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Strategic Plan

Our mission: to make life better through education.

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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 strategies 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.


  • Ensure academic programs and learning experiences are responsive to student and employer demand by creating and monitoring an academic program plan for the institution.
  • Work with local and regional partners to improve education, health, and economic outcomes for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities.
  • Develop and promote curricular and co-curricular innovation and assessments that assure a valuable learning experience for all students.
  • Work with area high schools, community colleges, and other regional colleges and universities to interest and recruit students to begin and/or complete their educational goals at Pitt State.
  • Fully utilize the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to ensure Pitt State faculty are best practice prepared to provide quality learning experiences for all students.
  • Utilize educational technology to advance active and adaptive learning competencies for Pitt State faculty and students.
  • Work with education and employment partners to establish micropolitan rural health leadership within the four-state region by recruiting, educating, and employing the best learners and faculty to expand existing education, biomedical/ethical and healthcare research, public health, and continuing education programs to meet current and future workforce needs for Kansas and the surrounding four-state region.
  • Develop regional leadership in STEM education by partnering with education and employment partners to expand and develop existing pathways and explore new opportunities for future educational programs, research, and creative activities.

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.


  • Develop a learner-centered, achievement-based architecture for students throughout their educational experiences at Pitt State.
  • Through consistent communication and strategic focus, create a cultural imperative at Pitt State where faculty and staff view/value completion as an institutional priority and help students succeed and achieve their educational goals.
  • Engage essential campus and community partners to strengthen and focus Pitt State’s approach to strategic enrollment planning and management.
  • Strengthen Pitt State’s recruitment outreach and connection to urban and rural communities throughout the four-state region and beyond.
  • Strengthen and focus the institution’s financial support and scholarship strategy for current and future students.
  • Annually review, refine, and develop new pedagogical, pathway, and/or support strategies to improve student outcomes in courses with consistently high D,W, and F rates.
  • Ensure faculty and staff are consistently utilizing best practices to strengthen retention and completion outcomes for all students.
  • Strengthen state-wide planning and programs that include micropolitan and rural communities, community and state colleges, to continually improve education access and quality across Kansas.

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.


  • Increase recruitment, retention, engagement and mentorship for all faculty, students, and staff to enhance access, inclusion, and belonging across all Pitt State educational programs, services, and experiences.
  • Strengthen the experience for all faculty, staff, and students by advancing programs and behaviors that promote inclusion and belonging within the Pitt State community and beyond.
  • Utilize community building programs and experiences to communicate and reinforce the importance of investing in inclusion and belonging initiatives for all individuals.
  • Utilize current and future employment, development, and training opportunities to strengthen an inclusive campus culture that promotes belonging and success for all individuals.
  • Prepare students and employees to live and work in a diverse democracy where they are serving/or will serve as inclusive, thoughtful, and kind citizens.
  • Maintain a welcoming and safe environment for all students, faculty, staff, and guests visiting campus.

Goal 4: Organizational Culture

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


  • Make Pitt State the preferred learning and working environment in the four-state region by developing and implementing professional and career development programs, reviewing and organizing job categories and career ladders, evaluating job performance, coaching and developing individuals and teams, investing in initiatives focused on inclusion and belonging, and routinely recognizing/celebrating individual and team successes.
  • Reduce individual and organizational risks by enhancing employee knowledge and accountability of policies, procedures, systems and through establishing a consistent culture of accountability and excellence.
  • Utilize traditional and innovative communication channels to continually inform and engage and educate students, faculty, staff and alumni so they can accurately and enthusiastically promote Pitt State throughout the four-state region and beyond.
  • Celebrate and reward students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners that exemplify and advance the Pitt State mission that seeks to “make life better through education.”

Goal 5: Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

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


  • Strengthen and develop a collaborative research and creative activity agenda between and among local, regional, and global education and industry partners.
  • Increase extramurally funded, sustainable, quality research programs in current and emerging areas of research excellence at Pitt State. Build upon existing strengths and enhance existing collaboration through new partnerships where appropriate and possible.
  • Expand research in the science of teaching and learning, including educational pedagogy, curricular design and delivery, as well as interprofessional experiential learning to identify those factors that improve student learning and success—specifically related to individual educational, intercultural, and wellness outcomes.
  • Utilize Pitt State’s growing strength in micropolitan rural health education to continue to assess rural Kansas and regional healthcare and workforce needs, coordinate student pathway programs for new students and enhance the rural health workforce quality and stability through continuing education.
  • Recruit new Pitt State research-focused faculty, students and staff from diverse backgrounds and ensure that all have protected time, adequate financial support and dedicated mentorship.
  • Invest in centralized research-focused compliance and support resources for faculty, staff, and students.

