A Shared Vision of the Future
by Bemidji State University President Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard
At the end of 2007, Bemidji State University’s current strategic plan will expire and a new plan will take its place.
As I reflect on the current plan and the four strategic directions guiding us over the past five years, I am pleased with our collective progress. The annual work plans, with nearly 50 action steps, contain considerable evidence that a high level of energy and imagination have been invested throughout the campus. This investment has enabled Bemidji State to realize its mission to provide students with access to high-quality education and opportunities that meet the needs of our region and beyond through excellence and innovation.
As we near 2008, an even stronger strategic plan has emerged. This plan has been influenced by nearly 16 months of scenario planning and many conversations on campus and with our external communities.
Like the initial University plan, the 2008-2013 plan is advanced by four strategies. Those strategies are to:
• Engage students for success in careers, communities and life;
• Promote vital communities through involvement;
• Innovate for a changing world;
• Optimize resources to achieve the University’s vision and mission.
The University’s recently updated vision and mission are also supported by these four strategies. Our vision is to continue shaping potential and shaping worlds. Our mission focuses on engaging news worlds of thought, embracing responsible citizenship and educating for a future that can only be imagined.
The campus-wide planning, led by the scenario planning group, has served to remind me that we are a very complex organization striving to serve many competing interests. Yet, I believe beyond that complexity lies an understanding that all of our efforts are focused on our shared responsibility to provide learning and growth opportunities that shape the potential of everyone around us.
Bemidji State University’s work is never finished. The scenario planning process has helped us identify many external forces that are shaping our future. We know that we must:
• Develop a much more focused identity if we are to attract students in this highly-competitive enrollment environment.
• Be positioned to think fast and act equally as fast to have student appeal.
• Be prepared to equip our students to be increasingly competitive in the work place and to act responsibly in our interdependent world.
• Become much more flexible, timely and innovative in our approaches to addressing a myriad of new challenges, new solutions and a whole range of new possibilities.
• Be prepared to extend our reach and influence in pushing back boundaries.
The 2008-2013 strategic plan represents our shared investment for the future. Successfully implementing this plan will occur if we are a fully engaged community, sharing a common commitment to provide access and opportunity through high-quality learning and service experiences.
Bemidji State University has, throughout its history, held to a tradition of building on success and striving to achieve the very best. Our shared expectation, whether it be of a beginning student, university graduate, friend of the University, senior faculty member or an idealistic president, should be to continue upholding this tradition.