Update on Strategic Plan Progress

Type: 
General
Date: 
December 10, 2015
Submitted by: 
Lisa A. Rossbacher and Noah Zerbe

We are pleased to provide an update on the progress the campus is making toward our strategic plan implementation.

The Strategic Plan Oversight Committee (SPOC) met with its subcommittee members in November to review the top priorities for this year’s strategic plan implementation. Those items are summarized under each goal, below.

Some highlights of our current efforts include: a working group is developing processes to measure the success of strategic activities and to align each with strategic budgeting; a WASC steering committee will soon be in place to align self-study activities with strategic plan implementation; an institution-wide funding opportunity is being pursued to improve the first-year experience for our students and to increase our retention and graduation rates; a comprehensive inventory of the activities relative to the strategic plan is underway and a web page is being developed to provide access to in-depth progress information on the Strategic Plan progress.

We all share a commitment to our students, to sharing knowledge and intellectual inquiry, and to collaboration and the development of our faculty and staff. Each of us has something to contribute to our strategic plan, and, as we aim for a new level of success as an institution of higher learning, this plan will guide us to make clear choices about who we are and what we do.

We are proud of the progress we have made and we look forward to continuing to improve the experience for our students through this effort. Most of all, we would like to express our gratitude to all of the individuals throughout our campus community who have contributed their talents, time, and extraordinary effort to this process. You are what makes Humboldt State University such a great place.

Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.
President

Noah Zerbe, Ph.D.
Chair of the University Senate and Professor of Politics

Top Priorities for HSU’s Strategic Plan Implementation for 2015-16

Goal 1: Prepare students to be social and environmentally responsible leaders in a diverse and globalized world
This comprehensive student success goal is our primary mission. We are here to ensure that our students receive the best possible education that we can provide them. This goal builds on accomplishments and organizational strengths and both past and ongoing student success initiatives. In order to provide an exceptional experience for our students, we will leverage and coordinate those initiatives already underway with new activities listed in the plan. For example, we are implementing evidence-based decision-making for everything we do, including our student success programs and assessments. Our Institutional Research and Planning Director’s data presentations this fall semester were an important step in moving in this direction, as are the Provost’s All-Chair meetings / working groups. We are pursuing several major institution-wide funding opportunities to improve the first-year experience for our students and to increase our retention and graduation rates. Many other initiatives are underway as well, such as the implementation of u.direct, which will enable students and their advisors to build graduation plans in a way that increases the likelihood of graduation and decreases the time-to-degree.

Goal 2: Foster meaningful relationships across differences including diverse cultural communities, identities, and competencies
This goal recognizes one of the most important imperatives for successfully achieving our mission – building a campus community and organization that is strong, diverse, creative, welcoming, and healthy, with processes and systems that are equitable, inclusive, and responsive. This goal is core to our values and encompasses increasing professional development, strengthening tenure-line density and diversity among our faculty, and implementing salary equity. Look for expanded faculty, staff, and administrator training opportunities this year, including expansion of activities like the Institute for Student Success into year-round opportunities. We will continue to expand campus and community initiatives to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff, and we seek your input on best practices. The first phase of the salary equity plan was implemented this year, and we hope to be able to continue this in the future.

Goal 3: Strengthening partnership with local communities
We continue to place a high value on being an organization that adapts and grows. Our plan aims for a new level of partnership with our local communities. The President’s Native American Advisory Council has been reinvigorated and will create new partnerships. We have also committed to deepening relationships in the region to ensure that the broader communities provide a safe and welcoming environment for our students, staff, and faculty. We will continue our work recruiting local students by expanding the Local Pathways initiative. In spring 2016, we will conduct the first “inventory” of faculty, staff and student engagements in the communities, and we look forward to putting additional support in place to expand several community partnerships already underway. Humboldt State is recognized and valued for the remarkable hands-on opportunities we provide for our students. This year, we will continue to identify ways to coordinate, track, and support research opportunities, volunteer service, and internships.

Goal 4. Serve as effective stewards of the natural and built environment and the University’s financial resources with a focus on sustainability
In order to remain responsive to growing environmental threats and the dramatic changes in higher education, we have committed to greatly increasing our environmental sustainability and fiscal viability. Social and environmental responsibility runs deep at HSU. Students created the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, and we continue to develop and support myriad initiatives, such as the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund whose mission is to “reduce the environmental impact of energy use at HSU through student driven projects.” Our Climate Action Plan is now underway and will lead to improved infrastructure, practices, and processes that are both environmentally responsible and technologically sophisticated. We have also started to implement a strategic budgeting plan, which will result in greater fiscal health and responsibility. To showcase pride in our institution and encourage everyone to support our mission, we are increasing awareness of “Forever Humboldt,” which is more expansive than the traditional alumni organization and includes both current and former students, parents and families, and faculty and staff. Finally, we are pursuing many avenues to improve our cash flow, such as expanding use of our facilities in the summer.