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SOU HECC Strategic Plan Mission

Oregon’s HECC praises SOU strategic planning work

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission unanimously approved Southern Oregon University’s new mission statement on Thursday, and its members described the university’s strategic planning work as “exemplary” and “energizing.”

A delegation from SOU including President Linda Schott was in Salem to present the university’s new vision, mission, values and strategic directions at the HECC meeting. SOU’s entire strategic planning effort won support, but commission members were required by state law only to evaluate and approve the mission statement (included below in its entirety).

“Our strategic plan is the roadmap that will guide SOU into a future filled with equal portions of uncertainty and opportunity,” President Schott said. “It defines not only who we are as members of a dynamic academic community, but who we strive to be and how we intend to achieve our goals.”

HECC member Sandy Rowe, who was editor of The Oregonian from 1993 to 2010, described SOU’s work as “outward facing – that is rare.”

“SOU has broken out of the pack,” she said.

Commission member Terry Cross, former executive director and current senior advisor to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, called the university’s mission statement “exemplary work.”

“I like the alignment with HECC,” he said. “You are helping us lead, helping us to be a better commission.”
HECC Chairman Neil Bryant, a Bend lawyer, acknowledged that he has been critical of SOU in the past but said the university “achieved focus” with its new mission statement.

President Schott, in a message to SOU students and employees on Thursday afternoon, thanked each person who has weighed in with feedback during the year-long strategic planning process, and especially those who have done the heavy lifting on the project.

“I am immensely grateful to all of you who have worked so many hours over the past year to visualize the future of our institution and craft the strategic plan that will help us realize our potential,” she said.

SOU’s new mission statement:
Southern Oregon University is a regionally-engaged learning community committed to being the educational provider of choice for learners throughout their lives.
We inspire curiosity and creativity, compel critical thinking, foster discovery, and cultivate bold ideas and actions.
We achieve student success, professional preparation, and civic engagement through service excellence, evolving technologies, and innovative curriculum.
We foster access, equity, inclusion and diversity in thought and practice.
We prepare our learners to be responsible, engaged citizens in our democracy.
We promote economic vitality, sustainability, cultural enrichment, and social well-being in our region, the state, the nation, and the world.”

-SOU-

SOU seeks input on future direction


NEWS BRIEF (available online at https://goo.gl/Gvd7k4)
(Ashland, Ore.) — Alumni of Southern Oregon University and other interested community members are being asked again to share their thoughts as the university enters the home stretch on a plan that will shape SOU’s future and how it serves students and the region.
Hundreds of responses were received after SOU reached out to community members last spring to participate in a “strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats” (SWOT) analysis of the university. Those responses helped shape the university’s proposed vision, mission and values (sou.edu/strategic-planning/the-sou-plan/) – guiding principles that will serve as a framework for SOU’s growth and evolution.
A new online survey was released which seeks community members’ feedback on the strategic planning process to date, and on each of seven “strategic directions” that are intended to move the university toward the future that is envisioned.
The strategic directions were created this summer by the university’s Strategic Planning Committee and other campus leaders, based on the work that had been done in previous months by a broad cross-section of constituents. The directions call for SOU to transform how and what it teaches; become an employer of choice that provides excellent service; support campus sustainability and ecological resilience for the bioregion; create a diverse, equitable and inclusive community of flourishing learners; achieve and maintain financial stability; develop physical and virtual environments in which learners can thrive; and serve as a catalyst for regional economic, cultural and social development.
SOU will continue its collaborative planning process through the fall and is expected to adopt and begin implementing a new strategic plan next year. The intention is to produce a focused, achievable and forward-thinking plan that will inspire SOU’s faculty, staff and students to strive for greatness.
-SOU-
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.