Goal 6: Economic Development

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


  • Work with public and private partners to diversify and strengthen the State-wide and regional economies.
  • Advance the Tyler Research Center’s impact on education, research, and economic development within the State of Kansas, region, and beyond. Continue to build and strengthen federal, state and local collaborations.
  • Work with local government and private partners to build on the success of Block22 that informs, develops, and ensures the successful completion of the Gorilla Rising project for the benefit of both the City of Pittsburg and Pitt State.
  • Identify community partners and donors to secure sustainable investments that advance the Pitt State mission; enhance the quality of life for students, faculty, staff, and visitors; and increase the economic vitality of Kansas.
  • Expand and implement public-private partnerships for new capital construction and renovation projects where appropriate and possible.
  • Diversify Pitt State revenues by developing commercialization structures and other business relationships that allow for commercializing marketable technology, services and resources.
  • Continuously enhance, update and implement the Campus Facilities Master Plan for all facilities and properties that support Pitt State’s mission; enhance the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and visitors; and help enhance the economic vitality for the City of Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas region.

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. 


  • Utilize the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts to develop an essential education and entertainment engine for the region.
  • Utilize the Plaster Center and other Pitt State athletic facilities to develop an essential education, entertainment, and competitive engine for the region.
  • Align Pitt State’s education, research, and governmental advocacy efforts with public and private partners to meet the needs of Kansas—specifically responsive to Southeast Kansas.
  • Leverage Pitt State’s education, research, and community service strengths to partner with relevant regional organizations to improve education and health disparities within Southeast Kansas.
  • Ensure that Pitt State faculty and staff are trusted and reliable sources for education, scholarship, and research information. Utilize a variety of communication channels and strategies to share and promote Pitt State information throughout the State of Kansas and within the region.
  • Strengthen and develop community engagement connections for students, faculty, and staff that create partnerships with local and regional organizations to provide ongoing support and service to communities throughout Southeast Kansas.
  • Strengthen and develop valuable partnerships with alumni and donors to support the success of Pitt State students, faculty, and staff.

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.


  • Invest in and implement professional development programs that utilize Pitt State design principles to evaluate and transform education, research, and campus operations and programs.
  • Review curricular and co-curricular program offerings and pathways to ensure Pitt State offers students relevant, accessible, and high-quality educational experiences that are in demand and in alignment with state-wide and regional workforce goals.
  • Enhance and coordinate customer friendly services for our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners.
  • Strengthen and continue to invest in an organizational culture that embraces evaluation, assessment, and accountability.
  • Strengthen the strategic planning and operations of all academic and business units by utilizing well-defined institutional goals, strategies, metrics and a timely dashboard report of all academic and business unit plans and outcomes.
  • Anticipate the need for Pitt State succession planning of key leadership roles across academic and business units. Extend leadership development, mentorship, coaching and other programs for our faculty, staff, students and other learners wherever appropriate or possible.

Goal 9: Sustainability and Stewardship

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


  • Develop, strengthen, and communicate broad-based sustainable strategies that enhance the stewardship of public and private resources across the educational, research and foundation strategies associated with Pitt State.
  • Enhance the coordination and partnership of Pitt State with the PSU Foundation to identify philanthropic support for the planning and development of “Big Ideas” and other identified programs, facilities, scholarships, processes, and outcomes strengthening the planning and outcomes of ongoing fundraising programs/campaigns.
  • Identify and invest in education and operational initiatives that advance sustainability outcomes at Pitt State.
  • Strengthen the public belief that Pitt State/higher education is an essential investment in the future of southeast Kansas and society writ large.
  • Work with state and local government leaders to strengthen public support for Pitt State/regional universities in Kansas.

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.


  • Aspire to become the healthiest campus in the country to be a student, faculty, or staff member through a commitment to nine commonly recognized dimensions of personal wellness (i.e. physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, social, career, intellectual, creative, and environmental).
  • Enhance the occupational wellness of faculty, staff, and students by strengthening workplace quality indicators and increasing employees’ sense of doing meaningful work.
  • Strengthen and develop health and safety training for all employees and students.
  • Maintain, create, and implement evidence-based programs and services that promote positive change in students’ health & wellness knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
  • Develop and implement an assessment and evaluation strategy to ensure data gathered are useful, comprehensive, and coordinated. 
  • Increase collaborative opportunities with campus and community partners to expand the reach and foster a greater culture of wellness across the Pitt State community.
  • Strengthen the communication of health and wellness resources and messaging to increase the efficacy and utilization of wellness support services and programs throughout the Pitt State community.
  • Identify opportunities to work strategically with community partners to address and improve health, wellness, and educational disparities within the Southeast Kansas region.

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.