McNeese State University President Philip Williams. (American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 7:08 PM
McNeese State University President Philip Williams is seeking community feedback on his recently released draft of a five-year strategic plan for the university.
The draft is based on his analysis of the ideas gathered at the 33 town hall events from September through January. At the events, different groups of the school’s alumni and friends presented ideas for improving the university.
McNeese received 5,581 responses during the collection process.
“We were all pleased at the number of responses from a variety of groups,” said Candace Townsend, the university spokeswoman. “It was wonderful to see that many people showing an interest in what we do.”
Williams’ draft was created from a series of analyses of these responses.
Townsend said the responses they received from the meetings showed that McNeese had a “very strong foundation” to build on with the strategic plan. But, she said, McNeese must move forward beyond the areas of past success.
“We have to look at the fact that the dynamic of higher education as we know it has to change,” she said. “We have to be innovative. We have to be innovative in all areas of how McNeese operates.”
Innovation is the theme behind Williams’ new vision statement for the university.
“Through the promotion of innovative teaching and learning methodologies, regional partnerships, service-learning opportunities, applied research, cultural engagement, and athletic excellence, McNeese will play an active leadership role in the civic and economic renaissance likely to transform Southwest Louisiana over the next five years,” the draft reads.
Townsend said the goals outlined in the draft will help ensure that McNeese does not fall behind or stay stagnant for the next five years.
The four goals:
Cultivate innovative teaching and learning.
Cultivate innovative collaboration with an expanding list of regional partners.
While retaining the current McNeese logos, cultivate a McNeese “brand” that embraces a culture of innovation.
Cultivate a physical environment that promotes a spirit of innovation.
Each goal also has an accompanying list of central objectives.
“McNeese is facing a transformational time. That’s where the strategic plan and having these measurable goals and objectives will guide us,” Townsend said.
“It will give everybody on campus, faculty, staff, students, it will give us some goals. It will give us a direction of where we’re going and tell us why we’re making certain decisions.”
The strategic plan must be approved by the University of Louisiana System.
Williams hopes to get the plan approved by December and will then implement the five-year plan in January.
The draft has already been presented to the faculty, but now Williams hopes to hear from the community. Community members who want to participate should visit the “President’s Message” section of the McNeese website and read the draft in its entirety. Williams asks that participants email their comments directly to him at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 7.