The LSUA Strategic Plan was developed over a period of two years. Organized by the office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, these efforts included focus groups and individual discussions with stakeholders, open forums on campus, and review by the university’s Strategic Planning Council. The culmination was a retreat in the Fall of 2021, attended by key leaders who brought to the discussion feedback and ideas from their constituents and also from:
LSU of Alexandria will be recognized across the state of Louisiana and beyond as a destination of choice for the outstanding undergraduate experience it offers.
LSU of Alexandria is committed to providing students the education, skills, development and other resources needed to establish the foundation for their future success. We create a welcoming environment that includes critical thinking, experiential learning, civic engagement and community partnerships.
Truth » LSUA is committed to the pursuit of truth, wherever it may lead.
Autonomy » LSUA recognizes the broad freedom to design and execute a life plan consistent with one’s principled beliefs.
Community » LSUA is comprised of dedicated, caring individuals who treat each other as family and operate as a team.
Perspective » LSUA strives to assist students and other members of its community understand the diverse viewpoints and worldviews generated by the many cultures across the state, the nation and the globe.
From 1976 through Spring 2003, LSUA offered the upper-level course work for select bachelor's degree programs through a program known as LSU Senior College. Initially, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of General Studies were offered. In 2001, following approval by the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Louisiana Legislature passed legislation allowing Louisiana State University at Alexandria to offer baccalaureate degrees. In December 2002, SACS COC approved a substantive change request from LSUA, thereby accrediting the university to award both associate and baccalaureate degrees. LSUA began offering four baccalaureate degrees in Fall 2003.
Since that time, the number of degrees and concentrations has continued to expand, as has the level of student activity on campus. The construction of The Oaks in 2008 allowed for students to live on campus for the first time. In 2014, five athletic teams were added to the existing two, thereby creating opportunities for student athletes to compete in all three seasons. This expansion also served to boost the number of students living on campus and the number of international students attending LSUA. The scope and number of student organizations has correspondingly continued to expand. In 2021, the academic departments were reorganized into five colleges, each with a Dean as its head.
As LSUA heads into its seventh decade, there is keen awareness of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The so-called “enrollment cliff” that was projected to begin in 2026 (18 years after the start of the Great Recession of 2008) has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic; continued monitoring of the demographics will be important in order to minimize any negative impact of on-campus enrollments. Conversely, the number of students enrolled in 100% online degree programs has risen sharply in recent years and is currently the source of overall growth and the principal factor in recent record enrollments. These fully online options align well with the Louisiana Board of Regents Master Plan and its goal to significantly increase the percentage of adults holding a college credential.
With continued attention to workforce needs and an ongoing focus on holistic, innovative student development, there is much optimism about the future. There are plans to develop new buildings on campus, new experiential learning opportunities, and new academic programs that address industry needs while helping students establish foundations for successful careers. As we say, LSUA is within reach and without limits.
OBJECTIVE I-A: PROGRAMMING
Strategy 1: New Program Development. LSUA will continue to investigate possibilities for new academic programs and to add appropriate programs to our academic offerings, thereby providing students with an array of options consistent with our mission.
(Success will be achieved when new programs are added at the rate of one per year.)
Strategy 2: Momentum Year. LSUA will implement plans of study that encourage freshmen students to pursue 30 hours of a clear pathway, attempt at least 9 hours in their academic focus, and complete initial math and English requirements.
(Success will be achieved when the momentum year is built into the plan of study for every baccalaureate degree program.)
Strategy 3: Program Review and Assessment. With an eye towards continuous improvement, each discipline at LSUA will be reviewed biannually using appropriate metrics. Course objectives will be mapped to program objectives, and subsequent decisions regarding programming will be data-driven.
(Success will be achieved a schedule of biannual program reviews is established and when every academic program has in place an assessment plan that maps objectives, identifies key performance indicators, and utilizes those indicators in comprehensive biannual reviews.)
Strategy 4: First Year Experience. Every first-time freshman, in his/her first semester, will be enrolled in a course that will focus on career options, student research, relationships with key campus support offices, and/or other strategies for enhancing the prospects for retention and eventual graduation from LSUA.
(Success will be achieved when every academic program has as part of its degree plan a substantive first year experience course in the student’s first semester.)
OBJECTIVE I-B: STUDENT SUPPORT
Strategy 1: Advising. LSUA will add professional advisors, housed in the academic departments, who will replace faculty as the primary contacts for scheduling, course registration, and other nuts-and-bolts items related to student progression through their curricula.
(Success will be achieved when a sufficient number of professional advisors are in place that every upper class student is assigned a professional advisor, thereby allowing faculty to refocus their efforts on mentoring.)
