Strategic Planning

Metropolitan State University is embarking on a process to build a strategic plan that will guide our university towards it vision over the next five years. The goal of the strategic planning work is to build on the work done by our campus community in 2014 using appreciative inquiry to develop eight strategic priorities (student success, diversity and inclusion, growth, financial sustainability, community impact, organizational culture, innovation, and continuous improvement).

We expect that once in place, this plan will:

  • provide direction for programmatic and budgetary decisions
  • establish credibility of those decisions
  • guide the alignment of the goals of the various parts of the organization
  • help Metropolitan State attain its vision of what it hopes to be

Our strategic plan, targeted to be in place by May 2019, will be comprised of four to six strategic commitments. One to two impactful and measurable goals will be identified for each commitment. The university community will also be identifying targeted activities and projects to help move the dial toward meeting each of those strategic goals.

Metropolitan State University’s strategic planning process is being facilitated by Howard Cohen from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Penson Center for Professional Development. Howard Cohen.


  • October and November 2018 - Review mission, vision, values; SWOT assessment; Town Hall meetings
  • December 2018 – Strategic Commitments drafted
  • January and February 2019 – Goals and metrics to be identified by strategic commitment subgroups. 
    • Members of the university community are invited to join these efforts by contacting a task force member from the desired sub-group.
    • Working Draft of Strategic Commitments and sub-group membership:
      1. Set a standard for faculty- and student-centered support that increases degree completion.
        • Task force members: Jenny Dosch, Amy Gort
        • Invited members: Angela Bowlus, Kate Southwick, Andrew Cseter, Julie Maxson, Katherine Johnson, Virginia Card, Sarah Koepke
      2. Be a leader in providing high-quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities for adult and non-traditional learners.
        • Task force members: Wilson Garland, Will Ruckel
        • Invited members: Bob Bilyk, Matthew Spillum, Michael Peterson, Maya Sullivan, Adrienne Falcon
      3. Be an integral partner with urban and metropolitan area communities, businesses, and non-profits.
        • Task force members: Dick Zehring, Raj Sethuraju, Kathryn Gilbert
        • Invited members: Rita Dibble, Katie Peacock, Duncan McCampbell,  Barbara Beltrand, Robert Zhijun Yang, Casey Solomon, Denise Williams
      4. Be recognized as a leader in dynamic, innovative teaching and learning with an emphasis on quality.
        • Task force members: Kerry Johnson, Mary Williams
        • Invited members: Jules Thompson, Nicholas Hartlep, Amy Harding, Barb Knutson, Janice Aanenson, Ruth Staus, Virginia Card
      5. Be recognized as a leader in equity, diversity, and cultural sensitivity modeling a culture of respect and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, and partners.
        • Task force members: Craig Hansen, Lisa Kell
        • Invited members: Nantawan Lewis,Sam Poindexter. Kristin Jorenby, Judith Graziano, Carlos Vazquez
      6. Build structural and foundational systems and processes that align physical, financial, and human resources.
        • Task force members: Wendy Helm, August Hoffman, Colette Faidley
        • Invited members: Barbara Beltrand, Deb Gehrke, Mary Maas, Lori Page
  • March and April 2019 – Identify activities/projects
  • May 2019 –Hand off plan and recommend monitoring mechanisms

Strategic Planning Task Force Meetings

January 18, 2019 - Agenda (Meeting included Task Force members and Sub-group members)

  • Overview of the Strategic Planning process thus far
  • Overview of the sub-group's charge for January and February:
  • Break-out time for sub-groups to begin their work

December 18, 2018 - Agenda

  • Finalize draft of strategic commitments
  • Discuss next steps for forming Goals subgroups

December 11, 2018 - Agenda

  • Five models of higher ed
  • Review draft strategic commitments from Town Hall feedback

November 8, 2018 - Agenda

  • Finance Presentation by Tracy Hatch
  • Enrollment Presentation by Sarah Koepke
  • Group debrief from the town hall meetings
  • Discussion to develop working draft of strategic commitments to guide the planning process

October 11, 2018 - Agenda

  • Small group discussion and report out: Areas of greatest strength and promise, opportunities to enhance quality and carve out a place for ourselves
  • Metropolitan State University Mission and Vision presented
  • Small group discussion and report out of strategic commitments

October 2, 2018 - Kick off meeting Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Strategic Planning Basics – Howard Cohen
  • Planning Context Overview – President Arthur
  • Customizing the Process at Metropolitan State: Building on Appreciative Inquiry Themes
  • Gathering Information
  • Campus Involvement
  • Timeline and Responsibilities
  • Communication and Planning for Town Hall Meeting

Strategic Planning Task Force Membership


  • Amy Gort, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs; Co-chair
  • August Hoffman, Inter Faculty Organization President; Co-chair

Task Force Members

  • Craig Hansen, Dean, College of Liberal Arts
  • Jennifer Dosch, Professor, College of Management
  • Kerry Johnson, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Raj Sethuraju, Associate Professor, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
  • Mary Williams, Community Faculty, College of Sciences
  • Colette Faidley, Admissions; AFSCME
  • Kathryn Gilbert, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs; MAPE
  • Lisa Kell, Financial Management; MMA
  • Will Ruckel, Admissions; MSUAASF
  • Wilson Garland, Executive Director, IT Center of Excellence
  • Wendy Helm, Senior Project and Service Manager, Information & Technology Services
  • Leonel Mejia, Vice President, Student Senate

Documents and Planning Resources

Faculty and staff may access agendas, meeting notes and other planning documents on S:/Strategic Planning

Metropolitan State University Mission, Vision Values