COLUMBIA — MU will spend more than $300 million in the next five years to carry out a strategic plan to increase its ranking among the Association of American Universities.
The university is planning to hold public meetings about the five-year plan on Nov. 14 and Nov. 18.
What: Public meetings on the MU Strategic Operating Plan, which is intended to be open to revisions
When: 10:30 to noon Nov. 14 in Stotler Lounge of Memorial Union and 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 in Room S-203 of Memorial Union
The MU Strategic Operating Plan: Providing Focus to 'One Mizzou' will devote the most funds, $162.3 million, to recruiting new faculty and staff.
Other goals are:
- increasing interdisciplinary and hands-on learning experiences for undergraduate, graduate and professional students;
- strengthening the diverse culture surrounding faculty and staff, which means trying to recruit from outside Missouri;
- providing facilities capable of accommodating innovative MU research;
- freeing up revenue to allow for new investments.
The funding for this plan, called MUSOP, will come from a variety of sources such as student fees, private sources and new state funds. But the largest portion of funding, at more than $183 million of the total $300 million, is coming from budget reallocation.
This is money that now is being distributed to the deans of different colleges, said Tom Phillips, co-chairman of the planning committee. Over time, MU will take some of the money back and give it to people, such as researchers, with plans in place that match the strategic operating plan, he said.
"It is moving money around to be sure it is used in the most important areas," Phillips said.
The plan targets an increase in enrollment to 36,000 students from the current 34,658 and decreasing the average time it takes a student to graduate. It also aims for an increase in scholarly citations of work by tenured and tenure-track faculty to 100 per year by 2018 from the current 74 per year.
Phillips said if these goals are not met, MU will reevaluate where money is being spent and how to continue progress in the future.
This strategic plan is not MU's first. In 2011, MU created a plan called "One Mizzou: 2020 Vision for Excellence" to be achieved by 2020. Its purpose was to outline specific goals for the university after three years of input and discussion by administrators, faculty, staff and students.
The 2011 plan focused on expanding programs for all Missouri citizens, building on the Mizzou Advantage and ensuring resources were available to support growth in research and economic development.
The new plan does not replace the 2020 plan, but it is intended to provide a narrower set of goals. The 2020 plan is more global, Phillips said.
"It is the hottest focus of the moment," he said.
Marijo Dixon, member of the MU Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council, said that after Tim Wolfe became the new University of Missouri System president, he asked each campus to revisit its strategic plans and create an update.
In June 2012, MU's Strategic Workgroup started drafting the five-year plan by collecting feedback from stakeholders at the university.
Dixon represented MU staff on the Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council and voiced their concerns as the plan was being written. She said her main input was for the staff to be remembered.
"We like for them to remember that there are individuals that keep the school going even though they are not working in an academic capacity," Dixon said.
The new strategic operating plan was published on Oct. 15. Its website says the plan will continue to grow and work as a living document in the future, adapting to future needs of university stakeholders.
That is one of the reasons for two public meetings that will be held Nov. 14 and Nov. 18.
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