Pathways for success - 2015-2020

(Adopted by  the Board of Trustees, April 2015)

Then the Lord replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." - Habakkuk 2:2-3

Mission of the university

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 1997)

Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.

vision statement

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 2003)

Southwest Baptist University fulfills its mission with specific care to guard its Christian distinctive and Baptist heritage as it demonstrates continuous improvement; enlarges its ministry through consistent growth in student enrollment, retention, and ethnic and racial diversity; markets the institution and its mission regionally and nationally; fosters an environment of open communication and service to others; and cares for employees through competitive compensation and benefits packages. 

strategic plan, 2015-2020

Strategic Planning is a disciplined process by which SBU seeks to create a future environment through informed decisions and actions. The process includes a university-wide review of pertinent data and the examination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Within that context, SBU has identified seven initiatives that will be used to guide, shape and transform the future of the University. Goals, objectives and strategies will be established based on the seven initiatives. SBU will utilize this planning process to ensure good stewardship of resources investing in human, technological and physical resources.

i. place students first - Luke 2:52

SBU will focus on helping each student achieve their unique educational objectives. Students will be engaged through a holistic approach to learning, acknowledging the importance of intellectual growth with opportunities to develop social, cultural, physical and spiritual maturity.

  1. Create a system of personal, academic and career advising that instills a genuine feeling of investment with each student. 
  2. Create a comprehensive integrated plan for serving students that is effective, user friendly, nurturing and affirming, establishing a university-wide culture of service.
  3. Establish a systematic plan to further develop and publicize programs and events engaging students to grow intellectually, socially, culturally, physically and spiritually.
  4. Create a culture of kindness, service and justice including equipping students related to sexual violence awareness, prevention and reporting.

ii. commitment to employee well-being - ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Recognizing that people are most fulfilled when they are making a difference in the lives of others, SBU will focus on employee value, growth and development in all aspects of the employee’s university experience.

  1. Provide appropriate compensation and benefits for employees. 
  2. Educate employees to become more effective managers and leaders of the university’s human resources. 
  3. Provide ongoing employee training programs that address the specific needs of the employee and department with the goal of improved satisfaction, efficiency and effectiveness. 
  4. Create a culture of kindness, service and justice including equipping employees related to sexual violence awareness, prevention and reporting.

iii. achieve enrollment goals - 2 corinthians 9:10-11

Recognizing that enrollment and retention are university-wide efforts, SBU will embrace opportunities aimed toward marketing the University to validate student decisions to enroll, persist and graduate.

  1. Develop and implement strategies to improve retention, persistence and graduation rates.
  2. Implement goals within each university work unit that impact enrollment. 
  3. Identify, target and recruit new student groups.
  4. Develop new curricula and co-curricular programs that appeal to today’s students and meet the demands for current and future career paths.
  5. Develop a strategic enrollment and marketing plan that promotes our visibility and maximizes our university resources.

iv. advance excellence in teaching and learning - proverbs 1:5

SBU will develop a culture devoted to teaching excellence by using best practices in pedagogy and instructional design, implementing effective assessment strategies, utilizing assessment results for continuous improvement and keeping student learning as our primary objective.

  1. Invest strategically in faculty and staff to improve academic programs and university services. 
  2. Develop a Center for Teaching and Learning to provide pedagogical resources for equipping faculty. 
  3. Implement and review a comprehensive plan for maximizing the use of assessment data to improve student learning and teaching effectiveness. 
  4. Institutionalize best practices and processes that resulted from participation in the Higher Learning Commission Assessment Academy to improve student learning.
  5. Continue the University’s commitment to Higher Learning Commission and discipline-specific accreditation.

v. integration of faith in all aspects of university life

SBU will set high standards for faith integration. In addition to the integration of faith in the academic disciplines, each area of the University will foster a Christ-centered culture.

  1. Describe a Christ-centered culture for each university work unit and develop a plan for achievement. 
  2. Identify and support professional programs that enhance SBU’s faith integration. 
  3. Support scholarship and research that encourage faith integration.

vi. enhanced visibility and reputation - joshua 3:5

SBU will highlight achievements, activities and awards of faculty, staff and students. The University will explore ways to demonstrate institutional pride, school spirit and our Baptist heritage.

  1. Communicate the distinctives and strengths of the SBU experience to internal and external constituents. 
  2. Create new and showcase existing tradition-building initiatives that promote SBU pride and school spirit while honoring our Baptist heritage. 
  3. Improve the physical presence to create a more inviting and environmentally conscious University.

vii. improve financial health - luke 14:28-29

SBU will utilize financial evaluations to develop strategies that maximize the stewardship of the University and increase resources. Data from peer institutions will be studied and used to develop strategies to improve the financial health of the University.

  1. Describe good stewardship for each university unit and develop a plan for achievement. 
  2. Evaluate the current list of peer institutions to determine if they are appropriate for financial comparisons. 
  3. Study key financial statistics from peer institutions and professional organizations such as NACUBO, CCCU, etc., to develop financial strategies.
  4. Develop external funding strategies for student scholarships, academic programs, academic chairs and co-curricular areas. 
  5. Development and implement plans to grow the endowment toward the NACUBO recommended level through fundraising, planned giving and SBU Investment Committee strategies.