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Stephen F. Austin State University

Strategic Planning

Message from the President

Stephen F. Austin is a university that truly transforms the lives of our students. Together we are helping Lumberjacks realize their aspirations and empowering them to achieve the success in life that they desire and deserve.

During the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, a team of 39 SFA faculty and staff members, representing a diversity of campus perspectives, worked diligently to formulate a strategic plan that anticipates the future and allows us to meet the needs of our students, our state and our nation. I appreciate the commitment and dedicated work of these team members, as they engaged with more than 2,100 stakeholders from both inside and outside the university, to obtain the data and insight necessary to inform the plan. The six themes that emerged from these data were used to develop a vision statement for the university. This vision statement serves as the foundation for the two over-arching and four operational goals that we will work toward during the next eight years.

The president's cabinet is working together as a team to facilitate the work of faculty, staff and student groups as they address strategies that will help us meet our goals. These working groups will develop action plans to ensure that our goals are met as swiftly and completely as possible.

It will become quickly evident to you that the goals are all interrelated. Therefore, the work in meeting them will be interrelated, ongoing and dynamic - strategies will not be static, but will be modified and added as the plan progresses. Also, keep in mind that some work toward these goals was already underway when strategic planning began. This plan will serve to support that continuing work.

This publication looks different than publications produced for previous strategic plans because this strategic plan is different. It is a working plan that will evolve to reflect current external and internal conditions and respond to the realities that we may encounter along the way. For a list of current strategies, visit the Operational Goals link in the left-hand menu and select any of the goals. Updates to the plan and our progress will be continuously available to the campus community and other interested stakeholders on this website. Details regarding other progress reports and campus-wide meetings also will be posted there.

It was not by accident that this strategic plan takes us to our century celebration in 2023. With teamwork and collaboration, this plan can help ensure that Stephen F. Austin State University continues to make an impact on higher education in Texas and the nation for another 100 years and beyond. I truly believe that the best is yet to come.


Signature of Dr. Pattillo

University Mission

Stephen F. Austin State University is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work, and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community.

In order to accomplish this mission, we will engage in strategic initiatives guided by our collective vision of what the preferred future of SFA should look like…

Vision Statement

An aspirational vision of the future to guide our work

[1] Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) will have a distinct and stellar reputation based on the transformational learning experiences we provide for all our students in an exceptional setting. We will not use the term "transformational" lightly. We will be deeply committed to providing high impact, experiential learning for all SFA students.

[2] Our students will be engaged and empowered. They will know that we care about them and that we have high expectations for their performance and success. Our students will graduate with the marketable skills and qualities necessary to be leaders in their respective fields. Employers will seek out our students because of a demonstrated reputation of a solid work ethic. Their moral compass will be strong and true.

[3] We will expand our reach and increase our enrollment, not merely for the sake of growth, but because we are committed to our responsibility to the people of Texas to prepare more citizens to lead our state into the future. By seeking and accepting diverse students with a strong potential for success and providing them the resources and experiences to capitalize on their promise, the percentage of SFA students graduating also will increase.

[4] We will achieve financial sustainability by meeting tough choices head-on and making smart decisions about the future of the university. We will diversify our revenue streams, allocate our resources strategically, increase our private funding, and achieve meaningful enrollment growth. We will invest in our people and achieve appropriate levels of compensation, reward, and recognition. Professional development for faculty and staff will be seen as an investment and not an expense because our people are the greatest asset we have.

[5] We will be an innovative university. We will reach our students where they are and prepare them for life-long learning and career responsiveness in the twenty-first century. We will use cutting-edge teaching techniques and advanced research methods both inside and outside the classroom. We will be a forward-thinking university that not only is responsive to the realities of higher education but also is a leader in academia. Technology will be appropriately and sensibly infused throughout the campus in our classrooms and operations. It will facilitate-not drive-how we teach and work together.

[6] Our campus culture will be open, collaborative, and engaged. We will have an energetic and respectful workplace where civility, inclusivity, and accountability are guiding principles for everyone. We will become well known for the high quality of our faculty and staff. People will feel valued as employees of the university and work hard to sustain the sense of community that distinguishes us. Communication will be robust, transparent, and trusted.

[7] Our brand and identity will be authentic, clear, and understood by all our stakeholders. People will know who we are, what we contribute to the local, regional, and state communities, and what matters to us as a university. We will be known as trusted partners. We will leverage the strengths of our stakeholders, including community colleges, businesses and industries, K-12 institutions, and government entities. These partnerships will enable us to provide a stellar learning experience for our students and contribute to the quality of life of everyone we touch.