MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

October 8, 2016

Newly developed statements and plans will lead Mayville State down the path of endless possibilities


We at Mayville State embarked on a major challenge in the fall of 2015, to develop a new strategic plan. At the time, we were in the enviable position of having accomplished all, and even more, of the plans that had been laid down a number of years before. Since beginning this new planning process, we have been examining literally all of the variables that affect our campus, our dreams, and our resource realities. Other considerations in the process are our alignment to the North Dakota University System plans and the guidelines of our accrediting bodies. We are working toward the ultimate goal of charting a future for Mayville State University that is challenging, exciting, and beneficial to the campus, community, state, and region.

The plan consists of five themes:

  1. Supporting the success of MSU’s diverse student body measured by progression toward degree completion, high impact student-centered inclusive support services, and transformative experiences in a global community.
  2. Creating positive living, learning, and working environments.
  3. Improving student learning by strengthening academic quality and investing in learning and teaching excellence.
  4. Inspiring and supporting innovation, creativity, and research.
  5. Committing to individualized personal service and institutional stewardship.

Led by Allison Johnson, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, the process of developing this document has included input from all Mayville State constituent groups. Current strategic planning committee members along with me are Keith Stenehjem, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Andrew Pflipsen, Vice President for Student Affairs; Steve Bensen, Vice President for Business Affairs; John Klocke, Executive Director of the MSU Foundation; Mike Moore, Athletic Director; Beth Swenson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations; John Pederson, Faculty Senate president; Carolyn Baker, Faculty Senate vice president; Jessica Amb, Staff Senate president; Misti Wuori, Staff Senate vice president; Taylor Benneweis, Student Senate president; Donte Stevens, Student Senate vice president; Scott Parker, faculty representative; Joseph Mehus, faculty representative; Chris Gonnella, appointed employee; and Mary Trudeau, my executive assistant and recorder for the committee.

Several new concepts and documents have emerged from the strategic planning process. They include listings of core values and purposes and a new mission statement. The mission statement (our purpose) is currently in draft form and will be forwarded to the State Board of Higher Education for their approval soon. After approval from the board, the statement will be adopted formally on campus. The core values and purposes have already been adopted.

Mayville State’s purpose statements read as follows:

  • To provide academic programs and services that address contemporary career and workforce opportunities.
  • To maintain collaborative relationships with schools, employers, and communities which contribute to the economic growth and social vitality of North Dakota.
  • To deliver flexible programs, instruction, and student services to meet the needs of the individual.
  • To cultivate an environment that supports creativity, intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, service, and an appreciation of diversity.

Core values are the basis upon which the members of an organization make decisions, plan strategies, and interact with each other and their stakeholders, the people or organizations impacted in some way by the organization. Core values reflect what is important to the organization and its members.

Mayville State University, since its beginning in 1889, has embraced the philosophy of personal service, the foundation of our core values. These values guide how we perform our work and conduct ourselves every day with all of our stakeholders. Mayville State’s core values are as follows:

  • We act with integrity in all we do. We demonstrate integrity through honesty and loyalty to our institution, high ethical standards, respect for others, being responsible and accountable for our actions, and having open communication.
  • We are student-focused. We provide individualized support that is responsive to the needs of students, and results in their success.
  • We are committed to teaching and learning excellence. We engage in transformational experiences, supportive learning environments, scholarly opportunities, and collaborative relations.
  • We promote and value and open and diverse community. We foster partnerships across our local, regional, and global communities. We respect all individuals through our small town campus culture that supports a sense of family.
  • We integrate leadership in all we do. We encourage individuals to develop and strengthen leadership skills and abilities, while providing opportunities to enhance the common good.

We value the input we have received during the development of these important statements for Mayville State University and are grateful to all who have assisted in the development process. We look forward to these documents leading Mayville State down the path of endless possibilities and a robust future. You can see the specific details regarding our mission statement, core values, and purposes on our website