MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon began to unveil her new plan on how to move the university forward during the next 10 years and beyond at Tuesday’s University Council meeting.
The plan, officially known as Bolder by Design, is a collaborative effort between Simon and faculty on where to take the university to make sure it remains competitive and one of the top 100 institutions in the country.
Simon said Bolder by Design builds upon goals the university has pursued for decades.
“Trying to find a way to be one of those top places in the world isn’t different from the 1960s,” Simon said. “What we do and what we emphasize has to change.”
With her presentation, Simon released a packet outlining the broad plans of Bolder by Design.
The packet detailed issues brought forth by faculty that Simon hopes to address with Bolder by Design, including more effective communication and a higher emphasis on improving graduate education.
The outline also addressed a few major areas that need attention and action, including clarity about how to grow research while maintaining a focus on student learning, and a clearer view of how the university can become an exemplary interdisciplinary and integrated university.
“People believe that higher education is in this phase shift,” Simon said. “Universities have tended to survive because the demographics and federal funding have been in our favor. We have to find a way to be competitive and still be a top-100 place.”
Simon said MSU needs to become more competitive technologically, mentioning her desire to place MSU content and research on the internet using venues, such as iTunes U, an app for Apple iOS devices that allows professors to share course content with students and non-students alike.
She joked she currently is taking an online course provided by Stanford, but she’s not a very aggressive learner because of her work schedule.
“Brand name places have embraced that they can be competitive and give away a piece of content on the internet,” Simon said. “We have to do the same.”
As part of the meeting, Simon had faculty members and students fill out green cards with suggestions on how to improve the university if they could “wave a magic wand.”
Acting Provost June Youatt emphasized the importance of having faculty input for designing a plan on how to efficiently execute Bolder by Design.
“There really is a convergence of the kind of ideas we need moving forward,” Youatt said. “The next big idea might be on a green card today.”
Evan Martinak, president of ASMSU — MSU’s undergraduate student government — was at Tuesday’s meeting and said he was enthusiastic about Bolder by Design.
“We really appreciate the concerted effort of the president and her staff to get the input of the different constituent groups on campus on how to move MSU forward,” Martinak said.