Faculty, staff review Status to Stature initiative at one-year mark

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It has been over a year since Dixie State University’s Status to Stature Initiative was published, and goal leaders said, overall, DSU is on track to meet its benchmarks for 2020.

At the Strategic Plan Report Out Meeting April 17, goal leaders and their strategists had the chance to report to President Richard “Biff” Williams on the status of each goal and specific strategic paths.

Overall, leaders said the goals are on the right track, and they project continued success until 2020.

The first two goals, which focus on students and academics at DSU, are in good shape. Highlights include surpassed projections of 20 certificates and 60 emphases, five bachelor’s degree programs and the planning of seven new master’s programs. Also reported was, this fall, DSU will be offering its first, completely online program in nursing.

“I’m excited for all the new programs, and I’m excited that we’re ahead on a lot of them,” said Ali Threet, director of career services.

Threet also said online programs may boost retention rates and attract more non-traditional students to DSU.

The third goal’s focus, faculty and staff retention, was also reported to be in good standing with faculty being, for the most part, satisfied, said Goal Leader Paul Morris, vice president of administrative services.

Doajo Hicks, general counsel/chief diversity officer and goal leader, reported goal four, assessing diversity and equity progress, has met or surpassed all of its benchmarks except one: to have more female administrators on campus.

At the meeting Daneka Sourberbielle, director of the Multicultural Inclusion Center, reported 43 assessments done at Diesta, an event to connect the Hispanic community with DSU.

The assessments gauged the Hispanic community’s knowledge about DSU and its resources to better understand the needs of the community. These assessments will help DSU with community outreach in the future.

Another highlight is a Spanish version of the DSU website, which can be found at es.dixie.edu.

Goal leaders for goal five — strengthening community relationships — and goal six — strengthening the identity of DSU — said they have also been successful. Jordon Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer, said DSU’s rebranding project earned DSU the Utah Business “Sales and Marketer of The Year” award.

“This strategy of branding the university will never end,” Sharp said. “But we have made great strides and have much more planned for the future.”

There are still steps to be taken at DSU such as conducting climate surveys, gathering feedback, and building more specific strategies, such as a pathway to strengthening the athletic program under Athletic Director Jason Boothe.

“This past year we completed a robust strategic plan,” Boothe said. “We will be releasing that plan shortly, and you’ll then be able to see the exciting initiatives and growth we plan on achieving over the next five years.”

Overall, the Status to Stature strategic plan leaders and strategists said the initiative is on track, with very little setbacks occurring across the board. Strategists will create new goals once benchmarks are surpassed in order to encourage continued progress and motivation with each strategy and goal.

As reported by strategists at the Report Out Meeting, goal leaders don’t want to be “explosive” in their development, rather tedious and strategic as to ensure quality at DSU.