Draft Strategic Plan


High Aspirations, High Expectations

In moving forward into the next decade, California State University, Stanislaus commits itself to an ambitious program: sustaining the qualities that have served us so well, while adapting to current challenges and preparing ourselves to grasp new opportunities. This Strategic Plan, Framing the Future, capitalizes on the development over the past decade of the University Mission and the Vision and Values statement, documents created through extensive intramural collaboration. This Strategic Plan frames our future in three key initiatives:

  1. Create a world-class center for intellectual and academic pursuits
  2. Develop a University known for student access and academic achievement
  3. Build with the region

The Plan concludes with an overview of the processes used to develop it. This Plan depends upon faculty creativity, development and innovation to create and continue to deliver high quality academic programs. The University will create a university culture that takes pride in the intellectual achievement and pedagogy of our faculty by investing in the professoriate and supporting the development and continuous improvement of individual faculty members. The Plan supports the recruitment and retention of a high-quality, diverse professoriate, while allowing for entrepreneurial initiative in research, scholarship, and creative activities and in developing academic programs. The Plan provides for the necessary infrastructure - informational, technological, human, and material - to enable that support.

The University's organizational structures should reflect its high level of expectations for effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, accountability, and quality. As California State University, Stanislaus becomes increasingly larger and more complex, greater autonomy for decision making and innovation at the college level is imperative. Organizational effectiveness is also realized in the quality of its staff and their commitment to the highest level of delivery of services to students and faculty. Investment in its human resources, particularly in the professional growth and achievement of staff, is essential to achieve excellence of operations and to fulfill the University's mission as a learning organization.

Providing high quality academic programs for a diverse student body is central to planning for the future development of CSU Stanislaus. This Plan identifies programmatic initiatives consonant with the University's mission, gives a framework and direction to colleges for program development during the next decade, and establishes criteria for investing in its current programs.

These academic priorities honor the University's traditional core commitment to liberal arts, complemented by professional programs in service to the region - at the undergraduate and graduate levels - while simultaneously employing an entrepreneurial and technological approach to program development. The vision of California State University, Stanislaus as a regional comprehensive university recognizes the importance of developing academic programs that affect the future of the Central Valley of California.

Underlying its commitment to demonstrating the highest level of academic quality, the University will continue to seek accreditation and reaccreditation by national professional accrediting agencies. Further, the establishment of academic priorities recognizes the University as a learning organization, one that is dynamic and responsive to its internal and external environment.

The University is committed to serving a growing freshman class, continuing to serve transfer students, and expanding service to out-of-state and international students. In recognition of student demographics, the percentage of college eligible students in the region and a large percentage of first generation students, the University will create partnerships with schools and provide services designed to encourage college preparation and facilitate college entrance.

The University prides itself on a comprehensive and integrated approach to providing high quality support services for student success. While we will continue our commitment for strong support for retention programs across campus, we will direct renewed energy to raising the overall level of academic engagement in key student support programs.

Building on our commitment to academic achievement, we will continue to develop a campus infrastructure that anticipates and facilitates the intellectual growth and service delivery needs of students, faculty and staff. Infrastructure also under-girds more intangible conditions on campus, such as an aesthetically pleasing environment and a vigorous student-life presence that enhances learning. We are committed to ensuring that campus culture continues to support a nurturing, learning-oriented environment. Campus grounds will be identifiable as a distinguishing feature for the City of Turlock and the Central Valley. As California State University, Stanislaus becomes synonymous with quality education at an outstanding value, we will vivify our relations with the communities of Turlock as we build our University with our home town.

We are the preeminent educational value in the Central Valley. Let us frame our future.

Strategic Priorities and Actions


1.1 Strategic Action: Enhance the recruitment of a diverse and engaged professoriate through increased and sufficient pay, benefits, and support.

Results: reduced workload first year for new faculty hires; entry pay consistently at median for comparable size/situation; enhanced reputation as a vibrant place to work and live.

Effectiveness Indicators: faculty demographics; retention rates at mid-career; publication index; student surveys; faculty survey.

1.2 Strategic Action: Retain quality faculty members.

Results: implemented workload agreement; regularized individual workloads of faculty members throughout each college; mentored research, scholarship and creative activity and supported research agendae; provided seed funding for extramural support; increased faculty salary through ranks; elaborated clearly department and college expectations; publicized achievements; mentored part-time faculty; increased support for faculty development; increased opportunities for participation of lecturers and other contingent faculty.

Effectiveness Indicators: faculty demographics; time to promotion median; scholarship and creative activity; publications; student surveys.

1.3 Strategic Action: Reward senior faculty for leadership, service, and achievements.

Effectiveness Indicators: faculty demographics; scholarship and creative activity; publications; student surveys; community surveys.