Strategy 2: Student Mentoring. Beginning in their freshman year, students will be assigned faculty mentors who will assist them with big-picture strategies related to professional opportunities, graduate programs of study, and academic options that will best prepare them for post-graduation success.
(Success will be achieved when every student is assigned a faculty mentor by the end of his/her first semester.)
Strategy 3: Career Development Center. The university will establish an office responsible for community outreach with industry, connecting students to internships and post-graduation employment opportunities, and developing programing that will help students consider possible career paths.
(Success will be achieved when a full-time director is in place, career education is built into academic degree plans, and there exists a comprehensive system of opportunities for job shadowing, internships, and similar experiences.)
Strategy 4: University Tutoring Center. The university will establish a centrally-located facility, staffed with a full-time coordinator and an ample number of student tutors.
(Success will be achieved when a full-time coordinator is in place, student tutors from multiple disciplines are on-hand to assist, and a location for the center is chosen, developed, and made available throughout the day and on weekends.)
OBJECTIVE I-C: FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
Strategy 1: Coordination. Through the office of the provost, there will be coordination of various development opportunities that allow faculty members to plan and pursue the enhancement of their professional capabilities.
(Success will be achieved when calendars and timelines allow for maximal pursuit of endowed professorships, McCann teaching funds, Chancellor’s development awards, and other initiatives that offer funding and supplementary resources.)
Strategy 2: Leadership. The university will create programming aimed at promoting leadership skills among faculty and establishing new positions on campus that will be filled by faculty, thereby allowing them to put their leadership skills into practice.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) a leadership development program is in place; and (b) a minimum of 8 new faculty leadership positions are established.)
Strategy 3: Co-curricular Initiatives. The university will incorporate new and existing opportunities into curricular initiatives that benefit students as well as faculty.
(Success will be achieved when four programs, courses or initiatives are in place that (a) create space for faculty and students to work collaboratively; (b) promote faculty growth and development; and (c) offer innovative curricular options for students.
Strategy 4: Faculty Recognition. Because faculty development can occur in multiple contexts, the university will recognize various areas of faculty success, which in turn will promote awareness of the different ways that faculty can grow.
(Success will be achieved when there is formal recognition of faculty excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service and citizenship.)
OBJECTIVE I-D: ONLINE PROGRAMS
Strategy 1: Conversion to LSU Online. With more advertising exposure and more revenue, the LSU Online consortium will provide marketing and technical support and will be used as the delivery platform for all LSUA programs and courses.
(Success will be achieved when all programs and courses are fully converted and available through LSU Online.)
Strategy 2: Online Program Options. In an effort to maximize flexibility for students, all new degree programs will be available both in-person and online (barring repetition of other LSU Online institutions).
(Success will be achieved when, as a matter of practice, every new degree program that is created includes an online-only option, unless granted an exception due to LSU Online guidelines.)
Strategy 3: Breadth of Programming. Online degree programs will cover a wide range of disciplines at LSUA, ensuring that students across the board will have the opportunity for at least some of their curriculum to be available through in an online format.
(Success will be achieved when every academic department houses at least one online degree program or shares at least one interdisciplinary online program with another department.)
Strategy 1: High School Outreach. The university will enhance its communication with external parties who are in a position to motivate high school students to apply to LSUA. These include high school guidance counselors, government officials, school parents and key members of the greater community.
(Success will be achieved when the number of applications for first-time full-time freshmen increases 5% across the state and 10% in the nine-parish Central Louisiana region.)
Strategy 2: Customer Resource Management. In order to improve efficiency and thereby increase enrollments, an upgrade is needed in the current CRM. Crucial to success is the ability to integrate much more fully with the university’s Student Information System.
(Success will be achieved when a new CRM is in place that decreases the processing time for applications from three days to one day.)
Strategy 3: Transfer Articulations/Agreements. As the pool of high school graduates declines, the importance of recruiting transfer students increases. LSUA must therefore increase its attention on efficient processes necessary to successfully recruit this population.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) annual training is in place which helps advisors become familiar with various courses across the state, thereby allowing for initial student schedules to be created without full transcript evaluation; and (b) there exist clearly delineated degree plans that allow for seamless transition into LSUA programs.
Strategy 4: Adult Learners. In accordance with the Board of Regents Master Plan for 2030, LSUA will make efforts to target adult learners in the Central Louisiana region.
(Success will be achieved when (a) LSUA reenrolls 25% of the students who have stopped out for a year or more; and (b) the number of total LSUA students who are returning increases 200%.)
