Helping shape SOU's future

Southern Oregon University alumni and interested community members are being asked to share their thoughts as the region's university develops a plan for how it should position itself to meet Southern Oregon's future needs.

Students, graduates, employees and community members with an interest in the university are being invited to participate in a "strengths-weaknessness-opportunities-threats" (SWOT) analysis of SOU's. Those who would like to help with the process can participate in a brief online survey at www2.sou.edu/strategic-planning/feedback/.

The strategic planning process began in January, when seven groups of faculty and staff were asked to separately examine issues that may affect SOU's future — from optimum learning spaces to preparing students for jobs of the future to the economics of higher education. Each of the seven groups presented findings at an exposition earlier this month, and papers explaining their conclusions are available online (www2.sou.edu/strategic-planning/professional-learning-communities/).

The planning process, which is intended to be collaborative and transparent, will continue through the fall. The university is expected to adopt its new strategic plan and begin implementing its recommendations early next year. It should help the university position itself to meet Southern Oregon's future needs.

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