Goal 5: Increasing Awareness of the University’s Identity, Practices, Outcomes and Impacts

Within the context of our broader society, we must be articulate champions of public higher education generally and of an SU education specifically. Some question the value of a college degree, particularly when students and their families may borrow heavily to pay for it. Our first goal focuses appropriately on increasing access and affordability. Subsequent goals focus on ensuring high-quality academic programs and support services and building a strong, inclusive community.

Although the “value” of a college degree is demonstrable from income trajectories, success in navigating a changing workforce and achievement of personal fulfilment outcomes may not be clear to prospective students, whether first-time students or adult learners. Through a comprehensive communication strategy, we can engage students, from “first contact” through an effective alumni network, to emphasize their own agency to make the most of their college or graduate school experience. Through effective communication of our outcomes, we can demonstrate, repeatedly and consistently, the power and value of our distinctive SU experience in enabling our students to achieve their full human potential as individuals, professionals and community members. Harnessed to recruitment, this strategy will help to ensure that, as we approach our second century, the promise of excellence will continue to draw new generations.

As the University grows both in enrollment and program offerings, we will leverage and promote three distinctive characteristics about the SU experience: a) our location in a small but vital metropolitan area and the multiple ways in which we connect with it; b) our beautiful and environmentally sensitive coastal location, which offers both recreational and learning opportunities; and c) our proximity to major metropolitan areas, including Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the advantages that proximity creates for internships and job placement.

Similarly, the University will capitalize on its location and sustainability efforts to model best practices to conserve the environment within the local community. By articulating and demonstrating a commitment to its values and distinctive voice, SU’s identity and reputation will become ingrained within and outside of the campus community. This longstanding and continued commitment to maintaining the character of the University will be paramount as the University approaches its centennial celebration in 2025.

Objective 5.1 - Develop and articulate an identity that distinguishes SU as an outstanding public regional comprehensive University.

  • Strategy 5.1.1. Conduct a brand exercise to examine and reimagine SU’s current identity and values.

Objective 5.2 - Develop a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy and budget for the University.

  • Strategy 5.2.1. Develop, execute and evaluate marketing and communication strategies that highlight SU’s distinctive brand, voice, image and reputation.
  • Strategy 5.2.2. Communicate SU’s brand and marketing strategies internally and provide training and resources to faculty and staff on how to promote the SU brand.

Objective 5.3 - Aspire to lead local environmental sustainability initiatives and communicate those efforts to internal and external constituents.

  • Strategy 5.3.1. Expand staffing for sustainability and resiliency efforts in response to identified needs.
  • Strategy 5.3.2. Increase local environmental sustainability and conservation efforts and training.
  • Strategy 5.3.3. Develop a climate resiliency plan.
  • Strategy 5.3.4. Deepen partnerships with local groups and municipalities focused on environmental sustainability and conservation efforts.

Objective 5.4 - Expand effectiveness and efficiency practices and promote a transparent process for strategic planning and budgeting.

  • Strategy 5.4.1. Evaluate and ensure the linkage of unit-level strategic plans to the University Strategic Plan.
  • Strategy 5.4.2. Explore ways to integrate the University’s Strategic Plan goals into the performance management process (PMP) and the academic and administrative review process.
  • Strategy 5.4.3. Set and communicate institutional priorities with respect to the University’s Strategic Plan, including budget allocations necessary to achieve them.

Objective 5.5 - Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of faculty, staff and students to develop ideas that improve our efficiency and stewardship of fiscal resources and/or generate new revenue.

  • Strategy 5.5.1. Continue the development and implementation of an advanced budgeting and resource allocation model to support the campus’ mission, including the exploration of revenue-sharing, differential program costs and enhanced efficiency models.
  • Strategy 5.5.2. Explore mechanisms to incentivize entrepreneurship and innovation in program delivery options.

Objective 5.6 - Continue to clarify University policies and practices and expectations to meet requirements of federal, State, USM, National Collegiate Athletic Association and other sanctioned bodies.

  • Strategy 5.6.1. Complete review and revision of Faculty Handbook and transition to digital platform.
  • Strategy 5.6.2. Complete updating of the University Policies website and adoption of new policy development and approval process.
  • Strategy 5.6.3. Continue monitoring of compliance and reporting requirements to ensure good standing across many University functions and activities.
  • Strategy 5.6.4. Continue to seek accreditation and/or national recognition from professional organizations and support continuous program review and improvement.
  • Strategy 5.6.5. Review and expand University-wide risk management and safety practices.