Photo courtesy of Dr. James Hurley
On April 8, 2021 Tarleton State University held the Strategic Plan Launch Event. This event was held in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium, and it explained and cemented the plan that will be followed over the next decade to bring Tarleton to its full potential.
The event saw remarks from many including Dr. Credence Baker Tarleton’s Strategic Planning Council Chair, Tarleton President Dr. James Hurley and the keynote speaker Dr. Belle Wheelan the president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Also, on the itinerary, was a panel discussion including Dr. Kevin David of Campus Works Ink., Cahlen Cheatham our Student Body President, Dr. Kim McCuistion the Vice President of External Operations and Dean of Tarleton Fort Worth, Dr. Sarah Maben Assistant Professor of Communications Studies and Darrell Brown the Executive Director of Student Affairs Outreach and Dr. Baker.
Dr. Baker opened the event highlighting and thanking the many people who took part in creating this 10-year plan. He was proud to say that Dr. Hurley’s encouragement showed in the final strategic plan.
“I can tell you that Dr. Hurley has been deeply supportive of this planning process. He charged me from the beginning to make sure [the plan] was inclusive, comprehensive and collaborative and he’s been incredibly engaged without being intrusive. He seriously wants this to be a plan we can all get behind,” Dr. Baker said.
The Tarleton Forward 2030 plan is extremely beneficial to the future development of the university as a whole, as well as everyone involved.
Tarleton Forward 2030 consists of five goals to be met over the course of the next 10 years. Those goals being: Student opportunity and success; academic distinction; diversity, equity and inclusion; research, innovation and economic impact and instructional prominence. Dr. Hurley explained that the plan is set up for Tarleton to monitor and improve as the university moves forward.
“[Tarleton Forward 2030] charts our course for the next 10 years and beyond, positioning Tarleton as the premier comprehensive regional university in the nation. [The Strategic Plan] lays the foundation for performance measurement, allowing us to monitor progress and make adjustments along our journey,” Dr. Hurley said.
During the panel discussion, Dr. David asked the participants about the ins and outs of being part of this strategic planning team and their favorite parts of the Tarleton Forward 2030 plan. During the panel discussion, the decision to reduce our six core values down to three, excellence, integrity and respect.
Cheatham expressed that he was excited to see that we were making progress as a university and trying something new but was also happy that the old core values can still be found in the new mission and vision in the plan.
“I know each and every Tarleton Texan had a role and opportunity to be involved in this strategic planning process, and I am very grateful that these values were the ones we chose to put forth. Getting to see us focus on quality over quantity. And with the value statements, I really appreciated seeing the old values included because it’s important to focus on our history and past but also to focus on our future and promoting progress,” Cheatham said.
After the event was over, Ally Johnson, the student body representative for the strategic planning team expressed how exciting it was to work with a team that was so open to different perspectives. Johnson looks forward to seeing what can continue to improve on Tarleton’s main campus and all of the outreach campuses as well.
“It was so cool [working with the strategic planning team] because I got to see different perspectives. The faculty perspective, the staff perspective and the President’s perspective. Dr. Hurley came in and just encouraged us and allowed students to have a voice. That’s how we grow. Continuing to move towards progress and getting those different perspective,” Johnson said.
The event came at a time of uncertainty for many students, faculty and staff. With COVID-19 still prevalent in our daily lives and Tarleton’s status moving to Division 1, there is a lot of grey areas that need to be discussed.
Dr. Hurley, has found confidence through the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community that we’ll be able to successfully progress The Strategic Plan.
“What gives me the confidence, is the students, faculty, staff, our alumni and community. In 122 years, Tarleton has overcome so much to get to this point today. We started off as a small agricultural founded institution, that became a junior college, then a four-year university, and now a doctoral granting institution,” Dr. Hurley said. “All of us educational leaders and the students too just want to leave Tarleton better than we found it and pave a smoother path for those who come after.”
On the website, you can view the new Tarleton Forward 2030 video and the completed plan for everyone to read. If you’d like to watch the full panel event, and stay up to date as time passes, you can go to the @TarletonStateUniversity page on Facebook.
If you’d like to stay informed on the progression of the Tarleton Forward 2030 plan, you can go to web.tarleton.edu/tarletonforward/.