OBJECTIVE II-B: PROMOTING OUR SUCCESSES
Strategy 1: Website. The various LSUA websites continue to be the most significant means for the public to obtain information about the university. Diligence is therefore necessary to ensure fresh, accurate and attractive content.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) every academic landing page is updated on a monthly basis; (b) there exist college/school review committees or other bodies charged with regularly assessing their page(s); and (c) a university review committee is in place that regularly assesses the overall impact of LSUA’s web presence.)
Strategy 2: Social Media. LSUA will provide consistent messaging through coherent, organized delivery of appropriate content on popular social media outlets.
(Success will be achieved when there exists a university committee responsible for coordinating, tracking and assessing the messaging that is distributed through social media outlets deemed by this group to be optimal.)
Strategy 3: Videos. The public responds to information conveyed in video format. It is therefore desirable that LSUA produce on a regular basis interesting, informative videos that champion the many positive aspects of the university.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) individual academic units produce and publish, via website or social media, new videos annually; (b) key university departments produce and publish new videos on a regular schedule indicated by their key functions.)
Strategy 4: Internal Processes. In order to maximize the impact of our success stories, clear lines of communication must be in place that allow for sharing success stories that are identified by individual departments.
(Success will be achieved when clear communication guidelines are developed, implemented and followed.)
OBJECTIVE II-C: PARTNERSHIPS
Strategy 1: LSUA Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to support the university by cultivating private support. Although the Foundation and LSUA are separate entities, their visions and ongoing operations must be in alignment.
(Success will be achieved when a joint business plan is established that provides direction for the university and the foundation to collaboratively set goals and work together towards the achievement of those goals.)
Strategy 2: City of Alexandria. Ongoing cooperation with the City Council and Office of the Mayor will benefit both LSUA and the city, and we will remain committed to fostering the important relationship with the city.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) formal biannual meetings take place between the city and the university to review ongoing initiatives and consider new possibilities; and (b) an internal report is produced annually that summarizes and assesses the state of the partnership with the city.
Strategy 3: Public-Private Partnerships. In order to maximize the student experience, LSUA must increase and leverage its connections with community partners in ways that generate student-centered benefits.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) one additional partnership, with tangible benefits for the university, is created each year; and (b) an internal report is produced annually that summarizes existing partnerships and identifies opportunities for new ones.)
OBJECTIVE II-D: VISIBILITY
Strategy 1: Advertising. As part of a comprehensive marketing strategy, an advertising plan will be developed that is strategic in its targeting and succeeds in conveying to prospective students, parents and the general public information regarding the many positive aspects of LSUA.)
(Success will be achieved when: (a) a marketing committee is established that (b) develops a strategic advertising plan and specific campaigns; and (c) assesses the plan on an annual basis.)
Strategy 2: Community Support and Engagement. LSUA will be proactive in its outreach to the community, ensuring that external stakeholders are aware of the university’s willingness to assist community partners and reliability on following through with joint initiatives.
(Success will be achieved when a comprehensive listing of community partners is developed and maintained.)
Strategy 3: Legislature. Because the actions of the state legislature can have a significant impact on the operations of the university, it will be important to regularly provide legislators with information and education regarding pressing issues in higher education with emphasis on those issues that most affect LSUA.
(Success will be achieved when (a): LSUA hosts an event each year for appropriate state legislators; and (b) university personnel are present for and participate in the CenLa Day at the Legislature.)
OBJECTIVE III-A: CAMPUS ACTIVITY
Strategy 1: Student Organizations. As student organizations contribute significantly to the amount and quality of activity on a college campus, LSUA will encourage the development of new organizations and foster the growth of current organizations.
(Success will be achieved when the number of student organizations has increased by 60% and the number of participating students has increased by 75%.)
Strategy 2: University Events. Education, cultural, social and athletic events will be held on campus regularly and frequently.
(Success will be achieved when the university averages five events per week which are on the university calendar and whose estimated student attendance is tracked, with annual student attendance increasing each year.
Strategy 3: Intramurals. LSUA will offer an array of intramural activities, athletic and otherwise, that will motivate student engagement on campus.
(Success will be achieved when at least 10 intramural activities are available each semester – at least five that are “major” (e.g., team-based, ongoing) and at least five that are “minor” (e.g., individual, one-time).
Strategy 4: Bolton Library. The library will be a central hub of activity on campus, hosting regular events and housing the Writing Center, Tutoring Center and Student Research Office, while offering services that contribute to the university’s mission of teaching and learning.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) the library hosts one event per week on average; and (b) the number of student visitors increases each year.)
