SOU Mission Statement and Strategic Plan Praised by Oregon’s HECC
January 12, 2018
Members of SOU campus communities:
We all have reason to be especially proud today of our university and its progress – Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission unanimously approved our new mission statement and its members described our strategic planning work as “exemplary” and “energizing.”
A delegation from SOU was in Salem to present our new vision, mission, values and strategic directions at today’s HECC meeting. Our entire strategic planning effort won support, but commission members were required by state law only to evaluate and approve the mission statement (which I’ve included in its entirety below).
“SOU has broken out of the pack,” said HECC member Sandy Rowe, who was editor of The Oregonian from 1993 to 2010. She described our work as “outward facing – that is rare.”
Commission member Terry Cross, former executive director and current senior advisor to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, called our 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 that we have “achieved focus” with our new mission statement. Commission member Larry Roper, a professor and former vice provost at Oregon State University, described our work as “energizing” and “powerful.”
Our strategic plan is the roadmap that will guide SOU into a future filled with equal portions of uncertainty and opportunity. 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.
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. I thank everyone who has offered feedback, making this process a collective effort.
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.
I invite each of you to consider how the elements of that mission statement can be applied to your roles at our university. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me.
President, Southern Oregon University