MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

January 30, 2016 

Strategic planning process well underway, development of new mission statement and core values begins


As announced with the beginning of the fall semester last August, a challenge for this academic year is the development of a new strategic plan. We are in the enviable position of having accomplished all, and even more, of the plans we laid down a number of years ago. The task before us now is to examine literally all the variables that affect our campus, our dreams, and our resource realities. Another consideration is our alignment to the North Dakota University System plans and the guidelines of our accrediting bodies. The ultimate goal is to chart a future for Mayville State University that will be challenging, exciting, and beneficial to the campus, community, state, and region.

Strategic planning is defined as a process by which organizations establish priorities to better serve their constituents. Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic planning process is key to creating a strong future. As the variables are examined and prioritized, we will turn them into our goals, objectives, and strategies. The strategic plan then becomes our road map that leads the institution into the future.

At this point in the process, we are finding it is the opportune time to revisit Mayville State’s mission statement (our purpose), establish core values (the principles we stand for), and begin the alignment of our vision statement (where we want to be in the future). The strategic plan, mission statement, core values, and vision statement are all linked and support one another. The president’s cabinet members and I are appreciative of MSU Grants Officer Director Allison Johnson, who is leading the process.

Allison is coordinating the work of establishing two works groups, one to begin the review of Mayville State’s mission, and the other to develop the institution’s core values. Representation on the work groups will be provided by the faculty, staff, and student senates.

What are the core values of an organization?

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.

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement lays out the reason for an organization’s existence. It is the broad definition of the organizational mission. A good mission statement inspires employees and provides a focus and direction for setting lower level objectives. It should guide employees in making decisions and establish what the organization does.

As with the development of the strategic plan, we value your input in our development of core values and our new mission statement. Would you be willing to take a few minutes to give your input by going to (link no longer active - survey has ended)? Your input will be anonymously submitted and will be considered along with other input from our faculty, students, and staff. If you’d rather have your voice heard via telephone, please feel free to contact Allison Johnson at 701-788-4743, or she can be reached by email at

We sincerely appreciate your input as we develop these important university tools and documents. Again, that website address is (link no longer active - survey has ended). We look forward to creating a new strategic plan, mission statement, core values statement, and vision statement that will lead Mayville State University down the path of endless possibilities and a robust future.