OBJECTIVE III-B: INCLUSIVITY and DIVERSITY
Strategy 1: Education. LSUA will offer an array of events and programs designed to enhance awareness and knowledge of issues pertaining to equity, diversity and social justice.
(Success will be achieved when at least two such educational programs/events are offered each semester.)
Strategy 2: International Students and Scholars. Building on the university’s existing base, LSUA will grow its international population of students and scholars.
(Success will be achieved when at least 150 international students are enrolled and six international scholars are hosted at LSUA in a given year.)
Strategy 3: Growth and Support. Through partnerships and various collaborative initiatives, LSUA will pursue grants, develop extracurricular programming, and launch other initiatives designed to support underrepresented student populations or otherwise enhance inclusivity and diversity at the university.
(Success will be achieved when LSUA has established at least three substantive initiatives focused on inclusivity and diversity.)
Strategy 4: Student Organizations. To encourage broad participation in student organizations on campus, a representative percentage will have a mission that includes explicit commitment to inclusivity, diversity, equity or values closely aligned with these.(Success will be achieved when 20% of the student organizations on campus have as part of their mission the promotion of inclusivity, diversity or similarly aligned values.)
OBJECTIVE III-C: CO-CURRICULAR INITIATIVES
Strategy 1: Student Leadership. Because leadership skills are vital to placement, promotion and related workplace successes, LSUA will develop programming that will equip students with these skills, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of ethical, effective, nurturing leadership.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) a leadership conference on campus for incoming freshmen is developed and implemented; (b) the curriculum of every academic program includes some aspect of leadership education; (c) 80% of LSUA graduates have engaged in at least one leadership experience on which they have reflected and, consequently, from which they have learned; and (d) there exists the opportunity for students to earn academic credit for some of these experiences.)
Strategy 2: Student Volunteerism/Citizenship. Employers seek workers who are socially aware and engaged in promoting the well-being of the communities in which they work and reside. Volunteering also affords inherent benefits while contributing to the awareness and recognition of LSUA as a reliable community partner.
(Success will be achieved when (a) every student engages in some type of community service, whether on or off campus; (b) the university creates an initiative that connects LSUA students to charitable organizations in the community that are seeking assistance from volunteers; and (c) there exists the opportunity for students to earn academic credit for some of these experiences.)
Strategy 3: Student Research. Recognizing that substantive research at the undergraduate level contributes in many ways to intellectual growth and professional development, LSUA will develop programming that will ensure student exposure to and participation in appropriate scholarly endeavors.
(Success will be achieved when (a) every student engages in some type of substantive scholarly or creative endeavor; (b) 50% of the students formally present their work at a discipline-appropriate venue; (c) the university houses a center for undergraduate research that will be recognized across Louisiana and across the South; and (d) there exists the opportunity for students to earn academic credit for some of these research experiences.)
OBJECTIVE III-D: ATHLETICS
Strategy 1: Recruiting. The university will leverage its athletic programs to recruit to LSUA students who would otherwise attend other institutions.
(Success will be achieved when at least 90% of the student athletes on LSUA’s intercollegiate athletic teams cite the athletics program as the primary reason for attending the university.)
Strategy 2: Student Athlete Success. Student athletes will excel not only in intercollegiate competition but also in the classroom, in campus activities, and in the local community.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) student athletes at LSUA are retained and graduate at a rate that equals or exceeds the rest of the university population; (b) a majority of teams have mean Grade Point Averages of at least 3.0; and (c) every student athlete assists with at least three campus and/or community endeavors each year.)
Strategy 3: Club Sports: In addition to NAIA Intercollegiate teams, LSUA will add new club sports that will compete against other universities and colleges.
(Success will be achieved when three new club sports, comprising at least 30 student athletes, are in place.)
Strategy 4: Budgetary Stability. In order to remain viable and establish a sustainable financial basis for ongoing success, the athletic program will continue to pursue fiscal efficiencies while pursuing increased revenue to support operations with assistance from the Generals Athletic Association.
(Success will be achieved when the annual budget of the athletic program generates a surplus of $50,000.)
Strategy 1: Budget model. In an effort to incentivize innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors, LSUA will develop a hybrid budget model that includes a foundational base budget with aspects RCM (Responsibility Center Management) built in.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) a hybrid budget model is in place and reviewed annually for potential adjustments to the assumptions and inputs; (b) the model includes incentives in the form of RCM-type factors (e.g., revenue generation, retention and related enrollment success); and (c) budget managers of cost centers have the autonomy and corresponding ability to make strategic budgetary decisions and implement those decisions directly.