1.4 Strategic Action: Support the professional development, growth, and achievement of the University's staff.

Results: enhanced staff productivity and efficiency; increased staff opportunities to enhance skills in their current position responsibilities, for advancement, and to acquire additional education.

Effectiveness Indicators: funding levels for staff development; staff participation rates in on-campus and external staff development; staff educational attainment; staff demographics, staff surveys.

1.5 Strategic Action: Provide accessible, comprehensive library and research services for students, faculty and staff.

Results: increased comprehensive and accessible learning resources (both human and material) in the library to facilitate high quality scholarship; increased support for grant and research opportunities for the colleges.

Effectiveness Indicators: library unit review process; faculty satisfaction survey; graduating seniors' survey; size and scope of the library collection; library user survey; grant productivity measures.

1.6 Strategic Action: Provide appropriate campus technology services to all members of the campus community, while maintaining the primacy of technological support for academic programs.

Results: agile, robust, and ubiquitous technological services; improved service delivery through accessibility and expanded communication; improved student access to campus information and appropriate technology tools.

Effectiveness Indicators: faculty survey; student satisfaction survey; graduating seniors' survey; technological support measures; technology assessment through support unit review process.

1.7 Strategic Action: Increase organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Results: restructured and streamlined governance structures (committees, functions, membership, and timeline) that maintain focus on academic mission; increased governance and curricular processing at college level and decreased processing at university level; accelerated curricular approving processes; increased integrity of institutional research and data systems; increased efficiency of operations while maintaining quality and quality assurances through process mapping; issues delineated appropriate to faculty and administration; coordinated decision making.

Effectiveness Indicators: evidence-based decision making; faculty and staff satisfaction survey; implementation of strategic plan.


2.1 Strategic Action: Continue tradition of engagement to maintain high retention and persistence of diverse students from admission to graduation.

Results: increased student-faculty engagement through informal contact; research at the undergraduate and graduate level; service learning opportunities; meaningful co-curricular programming,; student participation in professional societies and activities, and campus celebration of scholarly achievement; enhanced scholarships and financial aid to attract high achieving students to the campus and to ensure continued access for students of promise.

Effectiveness Indicators: student satisfaction survey; program specific retention studies; scholarship funding levels; student research productivity; student participation levels in programs.

2.2 Strategic Action: Establish a moderated growth plan of 3% per year to achieve a maximum headcount of 10,000.

Results: moderated growth of 3% per year (average), maintaining 75/25% undergraduate/graduate student headcount percentages; increased number of transfer students from Delta, Modesto, Merced, and Columbia Colleges; increased percentage of regional high school students who go to college and select California State University Stanislaus; increased number of international students who attend CSU Stanislaus.

Effectiveness Indicators: enrollment numbers and percentage of freshmen, transfer, graduate and international students annually against targeted growth rates; Stockton enrollments; distance education enrollments; percentage of regional high school graduates attending college and selecting California State University Stanislaus.

2.3 Strategic Action: Implement an enrollment management plan to increase admission, retention, and progress to degree in graduate programs.

Results: increased enrollments in selected graduate programs to meet student, educational and professional demand for qualified graduate students; developed new programs in response to local needs; streamlined admission process for graduate students.

Effectiveness Indicators: application yield, enrollments, and percentage of graduate to undergraduate students; retention and mean time to degree data; academic program review.

2.4 Strategic Action: Ensure a comprehensive and accurate student advising program to articulate clear degree pathways and emphasize student accountability.

Results: implemented efficient and easily-understood advising processes, including new student orientation; degree audits available on-line; clear and accurate advising, accessible through multiple media; increased student activity and accountability in evaluating their academic progress, managing their academic portfolios, and abiding by University regulations.

Effectiveness Indicators: student satisfaction surveys; retention and graduation data; graduation rates and time to degree.

2.5 Strategic Action: Support innovative curricular and co-curricular opportunities to instill in students the pride of scholarship.

Results: sustained retention and increased persistence rates, consistent with student goals; increased availability of learning communities and learning support programs that support our student body.

Effectiveness Indicators: retention of students and graduation rates against targets and in comparison with peer institutions; evaluate outcome achievements in organized learning communities.

2.6 Strategic Action: Emphasize internships, workshops, and career skills development to provide strong preparation for career success after graduation.

Results: increased opportunities for students to explore career opportunities; career options and opportunities linked to majors; increased placement rates in chosen field; enhanced professional perception of CSU Stanislaus students as highly competitive and successful professionals.

Effectiveness Indicators: graduating seniors' survey; employer survey; alumni survey; placement rates.

2.7 Strategic Action: Evaluate the effectiveness of the general education program.

Results: appointed a faculty director to provide leadership for development and assessment of the general education program; assessed the design and delivery of the general education program; assessed student achievement of general education learning goals; streamlined general education course offerings and schedules.

Effectiveness Indicators: a coherent, quality general education program that prepares students for academic challenges and lifelong learning, evidence of having achieved stated student general education learning outcomes.

