LSU Alexandria 2016-2017
(Revised fall 2015 and extended to 2021)
Launching the Next Fifty Years
As Louisiana State University Alexandria (LSUA) prepares to embark on its second half-century, the University and Central Louisiana are maturing respectively as provider and consumer of higher education. A comprehensive baccalaureate institution, LSUA is authorized, via the Louisiana Board of Regents’ 2009 Master Plan for Post-Secondary Education, to offer certificate, associate, and baccalaureate degrees. As such, LSUA is the only public university in Louisiana whose entire focus is on a 21st century undergraduate education that blends professional studies with an informed and intentional general education. In the process of its evolution, the University has responded to the needs of the region, its students and its employers by designing and offering degree programs that establish a foundation for continued academic growth and a platform for regional economic development. Nevertheless, the challenge of improving educational attainment in Central Louisiana is borne out by startling evidence -- fewer than twenty percent of those between the ages of 25 to 64 have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and fewer than eight percent of the same groups have earned an associate degree. Raising this educational attainment level is of paramount importance if Central Louisiana citizens are to advance and if the economic base of the region is to grow more diverse and stronger. Our pledge to Central Louisiana and the State is that LSUA will be the platform for this attainment and a catalyst for this growth.
As the only state-supported undergraduate university in Louisiana, LSUA’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of affordable undergraduate degrees in a robust academic environment that challenges students to excel and creates proactive and reciprocal relationships that meet the needs of the diverse student body and community that it serves.
LSUA envisions itself as a University of choice, recognized for academic excellence, committed to student and community growth through teaching, research, and service, and esteemed as a contributor to the economic, cultural, and intellectual growth of Louisiana.
LSUA will become recognized as a University that excels at ensuring the academic success of its students. Ensuring such success is dependent upon a faculty and staff who care deeply for the goals and ambitions of students and who respect the multiple demands on students’ lives. To reach the objectives requires an organizational culture that rewards strategic thinking which removes existing and potential barriers to student success.
- Students’ rates of progression toward degree and graduation will equal or exceed those of peer universities and the expectations of the Louisiana Board of Regents.
- The Advising Center will work proactively with students, faculty advisers and academic departments to improve the academic advising process for all LSUA students.
- Articulation agreements with community and junior colleges will be improved and transfer of students into LSUA will be more easily facilitated; LSUA will pursue academic relationships and collaborations that complement its mission and contribute to the improvement of access and higher education attainment in Central Louisiana.
- The academic success rate of students in general education core courses will be improved.
Undergraduate Academic Experience
The undergraduate academic experience is the mainstay of the mission of LSUA. The quality of this experience must be palpable from the earliest encounter with the potential student to the student’s placement after graduation. Curricula and related programmatic academic initiatives bear the initial mark of this quality; however, all undergraduate experiences must signal this quality.
- All academic curricula and programs will demonstrate currency and rigor.
- LSUA will develop new undergraduate degree majors and programs that respond to student demands and employer needs.
- The general education core will reflect the legacy of the liberal arts and their relevance to professional studies of the 21st Century.
- As an institution that focuses on undergraduate student success, faculty research and scholarship will inform teaching.
- All academic curricula and programs will be regularly assessed against the highest standards and outcomes available, including graduation rates, employment placement and graduate school placement.
- The University will complete all objectives and implement all strategies delineated in its SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan.
- To complement the undergraduate academic experience, LSUA will enhance its career counseling, assist students with internship placements and prepare applicants for graduate and professional school admission.
- As a public undergraduate university, LSUA will explore the consequences of broader engagement in undergraduate research; enabling strategies will be designed and implemented.
- Service learning opportunities and the role of civic engagement in learning will be enhanced for both faculty and students.
- Internationalization of the curricula and the University will be pursued via a variety of vehicles; e. g. exchange agreements, curriculum infusion, travel-study courses, and collaborations with partner universities.
- The University will serve as a source for creative experiences and cultural growth for all of its students, faculty and staff.
- Operating within the selective standards applicable, LSUA will recruit and increase the enrollment of qualified first-time students, transfer students and adult learners.
- A modern university must prepare students to participate in a diverse world; LSUA will improve the diversity of its students, faculty, staff and curricula to reflect such a world.
- The Honors Program will become a showcase of rigor and challenge for a selected group of undergraduate students.
