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Student success at the heart of Georgia Southern five-year plan

After a yearlong effort, with multi-stakeholder collaboration across three campuses and various communities, Georgia Southern University has fully implemented a new strategic plan focusing on impact and culture. The plan articulates the university’s mission and vision, defines its core values, and establishes clear, measurable goals to meet its objectives.

Officials are embedding the plan into everyday Georgia Southern operations by tying it to university priorities, budgeting, leadership scorecards, personnel evaluations and even meeting agendas. 

The Strategic Plan for 2019-2024 centers around five main pillars: student success; teaching and research; inclusive excellence; operational efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability; and community engagement. 

Included in this plan is a new vision statement for the institution: “People. Purpose. Action: Growing ourselves to grow others!” The statement calls for investment in the university’s people – its faculty and staff – to create a culture where each employee is focused on performance excellence and understands the critical role they play in achieving the goals set forth in this plan – all to have the greatest impact on Georgia Southern’s students and the communities it serves.  

“This is an exceptional time to be part of the Georgia Southern University community, as we collectively envision the future with optimism, passion and determination,” said Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero. “Our new Strategic Plan offers a bold, comprehensive road map designed to unite students, faculty, staff, alumni and community as one Eagle Nation as we work toward a shared set of goals and elevate our sense of common purpose.”

Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, the University Strategic Planning Committee met with and engaged members of the University community, both internal and external stakeholders, in the strategic planning process. The Strategic Plan aims to align academic programs with the talent and economic development needs of southeast Georgia.

“Student success is more than just the first ‘strategic pillar’ in the plan – it is the very foundation of our institution,”  Marrero said. “And one indicator of success is for students, post-graduation, to be able to find a job and live in southeast Georgia.”

Supporting high-quality instruction and research continues to be a major focus for the University, which has earned national accolades for many of its academic programs. Georgia Southern was recently designated as an “R2” high research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, placing it in the top 6% of institutions nationwide.

The plan also places an additional focus on expanding partnerships such as the existing collaboration with the Department of Defense, regional military installations and area businesses and industries.

In addition to its academic and research goals, the Strategic Plan strives to create an even more inclusive community, deepen the University’s impact across the region and create a culture of operational efficiency and effectiveness.

During the academic year, the University Strategic Planning Committee will continue its second year of work, monitoring and modifying plan elements while tracking progress in achieving the goals outlined in the plan.

“The real power of a strategic plan lies in its successful execution, so it is critical that we use key performance indicators to hold ourselves accountable and monitor goal attainment over the next five years,” added Marrero. “We invite our stakeholders to view our progress through the leadership team’s balanced scorecards posted on the Performance Excellence webpage.”

The plan is available online here. Printed copies of the plan are available for community members to pick up on days the University’s administrative offices are open, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at Bishop Alumni Center on the Statesboro Campus, the Alumni Center in Burnett Hall on the Armstrong Campus and the Liberty Campus. 

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Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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