2.8 Strategic Action: Develop a refined cost/benefit analysis and a budgetary process for the academic programs.

Results: developed allocation process for investing in current and new programs based on quality indicators resulting from the academic program review process, as well as explicit data elements (e.g., FTES, SFR, class sizes, frequency of course offerings, faculty deployment, projected student demand); increased support for current programs as justified by academic quality, data elements, budget, and assessment of student learning outcomes and program goals.

Effectiveness Indicators: enrollment data (Turlock, Stockton, Merced); student, alumni, and faculty surveys; alignment of the mission with regional needs and student demand; new and current program offerings; decisions consistent with core academic mission.

2.9 Strategic Action: Invest in the development of new programs that demonstrate the greatest centrality to the University's mission and offer these at the highest quality of academic rigor and expectations for student learning.

Results: increased number of new programs within these broad categories of priority, with specific program development emanating from the colleges: physical and natural sciences, particularly in agricultural and food sciences and environmental conservation and sustainability; human and health sciences (e.g., nursing, social work, speech pathology); media studies (e.g., film and television), and education (e.g., independent doctorate in educational leadership).

Effectiveness Indicators: enrollment data and program quality and vitality through academic program review, external evaluation, and disciplinary accreditation (as appropriate); student learning outcomes.

2.10 Strategic Action: Redesign the delivery model for post-baccalaureate education programs.

Results: challenged aggressively the dominance of private universities with external degree programs in the region through recruitment and marketing; delivery of teacher education and advanced credential programs in compressed time periods, including weekends; increased internships programs; increased number of degree completion programs targeted to working adults; increased number of academic certificate programs for career advancement.

Effectiveness Indicators: enrollments in post-baccalaureate credential and certificate programs; NCATE accreditation.

2.11 Strategic Action: Design selected programs to employ technological, asynchronous delivery via on-line instruction.

Results: delivered selected full degree programs (e.g., Executive MBA) through on-line instruction, giving priority to programs that are entrepreneurial and provide increased access to new populations of students.

Effectiveness Indicators: number of on-line programs; student enrollments; cost of program delivery; academic program review.


3.1 Strategic Action: Expand partnerships and influence for recruitment and access.

Results: increased high school program partnerships; increased student preparation for college entry; increased use of national and international exchange programs to attract students; increased international student enrollments and exchange agreements; better and increased use of the University web process for recruitment.

Effectiveness Indicators: application yield and percentage of students in partnership programs; percentage of students requiring remediation at entrance; web users survey; percentage of students eligible for CSU in six-county area.

3.2 Strategic Action: Enhance our stature nationally, within the CSU system, and the San Joaquin Valley region.

Results: implemented a public relations plan that increased public recognition of excellence of CSU Stanislaus; increased CSU Stanislaus profile; updated website and print media; achieved reaccreditation by WASC and disciplinary accrediting agencies.

Effectiveness Indicators: WASC reaccreditation; disciplinary reaccreditation; Princeton Review listing; US News and World Report listing; CSU Accountability Report; Chancellor's office reports.

3.3 Strategic Action: Increase local visibility

Results: positioned the university as the "reliable intellectual resource" for media, especially throughout Stanislaus County; enhanced highway signage and "faces" of university (Geer, Christofferson, Monte Vista); enhanced relationships to federal departments; increased outreach to community colleges; increased use of radio, television, and student newspaper.

Effectiveness Indicators: media coverage; use of location as picturesque background; survey of employers, superintendents, and community college presidents.

3.4 Strategic Action: Build with the City of Turlock

Results: created a Turlock downtown office and delivery site for extended education and degree programs; developed Turlock Chamber of Commerce/University co-reliance; vitalized North Turlock business and development; increased number of Turlock High Schools students attending CSU Stanislaus.

Effectiveness Indicators: foot traffic in University business area; Turlock High School graduation index; extended education programs and enrollments; faculty and staff participation in city organizations.

3.5 Strategic Action: Maintain an aesthetically pleasing campus environment that supports opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage.

Results: enhanced campus climate and usability of grounds through campus master planning activities; increased opportunities for students to use campus facilities and grounds for informal and formal activities; increased perception of campus as a cultural and intellectual center.

Effectiveness Indicators: student satisfaction survey; facilities use and assessment through support unit review process; completion of campus master planning; community surveys.

3.6 Strategic Action: Create a vibrant campus student life culture through increased, high-quality residential living opportunities.

Results: increased campus residential population through the construction of a variety of new student housing units; enhanced the student experience by facilitating a wholesome campus life; improved food service, recreation and activities, safety service, and appropriate administrative service hours.Effectiveness Indicators: student satisfaction survey; Housing, Food Service and other support assessment through support unit review process; occupancy reports for housing; campus crime statistics; alcohol and other benchmarking surveys related to student behavior and health.