UPDATE: MU's strategic plan launches website detailing its progress

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 5:42 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — With MU's recently launched strategic plan website, anyone can track what progress has been made toward more than 50 objectives.

They include:

  • Continuing to increase campus diversity;
  • Offering more opportunities for students to get their degrees faster;
  • Updating faculty benefit packages to enhance the student experience and boost its reputation;
  • Generate more patents.

The One Mizzou: 2020 Vision for Excellence website will make those responsible for the plan's implementation accountable — "holding feet to the fire," said Thomas Phillips, progress committee chairman and a biological sciences professor at MU.

The PDF of the strategic plan has been available on the Office of the Chancellor's website for a few months, but the website can show progress, Phillips said.

One Mizzou: 2020 Vision for Excellence has three main goals, according to the strategic plan:

  • Enhance all programs at the university that would improve the lives of those living in Missouri, the nation and the world.
  • Build on Mizzou Advantage, a program made up of five initiatives: food for the future; media of the future; one health, one medicine; sustainable energy and managing innovation.
  • Make sure sufficient infrastructure, human and financial resources are in place to support the future of teaching, research, outreach and economic development.

Each smaller goal, or objective, has a "recent actions taken" tab, listing what has been done to accomplish it. 

For example, under objective 3.2, which aims to update employee and graduate student benefit programs, recent actions included a resolution the Faculty Council passed supporting benefits for same-sex partners. Creating a new retirement plan to be implemented in 2012 was also featured.

Phillips said that MU has lagged behind in compensation and benefit programs compared to other schools in the Association of American Universities, but that he has seen improvement.

"In terms of AAU public schools, I think only Oregon has lower faculty compensation and benefits — and they have better mountains," Phillips said.

The strategic plan will also help ensure that MU is a good steward of the funds it receives from taxpayers and students' tuition, MU Faculty Council chairman Harry Tyrer said.

"We are examining many of the aspects of university life," said Tyrer, a professor of computer and electrical engineering. "We're going to try to make education better for students."

The first community-wide meeting to discuss the plan's progress will be held this spring, according to Phillips. The annual town hall-style forum is meant to get community feedback for the strategic plan.

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