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Board of Trustees Adopts New Strategic Plan for SBU

The strategic direction of Southwest Baptist University was set during the University’s Fall Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, October 17.

In addition to reviewing the 2023–2024 budget and approving tuition rates for the 2024–2025 academic year, the trustees unanimously adopted a strategic plan to guide the university to its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2028.

“I am incredibly thankful to our Board of Trustees for coming alongside the faculty and staff of SBU to support this plan that puts students first and provides a solid foundation for the work ahead of us,” said Dr. Rick Melson, President of Southwest Baptist University. “The future of SBU is bright, and I’m excited to see the fruit of our strategic planning come to life in the months and years ahead.”

In light of the changing landscape of higher education and the significant social and economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees commissioned the administration in October of 2022 to develop an agile plan to account for today’s challenges and opportunities. The new plan revises and recasts the university’s ten-year strategic plan previously adopted in 2018.

Titled Belong, Discover, Serve, Excel, the strategic plan complements the mission of the university by directing resources and activities around the following goals:

  • Cultivate a community where people belong
  • Advance intellectual discovery and vocational readiness
  • Ready students to serve
  • Equip SBU to excel

The plan’s goals form the acronym care, the hallmark of SBU’s mission as a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders for a global society. Each goal is tied to action steps and measurable outcomes for each of the major university division including academics, athletics, enrollment, student life, retention, and human resources.

The strategic plan and its goals are tied to a new vision statement, focusing on the university’s 150th anniversary: “By its sesquicentennial in 2028, Southwest Baptist University will be a regional institution of choice, known for its transformational student outcomes, excellent return on financial investment, and its vibrant campus culture.”

“The strategic plan adopted by the Board of Trustees is both ambitious and appropriate for SBU at this moment,” said Dr. Eddie Bumpers, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Relatively few institutions can claim 146 years of history and influence and I’m proud of the steps we have taken to ensure that SBU is thriving at its 150th birthday and beyond.”

Additionally, the university announced the launch of the President’s Associates initiative to recognize contributors who give at least $1000 annually. Gifts to the university’s Annual Fund will be credited toward membership in the President’s Associates. More information on how to give to SBU can be found here.