Administrative goals, campus expansion focus of President Gibson’s “State of the University” address
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
Administrative updates and plans for campus expansion were among the topics addressed to Sam Houston State University faculty and staff in the president’s “State of the University Address” on Thursday.
President Dana Gibson spoke to faculty and staff about updates to the university master plan including upcoming legislative items, updates to expand campus facilities and administrative improvements as part of the university master plan.
Gibson said the administration will begin roundtable discussions that are one form of input the university receives to target goals and improvements for the university.
This year’s focus for the university revolves around educating the Texas workforce, said Gibson. Those goals include excellence in academics and research, improving student success, making the university more efficient for students and faculty, and honoring campus traditions.
To achieve these goals, Gibson said the administration is looking at new way of creating the university strategic plan.
“We’re going to operate a little differently for the strategic planning session this year,” she said. “The session will include 54 faculty, staff and administrators from across campus.[…] This group will set university goals based on divisional plans and filter all that into a new round of what [university goals] are going to be.”
Gibson also noted that the university efficiency task force has helped to improve university processes such as budgeting, streamlined assessment and reporting and creating a recruitment and retention committee within the area of Enrollment Management.
“We have to continuously look at how we can improve our processes,” Gibson said. “We’re trying to tweak out certain things and find benefits around the edge of that and that can be tough. But we owe it to our students to keep tuition and fees low and to not waste our time.”
The task force receives faculty, staff and student input along with town hall meetings and online surveys to help improve university efficiency.
Gibson noted some results from the task force were improving the university budget process to make it simpler, an important task with state budget cuts. The university state budget fell from $70.9 million in 2011 to $69.6 million in 2012, an approximate 1.7 percent drop.
Another important improvement was expanding aspects enrollment management and how it relates to all other areas on campus, Gibson said.
“We’ve always been interested in recruiting students and retaining students,” Gibson said. “Now, we’re trying to look at this in a broader way and more long term so that there’s a strategy for it.”
Gibson said that this year’s enrollment is about 18,500, although the official enrollment numbers will not be released until later. Official enrollment was 17,617 in 2011 and 17,269 in 2010, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Gibson also updated faculty and staff on her “legislative priorities” and planned facility developments including a new Event Center, Lowman Student Center expansion, additions to University Camp and a new Student Health Center.
The first roundtable discussion of the year is scheduled for Sept. 25.