“The mission and goals are the foundation of an institution,” says Dr. Victor DeSantis, interim chief of staff at Millersville University. DeSantis along with Scott Anderson, associate professor in the library, are the co-chairs of the Middle States working group looking at Standard 1 – Mission and Goals; and Standard 6 – Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement.
“Our group is gauging the degree to which the University has a broad and inclusive mission and goals, and we’re also looking at the process we use to arrive at our mission and goals. We’re addressing how we continuously and systematically assess how the institution is doing,” says DeSantis.
“Faculty, staff, students, as well as Trustees and alumni, should see themselves as integral to Standard 1, because we receive input from everyone in developing our mission and meeting our goals,” he continues. “And, we rely on continued input to review and adjust our strategic goals through our Strategic Advisory Council, a planning body of over 30 individuals that represents the entire campus community.”
DeSantis says Millersville University is in the optimal position going through the Middle States self-study process at this time because we’re finishing up work on one strategic plan and beginning work on the next. “As we move forward to crafting the successor strategic plan for 2020 to 2025, we are actively planning an inclusive process that builds on Our Bold Path and leverages the efforts of the Middle States work groups.”
Standard 6 deals with planning, resources and institutional improvement and the group is focused on issues such as enrollment management, affordability and multi-year budgeting. “Some key areas we’re focusing on are effective utilization of campus resources and how to make the college experience more affordable for students,” says DeSantis. “How to save students money when it comes to housing and dining, and the ever-increasing cost of textbooks are all things we’re concerned with,” says DeSantis. “The stability and future of our resources and how to allocate them are important concerns.”
At the end of the day, DeSantis says, “We are charting a unified path, focused on inclusive planning for the future of the university. We will use what we learn, and the evidence we find through the Middle States process, to truly have a living strategic plan that is as effective and efficient as possible.”