Academic Master Plan
Links open .pdf document to the corresponding page.
Mississippi University for Women is facing many of the challenges common to colleges and universities today. While the University has a reputation for providing outstanding programs that are founded upon the University’s commitment to provide personalized educational opportunities, MUW is currently being asked by its many publics to be more cost-effective, assuring that resources available are being used to maximize educational opportunities for the students served. In this environment, planning is critical. To this end, the University has developed this Academic Master Plan to represent the academic goals of the University within the developing integrated series of plans.
The campus community developed a Mission and a Vision statement which then served as the foundation for a series of Guiding Principles and these were approved in January of 2004 by MUW’s governing board, the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning. Following from these overarching statements, W-2009: A Strategic Plan for MUW was developed and implemented, establishing a series of goals for the University. The ten goals established are:
MUW Goal 1: Provide high quality, student-centered instructional programs in a personalized learning environment.
MUW Goal 2: Ensure high quality academic and leadership preparation for women.
MUW Goal 3: Provide student life programs that stimulate intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and leadership development.
MUW Goal 4: Increase enrollment through effective recruitment and retention strategies.
MUW Goal 5: Promote effective organizational principles.
MUW Goal 6: Provide programs and services that enhance the cultural, intellectual, social, and professional development of the citizens of our region, state, and nation.
MUW Goal 7: Promote diversity among MUW students, faculty, and staff.
MUW Goal 8: Encourage research, scholarship, and creative endeavors to enhance instruction and professional development.
MUW Goal 9: Provide physical resources, infrastructure, and technology to advance the educational, operational, and public service goals of the University.
MUW Goal 10: Build partnerships and public awareness to support the University’s mission and to promote institutional and economic development.
This Academic Master Plan is a natural outgrowth of these goals and is a statement of the tactical strategies the University should implement if these goals are to be met.
This document represents over a year’s efforts by the faculty, staff and students of MUW to define academic priorities, goals, and objectives for the campus. While the process was led by a steering committee, over 50 people took part in the deliberations of the working groups and many others on campus provided information, attended meetings, and provided comments. As a result, this document, truly a work of the academic community, provides a series of recommendations that are viewed as action items to be accomplished over the next few years. Briefly, these action items are summarized as:
Recognize that the student population is changing and ensure that as enrollment grows, programs and services are offered to meet the needs of all students regardless if they are residential/non-residential, traditional/non-traditional, or full-time/part-time.
Develop an effective mechanism for evaluation and assessment of continuing and of new programs that recognizes funding limitations as well as the interests of enrolled and of potential students.
Continue to recruit and to develop a respected faculty, focusing on competitive salaries and benefits.
Continue to develop and improve traditional teaching methods including increased support for emerging technologies. As funds permit, increase support for the MUW academic community through increased library resources, new technologies, and support staff.
The main objective of all of these recommendations is to increase the effectiveness of Mississippi University for Women as a teaching institution. Quality classroom instruction combined with a range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that support this mission are defining characteristics of MUW. As this Plan is implemented, the University will meet the broader goals outlined in W-2009: A Strategic Plan for MUW.
This Academic Master Plan is considered a working document, necessitating action by many different groups on campus. The Plan will be monitored and coordinated by the Academic Council which has assumed responsibility for overseeing implementation. To accomplish this, the Council has agreed that each fall semester a formal review of accomplishments will be completed. Further, the Council will then review these successes in light of the actions called for under this plan and will then establish priorities including budget priorities for all academic and academic support units for the next fiscal year. This shall be completed by the end of the fall semester. These priorities and the integrated budget requests will be forwarded to PIE and to other administrative bodies to be incorporated as budgets are set. While this will be a bit of a departure from practice, it needs to be recognized that class schedules are prepared in January and students register in March. At that time, the University has committed funds for the next fiscal year. The process outlined here allows for the University to realistically discuss instructional budgets.
In sum, it must be recognized that these goals and objectives discussed herein are those established by the academic community of MUW. The actions identified herein or those that may be developed as result of annual reviews of this Plan shall be forwarded as recommendations of the entire academic community to University authorities for consideration within the broader context of overall goals for the entire institution.