February 29, 2008
Issue 9 

The University Plan: A Course for Change

President Jon E. Quistgaard

Change is occurring at Bemidji State University. Can you feel it? It’s not the chaotic, riptide-like occurrences that arrive unexpectedly and often leave an organization flailing in the wake. No, it is the steady pace of planned change, much like an ocean liner shifting course, almost imperceptibly, one degree at a time.
With the updated University Plan now adopted by the campus community, the big-picture strategies and accompanying initiatives of the plan are being activated. Our focus is to optimize our resources – the talent of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community as well as our facilities and finances – to achieve the University’s mission and vision. Our goals are rooted in the belief that by encouraging a campus culture of innovation, we will succeed.
Where do we begin? Bemidji State University has a reputation for being a student-centered, relationship-building university. The updated plan takes these strengths and places them at the center of everything we do. We know that the relationships students develop with faculty and staff enable them to reach their potential and fulfill their dreams. We know that active learning, in the classroom and in the community, best prepares students for the world in which they will live and work. We know that the environment, the health and welfare of our communities and the global family are in constant need of nurturing. Our updated plan keeps us attentive to these critical factors as we prepare students for success in their careers, their communities and their personal lives.
The plan calls upon each of us to actively participate in shaping not only the futures of our students, but also the vitality of our communities. While we’re expanding expectations for student involvement at the local, state, national or international levels, we are also extending those expectations to the campus community. Each of us is being asked to seek opportunities for personal involvement and service that strengthen communities and improve the lives of the people around us.
Innovation will be the key to successfully implementing this updated plan. During campus conversations, the University community repeatedly noted the need for Bemidji State to become more flexible, nimble, adaptable and responsive to change. Initiatives to increase communication, support collaboration, decentralize planning and decision making, and sharpen the University’s identity will significantly impact our ability to innovate. This increased capacity to innovate will position us well to meet future challenges as they arise.
The greatest strength of the updated University Plan is a steadily-charted course for change. That change involves the entire campus community - from individual and office or departmental efforts to collegiate and university-wide initiatives. Working together, we will help shape the futures of not only our students, but also of the University itself.
Highlights of the plan are available today in this issue of BSU Insider. Watch for a faculty-staff announcement about the University Plan being posted to the Web. When it is posted, please take time to read it. Also, begin charting your continued involvement in the success of our students, our campus and our communities.
BSU
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Bemidji State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.