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Nov. 21, 2013 Volume 35, No. 14

Strategic Operating Plan discussed at two meetings

Investment in faculty a high priority with reallocation as key source of funding

Administrators are seeking input from faculty and staff on MU’s Strategic Operating Plan (MUSOP). 

At public meetings Nov. 14 and 18 in Memorial Union, the MUSOP was presented by English Professor and Strategy Workgroup co-chair Pat Okker, Budget Director Rhonda Gibler and Deputy Provost Ken Dean.

The MUSOP priorities are as follows:

• strengthen interdisciplinary and experiential learning for Mizzou’s undergraduate, graduate and professional students;

• recruit, develop and retain faculty and staff in order to promote MU’s strategic goals

• grow MU’s high-impact research and creative activity by enhancing campus infrastructure and other resources; and

• ensure that MU’s revenue model allows for strategic investments and leverages MU’s strengths to drive state and regional economic development.

To implement the five-year MUSOP, $192 million in recurring financial funding is needed, along with a one-time cost of more than $108 million.

Recruiting and retaining faculty are of paramount importance. “We need to do some serious investment in the faculty to shore up the research nature of the university,” Gibler said at the Nov. 14 meeting. Increasing salaries and recruiting additional high-impact faculty “are going to remain high priorities.”

Reallocation will be the main source of funding for the plan. Beginning in 2015, the base general funds throughout schools, colleges and operating units across campus will be reduced by 2 percent each year over the next four years, according to the plan. Other sources of funding include revenue growth by increasing out-of-state enrollment and through online courses.  

Dean said MU has so far avoided the fiscal cliff due to three factors: no substantial raises, decrease in the amount of money budgeted to support building maintenance, and the extra money generated from tuition due to increased enrollment.

But enrollment growth will almost certainly not continue at its current pace, Dean said. As previously reported in Mizzou Weekly, Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, estimated that there are up to 5,000 fewer Missouri high school graduates than in 2010, and that trend is likely to continue until 2020. The decrease in state high school graduation students will affect MU enrollment. In fall 2013, Missouri residents make up 71.4 percent of total enrollment.

Dean closed by asking faculty and staff to think about how MU can improve retention and graduation rates and develop revenue-producing programs.“This document has been put out there for you to look at and for you to comment on,” Dean said. “We are here to hear whatever you want to say about it.”

The entire plan is posted at Comments can be sent to Dean at

— Kelsey Allen

Two Plans, One Vision

In June 2012, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe charged all four campuses and the System with writing five-year strategic plans. MU completed a comprehensive strategic plan in 2011 called One Mizzou: 2020 Vision for Excellence, which broadly identified MU’s mission. MU’s Strategic Operating Plan builds upon and focuses the One Mizzou plan. It identifies top priorities and investments in the One Mizzou plan.
According to the Strategic Operating Plan, MU’s mission as a public land-grant university is to discover and disseminate knowledge. Building on its unique interdisciplinary research and teaching strength exemplified by Mizzou Advantage, MU will, by 2018, enhance its academic stature as measured by publicly available metrics, including those of the Association of American Universities.