Provost to lead planning process for university level change

Dear Faculty and Staff:

After the celebration of saying goodbye to the Class of 2014 and seeing 1,400 of our students move on to the status of Middle Georgia State alumni, summer brings a different tempo to our college and campuses.

For large numbers of students and faculty summer classes continue, but for many others the three months after commencement are a time away from the campuses. Certainly it is important we all take some kind of break over the summer, and for me that will be a welcome visit to the beach.

Yet there is also much planning and thinking ahead that is going on this summer here at Middle Georgia State. As the work of the Vision Taskforce reaches its conclusion, we will be moving into a period of strategic planning in anticipation of our move to university status.

Core to that will be our necessary reaffirmation by SACS, our accrediting body, and the dual process of gaining SACS approval for institutional reaffirmation and its endorsement of our beginning graduate degree programs. This process will be necessary for a “level change” to being a university and requires both SACS and Board of Regents approval.

I am asking Provost Marti Venn to oversee this dual process. It is essential that our university designation is built upon an academic plan (notably via graduate programming) and with public confidence and accountability (notably with SACS reaffirmation). The regents will be expecting us to achieve this dual outcome efficiently and promptly. Marti will head up our planning process, and in the coming months that will be a key task of hers, with assistance from all of us.

To that end, I am authorizing the provost to begin working with our faculty and staff and identifying the necessary steps for successful reaffirmation and university designation. The President’s Cabinet begins that process very shortly with her, in reviewing the excellent work and recommendations of the Vision Taskforce as a starting point.

There is a sense in which recreation is also re-creation. Middle Georgia State needs to experience both this summer for us collectively and individually. This is a time for us to re-envision and re-create our institution, but also to allow for downtime to refresh the spirit and enjoy well-earned relaxation. I wish you both this summer.