Professional Growth and University Improvement
The demands on the modern university pivot on its ability to provide the highest quality education for the greatest value. LSUA improvements in delivery of that education and in the value proposition are driven by a commitment to professional enrichment, organizational change and growth.
- Professional growth and development of faculty will continue to be a high priority so that teaching, learning and scholarship will continue to support student success and the mission of LSUA.
Development opportunities for staff members of LSUA will continue and will be enhanced.
The University will explore the feasibility of, and adopt, innovations in course and program delivery; examples may include additional online instruction, intersession course formats, off-site instruction and enhanced evening offerings.
The University will seek means of supplementing revenues via self-sustaining auxiliary operations
LSUA will improve its enrollment management processes such that recruitment, admissions and financial assistance are collaborative and student-centered endeavors.
Intra-university communication processes will optimize the use of technology while not losing the relational characteristics of LSUA.
Each department and unit of LSUA will become a model for finding and adapting to best practice, wherever it may be found.
The University will complete all of the objectives of its extant Title III Grant (2005-2010) and will assume all relevant responsibilities upon its conclusion.
Vibrant University Life
A vibrant university community embraces and promotes its wholeness. Such wholeness is embodied in teacher-scholars who value and complement professional talents, in an organizational ethic that fosters integrity and trust, by a learning community of students and faculty who pursue learning, scholarship and service, and, by a community that welcomes alumni, friends, energetic athletic boosters, local and regional partners, and neighbors who collaborate in the LSUA mission.
- University and campus life will be enhanced via dynamic and thoughtful initiatives; e. g. campus programming, intramural sports and recreational activities, Greek life, club sports and Student Government.
- LSUA will engage in practices and design policies that promote the health and wellbeing of the faculty, staff and students.
- University learning spaces for all students will be improved; e. g. classrooms, laboratories, group study space, seminar spaces.
- Opportunities for faculty, staff and students to volunteer service and expertise will be enhanced.
- Safety of all students, faculty, staff, residents and visitors on the LSUA campus and its immediate environs will remain a high priority.
- Strategies will be implemented to ensure maximum occupancy of The Oaks Residence Hall.
- Intercollegiate athletics will expand at a measured pace, provided sufficient resources are attainable and enthusiastic support is manifested.
- The University will design opportunities for guests, alumni, friends, and donors to enjoy the LSUA campus and capitalize on the breadth of its resources and educational sites.
LSUA is located on a beautiful 200-acre tract adjacent to the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension Center and is anchored by ancient live oak trees. The mid-to-late 20th Century architecture will soon be complemented by the stunning design of the Multipurpose Academic Center. The structures, setting and environment speak to the mission of providing a high quality 21st Century undergraduate education in a setting that is conducive to learning, pleasant in which to work and teach and inviting to all.
- The high quality of the visual appeal, beauty and appearance of the LSUA campus will continue to be a high priority.
- The Campus Master Plan will be evaluated, assessed and revised as necessary.
- The Children’s Center will assess its service model, adopt innovative processes and implement strategies to become a beacon of childcare excellence in Central Louisiana.
- A feasibility study regarding future needs of the James C. Bolton Library was completed by 2011 and will inform subsequent renovations of the facility.
Community Relationships and Outreach
LSUA has embraced its role as a regional catalyst by widening its presence in Central Louisiana and welcoming opportunities to partner with schools, governments, healthcare providers and area constituents. The University assumes its role as a public resource with deliberateness, with knowledge of the importance of reciprocal community relationships and a commitment to the future of Central Louisiana.
- LSUA will strengthen its relationships with alumni, former students, friends and supporters.
- Donor stewardship will be improved and, in collaboration with the LSUA Foundation, the donor base will be enhanced.
- A dynamic web presence will effectively communicate with, and reach out to, all of the relevant LSUA audiences.
- LSUA will work diligently with Central Louisiana schools to enhance their academic programs and enrich the professional development of school faculty.
- Each academic department will enlist the assistance and expertise of external regional professionals by forming and utilizing Advisory Councils.
- LSUA will partner with governmental entities and non-governmental organizations for the benefit of Central Louisiana’s population.
- The Office of Continuing Education will reach out to regional businesses, organizations, and families to improve productivity, enhance effectiveness and provide for a higher quality of life.
- LSUA will leverage its position to improve the Central Louisiana economy, enhance its cultural environment and improve its quality of life.
- The multiple sites of LSUA will be utilized to the fullest extents possible so that its academic and service outreach is effectively and efficiently delivered.