February 13, 2009
2009 Issue 7 

Dr. Karen Kirkendall to visit campus Monday

Campus community invited to an open forum on BSU's mission and vision

President Jon E. Quistgaard

As part of Bemidji State's ongoing Higher Learning Commission (HLC) self-study efforts, Dr. Karen Kirkendall, University of Illinois-Springfield professor and experienced HLC peer reviewer, will be on campus Monday to help us explore our mission and vision more fully. She will be working with HLC committees in the morning and leading us in a campus-wide discussion at 2 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Ballroom.
While our HLC steering and criterion committees have been immersed in the University's self-study process for months, we are at a juncture in the process that calls upon each of us to develop a deeper understanding of the University's mission as we begin to actualize our goals. Possessing a deeper understanding of mission is critical as we prepare for continuing accreditation. Beyond accreditation, it is also important as we begin to introduce the new liberal education requirements, plan for new programs and services, and reduce our budget to address the state's economic shortfall. We must draw upon our understanding of the essence of Bemidji State as we continue to secure and strengthen our core. That essence resides within our mission and vision.
The goal for Bemidji State University is ambitious; we intend to become one of the Midwest's premier student-centered state universities. Within that singular focus, we know we must continue preparing students for a world that will be vastly different from the one that exists today – a world where the unrelenting pace of change quickens and the importance of lifelong learning is paramount.
Our mission is the roadmap. Our vision is the destination.
Wrapped in a seemingly simple phrase, our mission statement sets us on a course for the future – a future that will build upon our reputation as a student-centered, relationship-building university. It is a future that will continue our commitment to the environment, the health and welfare of our communities, and the global family. Our students will be prepared for success in their careers, their communities, and their personal lives. They will learn to confront and resolve difficult issues effectively, show compassion and respect for others, and recognize their responsibilities in our participatory democracy.
Our vision is to shape the potential of each student through a rich blend of liberal arts and select professional programs, active learning experiences in the classroom and beyond, career development opportunities, and student services. Our graduates will leave Bemidji State University well equipped to shape the communities in which they live and work.
We have the destination charted and the roadmap in hand. Fully understanding their meaning and potential impact will enable us to move forward more confidently, more purposefully.
I ask that each of us take a few minutes now to read Bemidji State University's mission and vision statements.
Then, I encourage you to attend the campus-wide discussion on Monday to share your impressions, thoughts, and ideas.
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