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Probation Area 1.A: Mission

Task: As stated in the HLC action letter, Highlands must provide evidence that the institution has ameliorated the findings of non-compliance identified in this action that resulted in the imposition of Probation, Core Component 1.A:

  1. a broadly endorsed and formally approved mission statement including mission documents that guide University operations;

More information was provided in the HLC action letter:

The University meets Criterion One, Core Component 1.A, “the institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution,” but with concerns for the following reasons:

  • The newly formed mission statement has not been connected to the strategic plan and the budgeting process; although the new mission/student body application was approved on 2/29/16, nevertheless, as the visiting team pointed out and the IAC Hearing Committee agreed, the plan was not implemented; and
  • These issues expose problems in shared governance that the visiting team and the IAC Hearing Committee both found problematic. (This matter is also addressed in Core Component 5.C with respect to strategic planning and governance.)

Resolution: Highlands needs to accomplish four things to resolve Probation Area 1.A:

  1. Formally approve a mission statement.
  2. Create mission documents that guide University operations. Specifically, we will create a mission section of the website, mission handouts, mission videos, and integrate the mission into the unit strategic planning process, the staff evaluation process, and the annual budget process.
  3. Annually distribute mission documents.
  4. Monitor that these documents are guiding University operations.

Background: In January 2015, Highlands initiated the HU Vision 2020 process, designed to generate a new Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities. When the HLC visited campus in Fall 2015, the process was not yet completed. As a result, we lacked a formally approved mission statement and mission documents to guide University operations.

Concerns regarding mission were increased because Highlands has a history of producing a new mission but not following through on using that mission in university planning and strategic budgeting.

Overview of Status: By passing a new Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan through the Strategic Planning Group, the Administration, the Student Senate, the Staff Senate, the Faculty Senate, the General Faculty, and the Board of Regents (final approval February 26, 2016), we have finished the first part of this task. Since then, Highlands has produced a number of mission documents that guide University operations, including Unit Strategic Planning forms, evaluation forms for Staff linking their duties to the strategic plan, and a Budget Process dependent on the Mission, Vision, and Priorities. We have created a webpage dedicated to the mission and are have produced mission document handouts for Fall 2016. 

  Milestone Completion Responsibility Evidence
 ✓ Launch of HU 2020 Process January 28, 2015 VPAA-Provost Strategic Planning Timeline
 ✓ Community and Campus Forums on Vision, Mission, and Priorities January 2015-April 2015

VPAA-Provost

 

Strategic Planning Timeline
 ✓ Input and Approval from Highlands Governance Bodies on Proposed Mission (Staff Senate, Faculty Senate/General Faculty, Student Senate) April 2015-December 2015 Staff Senate, Faculty Senate/General Faculty, Student Senate Strategic Planning Timeline, General Faculty Minutes, Staff Senate Minutes, Student Senate Minutes, Student Senate Resolution #1, Survey of Students, Faculty, and Staff, Survey Part 2
 ✓ Approval from Board of Regents February 26, 2016 Board of Regents Board of Regents Minutes
 ✓ HLC Approval of Mission  May 16, 2016 Higher Learning Commission HLC Letter
 ✓ Creation of Mission Documents to Guide University Operations September 2016 VPAA-Provost, VPFA, Faculty Senate Final mission documents: About HU Webpage, Vision 2020 Webpage, Handouts, Posters, Business Cards, Integration of Mission into Faculty Handbook, Contingent Faculty Handbook, Catalog, Strategic Planning Process, Budget Process, Staff Evaluation Process
 ✓ Staff Evaluation Process Fall 2017 with Tie to Mission Documents September 15, 2016 HR Director Evaluation Forms
 ✓ Unit Strategic Planning Process Fall 2017 with Tie to Mission Documents October 2016 VPAA-Provost Unit Strategic Planning CallNMHU Strategic Planning Template, FY17 Unit Strategic Plans
 ✓ Budget Process FY 2018 with Tie to Mission Documents October 2016 VPFA Budget Process, Budget Process HandbookCall for Budget Requests, FY17 Budget Requests
 ✓ Distribution of Mission Handouts October 2016 University Relations Handouts, Posters, Business Cards
  Reports on Mission and Strategic Plan Accomplishments given to Board of Regents and Campus Community Spring 2017 VPs and Dean of Students 2016-2017 Mission Accomplishments
  Distribution of Mission Handouts and Videos August 2017 University Relations Mission Accomplished web page, Handouts, Posters, Business Cards
Strategic Planning Process Fall 2018 With Tie to Mission Documents Fall 2017 VPAA-Provost FY18 Unit Strategic Plan Call
Staff Evaluation Process Fall 2018 With Tie to Mission Documents Fall 2017 HR Director Evaluation Forms
Budget Process FY 2019 Fall 2017 VPFA FY18 Budget Process + Budget Process Call
Quarterly Reports on Mission and Strategic Plan Accomplishments given to Board of Regents and Campus Community Spring 2018 VPs and Dean of Students 2017-2018 Mission Report