University moves forward with strategic plan update

Mississippi State faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders are being invited to contribute to an update of the university’s strategic plan.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum made the announcement Thursday [Nov. 1] in a campus-wide message, which is available at

“I firmly believe that success is not an accident, and that it takes planning, preparation, and execution to achieve. Nearly a decade ago, I returned home to Mississippi State University, and one of my early priorities was to develop a comprehensive strategic plan with extensive input from faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” he wrote.

Since the development and launch of that plan -- State of Excellence -- the university has achieved record enrollment, expanded its research portfolio, continued to make a difference in the myriad of communities it serves, and initiated the $1-billion Infinite Impact capital campaign, the most successful fundraising effort in Mississippi State history.

“In many ways, we have truly achieved a State of Excellence, and now it’s time to ask, ‘What’s next?’” Keenum wrote.

Judy Bonner, the university’s provost and executive vice president, is leading the update process with members of the President’s Committee on Planning.

“As we begin to update the State of Excellence plan, we will continue to build upon the remarkable foundation it has provided Mississippi State during this recent period of unprecedented success,” she said.

The updated plan will guide the university’s three-part mission of teaching, research and service to 2025, and also help set a course forward to its sesquicentennial celebration in 2028.

A series of town hall meetings has been scheduled for members of the campus community to provide feedback:

— Staff, Nov. 7, 10-11 a.m., Fowlkes Auditorium, Colvard Student Union.

— Faculty, Nov. 14, 10-11 a.m., Fowlkes Auditorium, Colvard Student Union.

— Students, Nov. 19, 4-5 p.m., Old Main Academic Center, Room 1030.

— Open to all (with livestream), Dec. 5, 2-3 p.m., Fowlkes Auditorium, Colvard Student Union.

A session at MSU-Meridian featuring breakout sessions for different groups has been scheduled for Nov. 28. Locations and times will be announced in the coming weeks.

Meetings are also being scheduled at several off-campus locations, including Biloxi, Coastal Research and Extension Center; Raymond, Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center; Stoneville, Delta Research and Extension Center; and Verona, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Meeting dates and times are expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.

A second round of town hall meetings is planned for early 2019 with the comment period wrapping up at the end of February.

Students, faculty and staff may also login with their MSU credentials to provide feedback via a secure link at

Comments are also welcome via email at

In addition to Bonner, who serves as chair, members of the President’s Committee on Planning are:

Greg Bohach, vice president, Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine

Angie Bourgeois, dean, College of Architecture, Art and Design and Dean’s Council representative

Susan Brooks, chair, Staff Council

John Buol, president, Graduate Student Association

Rhonda Carr, MSU-Meridian

Jan Chambers, Giles Distinguished Professor

Tim Chamblee, director, Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Linda Coats, College of Education

Keith Coble, head, Department of Agricultural Economics

John Cohen, director, Athletics

Terry Dale Cruse, head of campus, MSU-Meridian

Jeff Dean, Academic Department Heads Executive Committee representative

LaDonne Delgado, University Libraries

John Dickerson, assistant vice president, Enrollment

Mayah Emerson, president, Student Association

Randy Follett, Bagley College of Engineering

Ra'Sheda Forbes, assistant vice president, Multicultural Affairs

Regina Hyatt, vice president, Student Affairs

Gary Jackson, director, MSU Extension Service

Mary Ann Jones, Robert Holland Faculty Senate

Jason Lueg, College of Business and assistant vice president intern, Academic Affairs

Steve Parrott, chief information officer

John Rush, vice president, Development and Alumni

Peter Ryan, associate provost, Academic Affairs

Sid Salter, chief communications officer and director, Public Affairs

Susan Seal, executive director, Distance Education

David Shaw, vice president, Research and Economic Development

Chris Snyder, dean, Shackouls Honors College

Amy Tuck, vice president, Campus Services

Robert West, professor, English

Don Zant, vice president, Finance and chief financial officer

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Jim Laird | Public Affairs

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