A strategy for Mississippi State University to become
the region's most respected land-grant institution
Summary of FutureSTATE 2015 Progress Reports
PRIMARY GOALS OF FUTURESTATE 2015
- Enhance student growth and development through excellent academics, character building, and a diverse and caring environment
- Achieve fiscal stability through private support and an expanded tuition base
- Expand research opportunities and promote economic development
- Strengthen pride and involvement of the Great Bulldog Nation through strong athletics, a vibrant social and cultural environment, and an inviting and pride-inspiring campus
INITIATIVES TO ENHANCE STUDENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Initiative: Increase Shackouls Honors College course offerings, programming, and sections; expand Distinguished Scholars effort
- The Conerly Honors Lectures began this spring, five additional honors courses are offered, and two additional classrooms have been furnished in Griffis Hall. Up to five competitive curricular enhancement grants for Honors faculty will be awarded this year.
Initiative: Enhance library resources and services through plan that will lead to membership in ARL
- Additional funding has been provided to Library. The initial emphasis is on collection development and the second phase will focus on additional faculty and staff. A request was made to ARL in February 2007 for a visit by an ARL member representative with the goal of securing an ARL site visit.
Initiative: Increase funding for freshman class sections in the College of Arts and Sciences
- The college is investigating advanced placement and other options to reduce enrollment pressure on the core curriculum and working to build a budgeted instructional reserve.
Initiative: Strengthen College of Arts and Sciences to acknowledge central role of liberal arts and sciences.
- The college has drafted a plan to add 10 tenure-track faculty with Phi Beta Kappa membership by 2010; add 10 tenure-track minority faculty in various disciplines by 2010; add six tenure-track faculty in Communication by 2009; add four tenure track faculty in Biological Sciences by 2010; add doctoral programs in geosciences and English by 2009; develop plan for space and facilities needs (including classrooms) by 2007; and increase department operating budgets. Major facilities improvements are needed for Biological Sciences, English, Foreign Language, and Psychology.
Initiative: Expand Pathfinders to include upper classmen as well as freshmen
- Starting in fall 2006, Pathfinders began contacting sophomores who struggled academically in freshman year. Reports were received from more faculty in fall 2006 than in previous years. Pathfinders now calls rising juniors who have not pre-registered for fall to encourage them to return to MSU. By fall 2007, faculty will be able to report absences directly into Banner.
Initiative: Intervene academically through the Learning Skills Support Program with students scheduled for suspension due to low GPAs
- The Learning Skills Support Program has operated for four semesters, enrolling students facing academic suspension and offering them a support system that holds them accountable for academic progress. From 52% to 69% of participating students have continued in school semester after taking part in LSSP, compared with 19% to 35% of suspended students not completing the program. The program is currently budgeted with one-time funds from the Provost's office.
Initiative: Fund the Mississippi State Promise grant program
- More than 125 freshmen and transfer students were awarded Promise grants for 2006-07. An anonymous estate gift has been committed that will provide funding in perpetuity. About 225 awards are anticipated for 2007-08.
Initiative: Establish an African-American Studies minor (expanded to include African-American Studies Program)
- A proposal for a minor was approved by the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee and submitted to the University Courses and Curriculum Committee. Action is expected in time to implement by Fall 2007.
Initiative: Establish MSU International Program
- Identified five regional ambassadors have been named to develop international collaborations and programs. A Korea Study Tour will be conducted this summer and an international component of the Global Leadership Program is planned.
Initiative: Submit request to receive funding and participate in National Security Language Initiative
- With about 30 students enrolled this year in Chinese I, a full Chinese program could be implemented in 2009. International business and engineering interest students are especially interested. Enrollment growth may lead to a Japanese degree program by developed by Fall 2008. Arabic could be offered as a distance learning program for military personnel.
Initiative: Establish Center for America's Veterans
- CAV opened in September 2006 and a recruiting and retention program is under way. A Veterans Upward Bound Program is pending.
Initiative: Create first-year experience program
- A committee formed in fall 2006 developed a plan to develop one-credit freshman seminars with a target enrollment of 1,000 new freshmen in five years. Freshman Seminars will serve as a core activity for a number of primarily residential learning communities, beginning in fall of 2008. The program will be operated from the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Initiative: Establish minor in Leadership Studies
- A minor in Leadership Studies has been established, requiring at least 19 hours including an internship. A Leadership Minor Committee with representation from each college and other units will to promote the program and advise students.
Initiative: Create first-year experience program involving Leadership and Service Learning
- The Day One Leadership Learning Community was established to include leadership forum, residence life, service learning, and mentoring components. Students will be co-enrolled in pods of 25 in one freshman core course starting in fall 2007. Cresswell Hall will be converted to a co-residential facility to house the community.
Initiative: Utilize Riley Center to complement academics
- A 2 + 2 program in theater with Meridian Community College has been completed, and communication courses and curricula are awaiting UCCC approval.
Initiative: Focus on other schools and programs like Upward Bound to recruit transfers from underrepresented groups
- MSU has targeted Phi Theta Kappa students at Mississippi community colleges and in surrounding states. Admissions and Scholarships is working with Student Support Services to target Upward Bound programs at community colleges.
