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April 25, 2012 Volume 33, No. 29

Leaders highlight the goals of Mizzou’s academic and financial plan


Mizzou Advantage important to strategic plan

About 65 staff and faculty gathered in Memorial Union’s Mark Twain Ballroom April 19 to hear eight campus leaders offer a summary of MU’s strategic plan document called “One Mizzou: 2020 Vision for Excellence.”

The 45-page document details three goals of Mizzou to be accomplished over the next eight years:

expand and strengthen university programs that improve people’s lives in Missouri and throughout the world; 

use Mizzou Advantage to increase interdisciplinary efforts on campus and promote MU successes internationally; and 

ensure that MU has the financial ability to support teaching excellence, research and economic development. 

Provost Brian Foster said it’s important to focus both on the academic goals and the financial component, which includes the university’s third major funding initiative kicking off this summer.

“The strategic plan must be aligned with the financial plan,” Foster said.

Faculty Council Chair Harry Tyrer spoke of the Faculty Council’s efforts to be more flexible promoting tenured faculty. Xavier Billingsley, president of the Missouri Students Association, called for continued emphasis on campus diversity and tolerance, a goal implied in the document.

“ ‘One Mizzou’ says it doesn’t matter what color I am or what religion or what sexual orientation,” Billingsley said. 

“It doesn’t matter because we are all united.”

Carolyn Henry talked of the successes of Mizzou Advantage (MA), which was unveiled in January 2010. 

Among its accomplishments are helping to create more than 150 projects that brought together various MU departments, and increasing attendance at MA-sponsored events to 2,300 in fiscal year 2011. 

“I think we are on the right track,” said Henry, an MA facilitator. 

Marijo Dixon, lead member of the staff task force on compensation, addressed the ongoing efforts to make MU a desirable employer by offering competitive compensation and opportunities for training, mentoring and leadership development. 

Dixon asked for suggestions from the Mizzou community on how to achieve this.

“Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places,” she said.