The President's Vision

  • To build a high quality public research university that will be the clear institution of choice for high achieving students throughout the state of Mississippi, the Gulf South region, and beyond; and
  • To ensure that everything this institution does will create pathways to degree completion for our students, with particular focus on recruitment, retention, progression towards a degree, and graduation. 

Short-Term Priorities: 2014

The President’s short-term priorities include: 

  1. Forming a Strategic Planning Council that will:
    • Engage stakeholders in strategic institutional conversations about the potential components of a long-term strategic plan;
    • Produce recommendations for updating the University’s current Vision, Mission, Values, and Plan; and
    • Develop recommendations for institutional Strategic Priorities and Strategic Initiatives moving forward.
  2. Implementing organizational changes that will streamline academic program management, finances, facilities, enrollment management functions, campus safety, communications, and technology.
  3. Developing a multi-year financial management plan and implementing revised business processes for strategic growth.
  4. Seeking new revenue sources for funding strategic institutional priorities, including a comprehensive student success initiative.
  5. Advancing construction and facility improvement projects, including the completion of repairs sustained during the February 2013 tornado.
  6. Initiating an institutional branding campaign.


Long-Term Goals: 2014 and Beyond

The President’s primary long-term goal is to ensure quality in six key components of excellence: student success; enrollment initiatives; academic instruction; research development; economic and community partnerships; and human capital utilization.  These six areas are represented below. 

1. Ensuring Student Success through: 

  • Providing support for the implementation of a comprehensive student success and retention effort;
  • Initiating a success curriculum for underprepared students to promote degree attainment; and
  • Increasing student retention, progression, and graduation rates at all benchmark levels. 

2. Expanding Enrollment Strategies through: 

  • Enhancing the quality of students’ educational experience;
  • Identifying high-interest degree programs and degree program markets that have the potential for growth; and
  • Developing targeted recruitment strategies to attract top performing students from across the state, region, and expanded out-of-state markets. 

3. Enhancing Academic Instruction through: 

  • Identifying and capitalizing on our academic program strengths;
  • Ensuring that all academic program components support student retention, progression, and graduation; and
  • Exploring alternative course delivery formats. 

4.  Fostering Greater Focus on Research through: 

  • Expanding the depth and breadth of funded research programs;
  • Extending the tradition of quality research production;
  • Increasing the quantity of overall scholarly research output;
  • Promoting undergraduate research opportunities; and
  • Growing commercialization activities that move technological research initiatives from the laboratory to the business incubator and ultimately to new businesses in the marketplace. 

5. Bolstering Economic and Community Partnerships through: 

  • Identifying ways to partner with local and state communities in mutually beneficial projects;
  • Initiating an extensive alumni membership campaign to include alumni special populations;
  • Promoting strategic economic development that will attract more businesses to the region and utilize academic research to bolster the local and state economy; and
  • Creating new and expanded employment opportunities for well-prepared alumni. 

6. Maximizing Human Potential through: 

  • Hiring high quality, diverse, and talented individuals;
  • Utilizing their expertise more effectively; and
  • Building staff training, development, and compensation programs to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff in this competitive industry.