Initiative: Develop relationships with schools that have a high percentage of students from underrepresented groups
- MSU has contacted six community colleges for greater partnership and collaboration and is working to establish ALHP chapters on other campuses, including historically black institutions.
Initiative: Establish a faculty honors and awards program to recognize and reward faculty
- An assessment was made of university-wide awards and recognition and college-level awards and recognition for faculty teaching, research, and service.
Initiative: Establish Sonny Montgomery Chapter of Appalachian Leadership Honors Program
- The first 29 fellows have enrolled in ALHP and a program manager was hired. The Young Guns and Day One programs are taking shape.
Initiative: Create an Honor Council and adopt Honor Code
- The Honor Code will be implemented in August 2007. It has been ratified by Student Association, Graduate Council, and Faculty Senate. An Honor Code Council Office will be established by July. The Academic Integrity Intervention Program will include discipline, evaluation/counseling, education, and ethics/ethical decision making seminars.
INITIATIVES TO ACHIEVE FISCAL STABILITY
Initiative: Raise $100 million to support "Reach for Excellence"
- The fundraising effort will continue through December 2010. More than $1.5 million had been raised by February 2007.
Initiative: Conduct integrated recruiting/retention campaign for all campuses, and distance learning
- Executive Enrollment Management Council formed in December 2006.
Initiative: Maintain growth of 300 to 500 undergraduates per year for four to five years
- A recruitment plan for freshmen and transfers was implemented in fall 2006 for freshmen, transfers, Academic Outreach and Continuing Education students, and graduate students. Enrollment goals include an increase to 2,200 freshmen for fall 2007.
Initiative: Encourage department involvement in recruiting by returning 75% of tuition revenue increase to departments/colleges, based on growth
- A $96,000 tuition dividend was presented in fall 2006, based on FTE growth of 73. In the future, the incentive will be based on the actual increase in net tuition revenue.
Initiative: Increase the number of graduate students and doctoral degrees
- An electronic application and imaging process will expedite graduate admissions and enrollment. Graduate enrollment is expected to reach 3,400 in fall 2007, up from 3,312 in fall 2006.
Initiative: Improve graduate student compensation
- A supplement of $100 per academic year was provided for graduate assistants who purchased the university-offered health insurance policy beginning in Spring 2007, and the supplement is scheduled to grow to $400 by 2009. Graduate assistantship stipends increased by about $1,000 on average for 2006-07 and will grow as resources are available.
Initiative: Recruit graduate/undergraduate students from specific regions; build relationships with international alumni
- A coordinator of International Student Recruitment was hired in spring 2007. The scholarship deadline for international students has been extended. Alternatives to TOEFL as an English proficiency test are being studied.
Initiative: Implement energy conservation plan with goals based on FY 06 usage; return savings to units reducing use
- A goal was set to reduce the amount of energy used by 15% in FY 07. In March, the year-to-date reduction was 11 percent.
Initiative: Adjust pricing of revenue generating services; measure and manage costs for productivity and efficiency
- Auxiliary operations were reviewed in fall 2006 and required to raise prices by 5%. Dining Services was outsourced to Aramark, effective July 1, 2007. Printing Services and the Golf Course were reassigned, with target dates to be solvent.
INITIATIVES TO EXPAND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
Initiative: Support and promote current, emerging, and potential centers of excellence and identify others
- Current centers are moving ahead and seeking ways to collaborate with each other, while and additional sources of funding and are being identified for emerging centers.
Initiative: Provide a mentoring program to assist new faculty with research in each department
- A research orientation workshop is held at the beginning of each fall semester, and monthly seminars and workshops begin in spring 2007. Campus visits by agency program officers are being planned.
Initiative: Appoint associate deans for research and graduate education
- By the end of the spring 2007 semester, all colleges will have an associate dean for research and graduate education or will have designated someone to serve on a council of academic administrators to assist and advise the Dean of Graduate Studies and to provide day-to-day oversight of graduate programs in their colleges.
INITIATIVES TO EXPAND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Initiative: Establish Mississippi State Community Action Team (MSCAT) to assist communities across the state in economic development
- MSCAT has been established with a director, project manager, and administrative assistant. "Excellence in Engagement" grants have been established and issue teams working in several communities. A "First Impressions" community assessment and improvement program has begun.
Initiative: Promote economic development teamwork and communication in the community
- Partnerships have been formed with several local, regional, and state economic development organizations.
Initiative: Team with city and county schools to achieve higher levels of accreditation for all schools
- The College of Education provides technical assistance to schools in all 82 Mississippi counties and is increasing collaboration with other MSU units. A studio school project is underway to develop an innovative school for at-risk students with three school district partners, and is tentatively scheduled to open in fall 2008.
Initiative: Communicate the importance of service and outreach at the campus level and enrich students' experiences through service learning
- The Provost has met with several groups and discussed the role of service and outreach in faculty activity and in the promotion and tenure system. Other forums have been held by the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Initiative: Enhance and expand Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park to create jobs
- An interim executive director with experience in park development and management has been named. A new park boulevard will be completed in summer 2009, pending MDOT's implementation. MSU joined the Association of University Research Parks.
