On Clarity

Last night, in an upset, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the 6-time Super Bowl winning New England Patriots. As most of you know, I am a bigger fan of the football referred to on this side of the Atlantic as soccer, but I believe championship games like last night’s Super Bowl hold lessons for us all.

Whether an underdog like the Eagles or a dynasty like the Patriots, winning teams have one thing in common: they are clear on their purpose, their direction, and their goals. As I shared with our Middle Georgia State community at our State of the University Address two weeks ago, five years into our existence as one institution, we are gaining clarity.

To elaborate on what we have learned thus far, last week I issued a white paper to assist in the process of defining our emerging context and identifying the needs and priorities for a new Strategic Plan. I welcome, and have begun receiving, feedback on that paper and look forward to more candid conversation as I meet with faculty, staff, and students in the coming weeks (as well as continued reaction electronically via comments@mga.edu).

As part of our endeavor to gain clarity on our current success and future progress, our Provost, Dr. Jon Anderson, has in his first month hosted a number of meetings with faculty and staff to consider how our University’s academic strategy will address both short-term and long-term needs.  Similarly, in this month of February we will convene a campus-wide Ad Hoc Committee to begin crafting our next Strategic Plan.

One thing we already know across our five campuses and across our five years as a single institution is that we, collectively, have the people and demonstrate the work ethic to be a winning team here at Middle Georgia State. As we become more clear-sighted in our efforts and direction, we will confidently assure success for our students, and through them for our region and for our state.