university;
  • Engages our alumni and external stakeholders by providing the opportunity to influence and impact the success of future generations;
  • Provides early information on major issues and initiatives to promote understanding and to give stakeholders an opportunity to be heard;
  • specifically includes those most affected, those most interested and those most capable of contributing to success in the decision-making process;
  • Provides professional development programs to prepare the next generation of leaders, thus guaranteeing the sustainability of Northeastern State and its partner communities.

Strategic Goal 4: Encourage and nourish a commitment to civic engagement by our students, our faculty and our staff.

Civic engagement at Northeastern State University is individual commitment to act on one’s obligation to the larger community. This is achieved by taking personal and social responsibility through study, reflection and necessary action in our individual fields of interest and in our communities. Civic engagement requires working together collaboratively with civility toward a common purpose to create positive change.

Civic engagement, in the Northeastern State community, can be defined as demonstrating these attributes: moral and ethical leadership, concern for the rest of the world, awareness of social, political, and economic issues within the United States and globally, advocacy for a cause, active community support and a commitment to “making place matter.”

An institution that embraces a commitment to civic engagement:

  • Integrates service learning in academic curriculum;
  • Encourages and supports volunteering in programs or activities that benefit others;
  • Addresses needs of the communities it serves;
  • Develops and nourishes co-curricular programs,
  • drawing attention to and awareness of local, national and global issues;
  • Contributes to community development by identifying and increasing human resources and economic assets of a community;
  • Mobilizes students to influence public policy through voting and political participation;
  • Encourages and supports scholarly activity that serves public interest resulting in community or societal benefits.

Strategic Goal 5: Develop an environment which encourages global knowledge
and cultural sensitivity.

In order to prepare our students to experience success in an increasingly globalized world, we must provide opportunities that promote an understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of human and environmental processes around the world. Global literacy will provide our students with an international perspective that enables them to respond more effectively to challenges and engage in opportunities.

Cultural sensitivity not only requires global knowledge but also the ability to view a situation from diverse perspectives and to communicate and interact appropriately and effectively with people from different cultures

An institution that embraces a global knowledge and cultural sensitivity:

  • Increases numbers and diversity of international students at Northeastern State;
  • Provides opportunities for international learning and travel opportunities and funding for Northeastern State students, faculty, and staff;
  • Encourages campus conversations regarding international current events explored from multi-cultural perspectives;
  • Incorporates global knowledge and cultural sensitivity into the curriculum and co-curricular opportunities;
  • Uses technology to connect the campus community more fully with the world;
  • Creates and nourishes exchanges between Northeastern State and international institutions;
  • Plans and supports campus events that feature diverse cultures;
  • Uses opportunities within the United States to experience multi-cultural communities;
  • Develops awareness of the interconnectedness of global systems and the importance of developing sustainable solutions to human and environmental problems;
  • Recognizes contributions by international faculty—tenure track, non-tenure track, and Fulbright scholars;
  • Recruits ethnically and racially diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Strategic Goal 6: Improve quality of life by serving as a cultural and entertainment destination on our campuses and throughout the region we serve.

A center for cultural enrichment and entertainment is achieved by promoting and advancing the fine and performing arts, NCAA intercollegiate athletics, lectures, university student organization programs and recreational co-curricular activities.

Through these activities Northeastern State will act as a preferred destination for visitors and serve a dual function of enhancing regional economic development through visitors’ expenditures while providing an exceptional experience for those who participate in our activities and events.

An institution that embraces a commitment to cultural enrichment and entertainment:

  • Promotes diverse continuing education programs and services
  • Acts as a regional leader that promotes concerts and lectures
  • Supports the arts through student performances, art shows, museum quality exhibitions etc.
  • Competes in the highest classification of NCAA intercollegiate athletics as possible
  • Provides (sponsored and non sponsored) recreational activities for campus and community members
  • Hosts a variety of youth camps
  • Nurtures and supports indigenous arts and cultural activities linked to NSUs heritage

Contributing Team members

  • Rachel Farinelli - Continuing Education
  • Mark Bighley - Music Department
  • Robin Pursely - Theater Department
  • Mike Chanslor - Liberal Arts
  • Kathleen Kennedy - Student Involvement
  • Karen Ross - Conference Coordinator

Strategic Goal 7: Develop and manage the resources of the university to support a vibrant and viable community.

Our institutional goals will be enhanced through effectively managing our resources. This will be accomplished by committing to the development of our faculty and staff, combining efficiency and environmental responsibilities, developing our physical and technical infrastructure, significantly increasing the resource base, and committing to a university- wide environment which promotes customer-driven, quality programs.

This goal represents a significant challenge in light of declining state funding, dynamic changes in technology, and a history of deferred maintenance. The near term requires programs addressing quality, customer service, efficiency and prioritization. Major funding campaigns are essential for the long term achievement of the university's mission and vision.

An institution committed to creating a growing, vibrant, sustainable university community:

  • Achieves sustainable student populations at all campuses.
  • Creates and maintains physical campus environments that are distinctive in form, function and design. The university master plan provides the roadmap for building the physical resources to support the mission and vision, while acting as a model of sustainability.
  • Maintains the technological resources to support learning and discovery.
  • Establishes processes to achieve internal efficiencies for targeted reallocation of existing resources and optimal use of new resources which will allow us to adapt to the changing economic and market conditions, while maintaining our commitment to environmental responsibility.
  • Develops targeted programs for all stakeholders to increase financial resources, and support the mission and vision of the university.