INITIATIVES TO STRENGTHEN PRIDE AND INVOLVEMENT
Initiative: Work with alumni and friends in support of recruiting
- More than 125 recruiting events were held by alumni in 2006, including 36 chapter "send-off parties" for new students. About 25 chapters held MSU birthday parties in February 2007. The Alumni National Board of Directors formed student recruiting committee in fall 2006.
Initiative: Ensure academic progress and compliance in athletics
- Student-athletes had an overall GPA 2.87 in fall 2007. The latest NCAA Graduation Rate MSU athletes as 63 percent. All sports met the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate cutoff score of 900. A compliance meeting of all coaches, staff and student athletes was held the start of the year with monthly coaches and staff compliance meetings thereafter.
Initiative: Increase financial resources in athletics
- The total athletic operating budget of $27.8 is derived from private fund raising, over $10 million; Southeastern Conference revenue sharing, over $10 million; and season ticket sales, over $7 million.
Initiative: Improve facilities in athletics
- Several projects have been completed this academic year, all with private funding.
Initiative: Inform campus, government leaders and public of MSU accomplishments and involve them in telling our story
- National media are being targeted for coverage of significant research and unique initiatives and use of broadcast- and technology-based marketing is expanding.
Initiative: Foster more effective communication with faculty by scheduling annual meetings between the upper administration and the combined leadership of the Faculty Senate, University P&T Committee, and the University Committee on Courses and Curricula, among others
- The Provost has been meeting twice during the academic year with deans and department heads to discuss promotion and tenure.
Initiative: Conduct seminars sponsored by the Promotion and Tenure Committee to assist faulty members
- A P&T application process workshop will be held annually, starting in spring 2007. An overall P&T Process Workshop will be held annually in the fall.
Initiative: Explore advisability of changing from department heads to department chairs
- The advisability of such a change was explored with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and with the Deans Council. No change is recommended.
Initiative: Evaluate annual review process using committee to provide consistency, advice on gaining promotion/tenure
- A committee was appointed by the Provost in fall 2006 including representation from all of the colleges, Meridian, library, university P&T committee, extension, deans council, dept heads council, and graduate studies. The committee submitted its report in February 2007, recommending three changes in the University promotion and tenure document, three recommendations related to informing individuals in the P&T process, two recommendations to place more emphasis on teaching, and a recommendation concerning changes in annual faculty reviews. The recommendations were made to the Provost, the Faculty Senate, and the University P&T Committee.
Initiative: Simplify the performance appraisal process for staff
- A new staff performance appraisal process was implemented in 2006.
Initiative: Provide broad-based diversity/sensitivity training
- HRM partnered with the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs to design and develop an application that provides on-line diversity/sensitivity training. HRM has provided six sessions of diversity training.
Initiative: Provide training for search committee chairs
- Eleven training sessions have been conducted by HRM for search committees in the past year, and HRM staff have served on five search committees. On-line tools are available to assist search committees.
Initiative: Provide productive social outlets for students
- A new Global Lecture Series was started. Funding for the Lyceum Performing Arts series has tripled and programming funding for the Campus Activities Board and Music Makers Productions has doubled. Renovated Lee Hall Auditorium is receiving extensive use. The expanded and renovated Colvard Union will reopen in fall 2007. A risk management coordinator was hired to work with student organizations.
Initiative: Commit to a strong Student Association and student organizations
- The SA now has four advisors, rather than one. Funding for the Student Association, programming groups and organizations has improved as a result of the MSU share of the city's food/beverage tax revenue received since 2005. An additional Greek advisor position was added to focus on fraternity issues.
Initiative: Enhance the campus through addition of outdoor artwork
- An art loan program will be implemented in April 2007. Major works will be borrowed each year and placed on lawn of Allen Hall. A student competition is planned for fall 2007. Professional artwork will be commissioned in 2008.
Initiative: Modernize the process for allocating classroom space and schedule more classes during off-peak times
- A committee to develop scheduling policies has been appointed and an ad hoc committee is reviewing commercial scheduling software.
Initiative: Establish safety as a top priority, reinforce through messages, training, and investigations of all incidents, and establish coordinated effort to identify issues and oversee regulatory requirements
- A combined Safety and Environmental Program Review Group established in January 2007. MSU workers compensation claims are being reviewed to identify the most common types of injuries and how to prevent them. A formal fire alarm inspection program and pre-planning building inspection program are being implemented.
Initiative: Improve campus accessibility for the disabled
- Comprehensive five-year sidewalk upgrade plan completed January 2007 and funds for additional upgrades are anticipated. A new operating policy requires all programs open to the public to insure accessibility, including interpreters for the hearing impaired. All renovations and new construction must meet ADA and MSU standards. An Advisory Committee for students with disabilities and an Academic Accommodations Committee have been established.
Initiative: Evaluate campus landscape for sustainability; incorporate LEED; update and monitor Campus Master Plan
- A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) team was formed in January 2007 to develop criteria for MSU, and a LEED seminar will be held in spring 2007. A review of the MSU landscape for sustainability and an update of the Campus Master Plan are planned by August 2007.