Iowa State University: Office of the President

The Strategic Plan for 1995-2000

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Iowa State's aspiration

Iowa State University aspires to become the premier land-grant university in the nation.

This aspiration was set forth in the first strategic plan for Iowa State that guided the university's development from 1990 to 1995. It continues to be our aspiration. The people of Iowa expect Iowa State University to be the premier land-grant university, and Iowa State intends to fulfill that expectation. Aiming to be less than the best is unacceptable.

The premier land-grant university enthusiastically embraces the special character and orientation of the land-grant universities and, thus, most effectively fulfills its mission and responsibilities. With a tripartite mission - teaching, basic and applied research, and outreach - the premier land-grant university achieves the optimum balance of efforts and overall performance in these three areas. For Iowa State University to be the premier land-grant university in the nation, it first must be superior in fulfilling its mission for the state of Iowa.

Aspiring to be the premier land-grant university in the nation also implies that we strive for excellence that is measured by national standards. We acknowledge our need to improve and change what we do and how we do it. We need to better serve those who have been underserved. We need to work in collaboration with others and expand partnerships with other educational institutions, government, and the private sector, building upon each others' strengths and focusing on what each can do best.

Publicly stating this aspiration expresses our willingness, desire, and commitment to stretch ourselves in our effort to become the premier land-grant university. Continuously improving what we, as individuals and as a university community, do and how we do it is as important as achieving the end result of being recognized as the premier land-grant university in the nation. It is the journey that is more critical than the destination during the next five years.

There is no single measure by which we can track our progress toward, or final achievement of, the goal of being the premier land-grant university. Instead, there are multiple indicators that we can examine over time to ensure that we are making progress and are continuing to improve. We will recruit and retain the highest quality of students, faculty, and staff, and increasingly our first offers to students, faculty, and staff will be accepted. We will identify and develop the potential of all students, faculty, and staff. Our students, faculty, and staff will reflect the diversity present in society. A key indicator is the extent to which others in the national educational community look to Iowa State as a model of excellence to be emulated by other land- grant universities.

The achievements of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be evident through increased national and international recognition, awards, and honors. Our graduates and their employers will be increasingly satisfied with the education Iowa State provides. National ratings of our undergraduate and graduate programs will continue to grow. External funding for research will increase further, and we will rank even higher among the leading public universities in private fund raising. Public and private agencies and organizations and businesses will turn first to Iowa State in seeking assistance with their efforts and problems.

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