Countdown: 40 days to HLC visit: Future Directions
Editor's note: With the visit of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Visiting Team little more than a month away, Ranger Today begins a series of articles on the future directions contained within the university's self-study.
Future Direction: Enhance Understanding of the Mission
By Kim Kelley, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness
Through the self-study process, including the work of the criterion committees, feedback received from the campus community, and the steering and leadership teams, themes emerged that will be important considerations for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside as we move forward with future planning efforts, including developing the next strategic plan at UW-Parkside that will launch in the 2013/14 academic year.
In Criterion One, "Mission," one of the future directions that emerged was enhancing understanding of UW-Parkside's mission. This future direction emerged from discussions within the criterion committee, the steering and leadership teams, and through feedback received in scripts submitted by the campus community.
This future direction addresses two areas for future discussion and planning. The first is the need to continue to find new means to help our students, the campus community, and other stakeholders to understand UW-Parkside's mission and purpose. This future direction is intended to help the campus community focus on its strengths, and through the process of refining understanding of its strengths and areas of distinction, tailor our message to our current and prospective students, parents, the campus community, and other stakeholders so they have a clearer sense of what UW-Parkside's purpose is and how we achieve our mission in support of our students, community, region, and the state.
Second, this future direction is designed to encourage conversation around emerging vehicles which can assist in advancing understanding of our mission, such as the ever-evolving social media environment. Through new media, the campus is able identify new opportunities to reach out to our community that take advantage of emerging technologies. Further, this future direction is designed to help the campus think about what communication vehicles we use currently that are not as effective for our students, and community stakeholders, so we can plan for the changes on the horizon and focus our attention on the best communication vehicles to increase understanding and investment in UW-Parkside's mission.
Through discussing and refining our mission, we will help our students and our community understand UW-Parkside's strengths and advantages, which benefits both internal and external stakeholders. Further, through the use of emerging technologies to advance understanding of our mission, we will enhance our outreach to our community which will support our efforts to help our community understand our mission, attract students who will most likely benefit from a UW-Parkside education, and help families make the right decision about UW-Parkside. We also hope to encourage increased support for UW-Parkside's mission and through refining our mission, help our campus stakeholders tell our story more effectively in these challenging times for higher education.
The benefits of pursuing this future direction for UW-Parkside include:
1) Enhanced understanding of how we contribute to our community
2) Greater stakeholder commitment to UW-Parkside's mission
3) An informed student body, parents, and legislators
4) Increased UW-Parkside pride, and
5) Enhanced use of social media to reach out and share our mission more widely to new community members we have not reached previouslyWe all work to achieve UW-Parkside's mission every day. We all want the great things we do at UW-Parkside to be understood and appreciated. Through reviewing our mission and utilizing social media venues to enhance understanding of our mission, we will benefit, as will our stakeholders, and we will be able to share our accomplishments more widely and hopefully, more effectively.