Murray State University's 13th President Dr. Bob Davies visits the WKMS studios for the first of a series of monthly conversations on the state of the university.
Davies spoke with Chad Lampe on his impressions of MSU after the first month in office, his initial discussions with the Board of Regents, his administration's big picture plans for improving the academic process as well as how changes to The Clery Act will affect faculty and students.
Davies has said that one of his most significant actions during the first six months of his presidency will be assembling a strategic plan for improving the university. He says that he's already begun to formulate that plan drawing inspirations from the three stars on MSU's shield.
"Dr. Rainey Wells set up the institution with three pillars of thought and those were Achievement, Endeavor and Hope," said Davies. "Those are the pillars that Murray State has had for 92 years and we need to translate those into our thoughts and actions as we move forward."
Davies says there are four key questions that he says needed to be addressed in the strategic planning process.
"We are an academic institution, so first we need to be thinking about how do we maintain our premier academic culture and reputation of quality?," said Davies. "At that same time, student success: how do we make sure that when we admit a student to Murray State University we provide them a pathway to succeed? Be it at graduation, higher learning and knowledge, whatever goals that they have both curricular and co-curricular, we provide them that pathway to succeed.
"Also, it's important that we further the depth and breadth of knowledge through our research, scholarship and creative activities that builds into student success and academic quality. But we need to be thinking about how do we infuse student research with faculty research? How do we ensure that we continue to have creative pursuits that advance our cultural and civic missions as well?
"And finally, how do we continue to intertwine ourselves with the community that we serve? We are a regional university; we are here to partner with the region on many different fronts: economically, civically, culturally, educationally. How do we ensure that we are always intertwined with those efforts?"
Davies says he wants to establish a task force in the coming months made up of university leadership, faculty, students and community members to ensure that the strategic plan is carried out with discussion and input given on a periodic basis.