Strategic Planning


  • Build community and trust
  • Acknowledge and foster our strengths
  • Provide direction for the division
  • Support and strengthen MU strategic plan
  • Engage staff and allow staff to have influence

Phase 1: Pre-Planning & Readiness

  • Listening sessions
  • Staff survey
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • StrengthsQuest

Phase 2: Strategic Planning

  • Kickoff
  • Mission, vision and values
  • SOAR
  • Issue identification and plan creation

Phase 3: Implementation

  • Celebrate: Kick off the plan
  • Develop strategic management system to monitor metrics
  • Revisit department missions
  • Develop department goals
  • Develop department learning outcomes

Visualization of strategic plan phases


The strategic planning process was paused to dedicate resources and attention to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Stackman kicked off the all-division meeting by elaborating the importance of the five pillars of a healthy student affairs organization: trust, compassion, stability, hope and growth. See the presentation here.

Next, Ashli Grabau and Molly Frank invited staff to share ideas to help identify ground rules and expectations to create a safe environment in which staff feel empowered throughout strategic planning. Staff worked in groups to determine divisional aspirational values that will guide our thinking and actions. Groups also worked together to identify key ideas to inform the division’s purpose statement, mission statement, and vision.

Following the meeting, the VPSA leadership team will propose divisional values, a purpose statement, a mission statement, and a vision based on the ideas shared in the meeting. The drafted values and statements will be distributed for feedback.

Student Affairs staff that were unable to attend can still participate by completing this survey.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs William Stackman presented the findings from his listening sessions and staff survey (Phase 1) during a meeting of all division staff. (See the presentation here.) Feedback from Student Affair staff reveal that the top strengths of the organization are staff’s devotion to their jobs and to each other. Among the top challenges voiced by many are communication, decision making and work-life balance.

Stackman also highlight actions that the division would take to address these challenges, including new communication strategies, strategic planning, the creation of a new committee to create on-boarding and social opportunities, and CliftonStrengths assessment for all division staff.

Stackman introduced a model that would serve to guide the strategic direction of the division in the future, resting on five pillars: trust, compassion, stability, hope, growth

The meeting concluded with a shared exercise: Staff were invited to imagine a future in which MU Student Affairs was featured on the cover of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Staff were challenged to describe why the division had earned the coverage and to describe the future achievements. The resulting visions are reproduced below.

Mizzou Celebrates Highest Graduation Rates in Nation!
Improved Overall Health & Well-Being of Campus Skyrockets Academic Success

  • Infusing new well-being focus into policies & practice affecting campus life
  • Graduation rate leaps from 52% to 99.9% in 10 years
  • Inclusive environment increases sense of community

Customized Student Experiences Prepare Graduates To Take On The World
Efficiencies Balanced By Personalized Services 

  • Holistic approach to student success
  • 100% retention satisfaction
  • Flexibility in and outside the classroom

Mizzou Hits The Mark/Mizzou: The Center of Student Success
How a struggling Midwestern land grant institution became the destination for student success

  • Innovative goal-driven structure —  “web of inclusion”
  • Responsible responsiveness (strategy + empathy)
  • Cutting edge health and well-being model

Mizzou Decade in Review
Leading the Nation Through Inclusion

  • #1 most inclusive and diverse programs in STEM
  • #1 live and learn model (Residence Life)
  • #1 leading the way in universal design (accessibility)

Classrooms Disappear!?
Mizzou Method Takeover: Leading The Way In Hands-On Learning Including E-sports, Mobile Health Faculty, Entrepreneurship And More

  • Esports 5 straight MACE Rocket League championships
  • Mizzou doctors that come to you
  • Drone delivery
  • Built in help me for textbooks, hyperloop to learn, robot sidewalks

Mizzou Tops Nation In Inclusivity, Diversity And Student Support Services
A Dramatic Contrast From Concerned Student 1950 in 2015

  • Residential Life hosts largest “Celebrate Our Differences” event
  • Achieves prompt access to student health and wellbeing services
  • Staff receives comprehensive training for student centered support

Mizzou Celebrates Highest Graduation Rates In Nation!
Improves Overall Health & Well-Being Of Campus, Skyrockets Academic Success

  • Infusing new well-being focus into policies and practices affecting campus life
  • Graduation rate leaps from 52% to 99.9% in 10 years
  • Inclusive environment increases sense of community

The Healthiest University In The Nation
Mizzou Ranked #1 In Wellness For Students, Faculty And Staff

  • Highest graduation growth in the last 5 years
  • Unique model for creating work-life balance
  • Recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff & student population

University For All
How Mizzou Became The Leader In Campus Inclusivity

  • Creation of Disability Culture Center to celebrate & educate
  • How we implemented universal design all across campus
  • Retention rates & sense of belonging for campus community at an all-time high

Mizzou Record Breaking Graduation Rates!
Students Report High Sense Of Belonging & Engagement

  • Staff training: empowering all staff with helping skills to recognize concerns, have campus relationships to address and support students and make them feel seen, collab. to resolve concerns
  • Regularly assess to see how we are doing

Mizzou Builds State Of The Art Student Health And Wellness Facility For Student Affairs
Students Eager To Utilize The New Integrated Facilities Where They Can Easily Access All Health And Well-Being Needs 

  • Encompassing everything from primary care to health and well-being, behavioral health, and health & fitness.
  • Primary and preventative care, behavioral health, fitness
  • Separate buildings but all very close or connected together including ER and hospitals

State Of The Art Facility For Student Health And Well-being
Student-based Complete Care Under One Roof

  • Mental health, behavioral health, physical health
  • Preventative health, dental, vision, pharmacy/lab/radiology
  • Health and fitness, educational classes, transitional care

MU Leads The World In Innovative Well-Being Integration Initiative
Campus Adopts Wellness-Focused Environment/Design

  • New building for CC, SHC, WRC and Social Justice centers
  • Adoption of “wellness-focus curricula”
  • Campus-wide self care stations

The University of Missouri Pioneers Accessibility For All
Redefining What It Means To Be An Accessible Campus

  • Overcome barriers to accessibility while maintaining our historical focus/structures
  • Redirecting focus to support a broad range of students
  • Implementing a cross campus collaboration initiative

MU Ranks #1 in Mental Health Awareness
Student Affairs Division Instrumental In Student Success

  • Collaboration with goals in the division
  • Hearing/listening to student needs and wants
  • Providing resources to promote success within our division

Mizzou Eliminates Achievement Gap For Underrepresented Students
Mizzou Created A Customized Support Plan For Every Student Which Resulted In A 100% Graduation Rate And Job Placement

  • Remove barriers, overcome obstacles, supportive environment
  • Mental health, resilience, healthy habits & tools
  • Sense of belonging, positive coping skills, service to others