Last Modified: Monday, April 30, 2012 2:30 PM
McNeese State University President Philip Williams hopes to have a new vision statement and set of goals for the university by the fall, based on his analysis of the thousands of ideas he collected at public input events.
Williams hosted 33 such events from September through January. At them, different groups of the school’s alumni and friends presented ideas for improving the university. The events made up the “idea gathering” portion of Williams’ strategic planning initiative to develop a long-term vision and mission for the school.
Event participants were asked 12 questions, and each answer was recorded and cataloged. The responses to each question can be found on McNeese’s website.
Tom Dvorske, director of institutional effectiveness, is analyzing the answers using software designed to organize suggestions and comments according to word and concept frequency. Answers will be analyzed by the most popular responses, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis and by a Venn diagram that will help decipher what the school does best while benefiting economically.
Williams said that a lot of answers were the same across the board.
“One that came up in almost every session is that people from all of our constituent groups love the motto ‘Excellence with a Personal Touch,’ ” Williams said.
He said the “idea analysis” phase will continue through the summer.
“I’m hoping to have a draft prepared in time for the return of the faculty after the summer,” Williams said. “It will be just a draft in the sense that it will probably include a vision statement, a tentative set of goals, possibly some timelines that they can look at.”
He said he will then take their input into consideration and have a finalized version of the plan by mid-October.
“It’s a complex process, especially as a process for higher education, because it has to mesh with other plans, including those of the University of Louisiana System, the Board of Regents and the legislative mandates,” Williams said. “So it’s complicated, but I’m confident that we will come up with something to lead McNeese with over the next five years.”