Strategy 2: Planning Process. Going forward, LSUA will improve the coherence and timing of establishing the university budget, taking into account all relevant factors and data.
(Success will be achieved when: (a) a program review process is established that will provide vital data for (b) university-wide budget allocations that will be determined earlier each year than was the case in the previous year, with an ultimate goal of (c) having the following year’s budget in place by September 30 of the previous year.)
Strategy 3: Dissemination / Communication. Once established, the university budget for the following year will be communicated to all units in a timely manner, thereby allowing those units to begin developing strategies for pursuing and attaining their strategic objectives.
(Success will be achieved when every unit on campus receives its budget for the following year by November 15 of the previous year.)
OBJECTIVE IV-B: TECHNOLOGY
Strategy 1: Student Information System. In order to remain competitive and manage the university with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, LSUA must change or significantly upgrade its current SIS (PowerCampus).
(Success will be achieved when an updated SIS has been fully implemented.)
Strategy 2: Classroom/Student Technology. Updated technology in the classroom is a prerequisite for effective instruction.
(Success will be achieved when technology is updated and remains no more than three years out of date in all classrooms and computer labs on campus.)
Strategy 3: Back-Office Technology. LSUA will escalate its efforts to maintain the various equipment and programs needed to effectively manage such tasks as payment methods, record retention, document scanning, schedule drops for nonpayment and nonattendance, security, and risk mitigation.
(Success will be achieved when at least one major improvement or upgrade is identified and implemented annually.)
Strategy 4: Personnel. Because technology cannot be effective without trained, qualified personnel overseeing the operations, LSUA will hire additional staff members who will implement and utilize new systems, interpret data, and effectively serve the university’s faculty, staff and students.
(Success will be achieved when five new positions have been added and distributed among Informational and Educational Technology, Registrar, Institutional Research, and Admissions.
OBJECTIVE IV-C: FACILITIES
Strategy 1: Deferred Maintenance. With an ever-increasing backlog of maintenance that needs to be addressed, LSUA will proactively take steps to ensure that campus buildings and items crucial to the physical infrastructure will be repaired or renovated as needed.
(Success will be achieved when, in the university budgeting process, 1.5 % of the projected budget is set aside for the purpose of addressing deferred maintenance.)
Strategy 2: Space Allocation. Because space is a crucial resource on campus, the university must develop a process for determining an inclusive method of assigning or reassigning space as it becomes available.
(Success will be achieved when a formal space allocation process is developed collaboratively, disseminated transparently through appropriate outlets, and utilized in accordance with the university’s strategic goals.)
Strategy 3: Course Scheduling / Classroom Usage. Due to the increase in classroom usage resulting from higher enrollments and more activity on campus, diligent attention is required in order to optimize the usage of these important spaces.
(Success will be achieved when (a) a thorough review of existing classroom usage occurs biannually; (b) course scheduling is based on student needs and is completed for the next semester by the end of week 6 of the current semester; and (c) a new process is developed and implemented regarding reservations for classroom space not related to academic courses.)
Strategy 4: Master Plan. During the time that this strategic plan is in effect, ongoing assessments will be made regarding the usage of all campus buildings and grounds, with an eye towards the long-term future management of all properties and related assets.
(Success will be achieved when (a) the previous version of the campus master plan has been reviewed and revised; and (b) the next building or major addition to campus has been identified.)
OBJECTIVE IV-D: ALTERNATIVE REVENUE STREAMS
Strategy 1: Grants. Recognizing that LSUA historically has not directed resources towards the attainment of grant funds that would generate student-centered programming, this is an opportunity that must be pursued, especially with the year-to-year uncertainty surrounding the university’s regular operating budget.
(Success will be achieved when LSUA (a) hires a full-time grant writer; (b) improves its process for institutional management of grants; and (c) brings in $1 million annually in grant revenue.)
Strategy 2: Auxiliaries. The university’s auxiliary operations, which jointly comprise the reserve accounts at LSUA, will be strengthened so as to ensure a firm and stable financial foundation that will ensure sustainability and enable investment in growth opportunities.
(Success will be achieved when (a) all auxiliary accounts show a positive balance, and (b) the total amount across all auxiliaries is 50% greater than what the cumulative balance was at the end of the 2021 fiscal year.)
Strategy 3: Development/Fundraising. Given the competitive nature of fundraising, LSUA must invest more resources towards a consistent, intentional, comprehensive strategy for attracting corporate, foundation and alumni support.
(Success will be achieved when LSUA: (a) hires a full-time staff member committed to development, to complement the existing position of Director of Institutional Advancement; and (b) brings in an additional $300,000 yearly for an annual fund that will support LSUA operations.