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Board of Curators discusses 'strategic direction'

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | 8:52 p.m. CDT; updated 11:00 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 23, 2008

COLUMBIA — UM System President Gary Forsee wants the system to be clear about its goals and intended direction, particularly with next month's election of a new governor and state senators and representatives.

"We have some heavy lifting to do" to bring newly elected public officials up to speed on higher education issues and priorities, he said.

Forsee presented a draft of his "strategic direction" proposal to the Board of Curators on Thursday, a plan that seemed to garner support from the curators.

Forsee draft's outlined goals to help the four campuses fulfill their specific missions, such as teaching, research and community service. The proposal would use statistical data to determine how well a campus is doing. Campuses would be evaluated using data such as enrollment rates, average ACT scores and transfer graduation rate.

The measures are designed to hold each campus accountable for appropriate standards, Forsee said. When setting standards for MU, the university is compared with peer institutions in the Association of American Universities and not with the smaller UM system schools.

Curators responded positively toward the proposal, with several voicing approval for the focus on accountability measures. Judith Haggard, the curator from Kennett, said she likes that each campus is able to measure its own performance. Marion Cairns, the curator from Webster Groves, said the proposal could serve as a way to keep future boards accountable.

The proposal will be discussed in further detail at Friday's board meeting.

In addition to receiving reports from board committees as well as from the campus chancellors, the board will vote Friday on:

  • a campus master plan update for the University of Missouri-Kansas City;
  • the project design for the Stanley H. Durwood Soccer Stadium and Recreational Field at UMKC;
  • and an amendment to the UM System's collected rules and regulations regarding the inclusion of each institution's name on diplomas and certificates awarded from a cooperative agreement master's degree program.

The board will reconvene at 9 a.m. Friday in the Adams Conference Center of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.


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