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Strategic Plan

Our mission: to make life better through education.

university mission 480w

Our Charter

We are the leading micropolitan university that is measured by the success of our students and the communities we serve; and assuming leadership for improving the cultural, social, economic, and overall health outcomes throughout the region and world.

Our vision is to educate and prepare students to make positive contributions to their chosen professions and future communities. We accomplish this by:

  • providing access to quality educational programs and experiences for students working to ensure students achieve their educational goals.
  • embracing a historic commitment to learning by doing.
  • creating an inclusive educational and work environment where everyone feels valued.
  • connecting Kansas to the world and the world to Kansas.
  • driving regional economic prosperity and competitiveness through education, research and creative activity, arts and culture, and community engagement.
  • engaging with diverse communities and organizations to develop innovative solutions to critical social, technical, cultural, and environmental issues.

Our strategic plan is organized by ten primary goals and the associated initiatives through which we plan to achieve those goals.

Goal 1: Valuable Education Experience

Develop the region’s most valuable learner-centered higher education experience for students.

Goal 2: Student Achievement

Remove barriers and commit to student success as a shared imperative to assist students to achieve their personal and professional educational goals.

Goal 3: Access, Inclusion, and Belonging

Create a campus culture that values diversity and works to ensure that all individuals are included and belong as members of the University community.

Goal 4: Organizational Culture

Strengthen student, faculty, and staff satisfaction with their living, learning, and work environment as a clear institutional priority.

Goal 5: Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Develop a scholarship, research, and creative activity portfolio with strategic intent.

Goal 6: Economic Development

Drive regional economic prosperity and strengthen state-wide competitiveness through education, research, and community engagement programs and initiatives.

Goal 7: Community Engagement and Partnerships

Partner with other organizations, alumni, and donors to advance shared educational, athletic, artistic, cultural, economic, environmental, and social priorities

Goal 8: Continuous Improvement

Advance a culture of continuous improvement that values transparency, strategic planning and evaluation, effective communication, shared governance, and creative problem-solving.

Goal 9: Sustainability and Stewardship

Grow a sustainable future for the University and world through the successful stewardship of finite resources

Goal 10: Health, Wellness, and Safety

Invest in health and wellness strategies and evidence-based educational programs and services that promote positive change in knowledge, skills, behaviors, and outcomes for students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

Design Principles

The following design principles will guide our decisions and shared actions.

They are integrated throughout the university to advance initiatives and drive the accomplishment of goals and objectives on behalf of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners.



Actively seek opportunities to reduce barriers for students by improving education-related systems, programs, and processes.

Love Our Place

Engage with our communities by embracing our cultural, socioeconomic, and physical setting in Southeast Kansas.

Care for People

Believe all faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners belong and deserve to live, learn, and work in fulfilling and healthy environments

Innovate Through Collaboration

Listen to others and use knowledge to advance innovative, collaborative approaches to solving problems both on and off campus.

Pursue Excellence

Are not afraid to take risks in the pursuit of accomplishing goals and objectives that lead to positive outcomes for students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

Embrace Our Gorilla Legacy

Celebrate the link between past, present, and future Gorillas as a distinct point of pride.

Explore with Purpose

Believe scholarship and research have purpose and impact communities locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

Sustain Through Stewardship

Successfully steward and sustain finite human, financial, and environmental resources.