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New vision statements focuses on ‘common good’

Graphic Illustration

Ally Spease
Graphic Illustration

The President’s Strategic Planning Cabinet changed the vision statement from “Changing Lives since 1863” to “Changing Lives for the Common Good” during the spring 2014 semester as part of the Strategic Plan Development for 2015-2025.

“That is a driving force in terms of what we’re doing with the bigger picture – the Strategic Plan,” said DeWayne Backhus, executive director of Strategic Planning. “Within the Strategic Plan, ‘Changing Lives for the Common Good’ is the vision statement for the Strategic Plan.”

The Strategic Planning Update released May 12, 2014 by the Office of the President defined “the common good” as “attentive to the interests and well-being of others.”

“By ‘common good,’ we’re thinking in terms of communities out there being better for what those who go through the educational process are able to attain,” Backhus said. “The ‘common good’ thinks of the interest of others in addition to one’s personal benefits.”

The new vision statement was part of the Strategic Plan revision. The Strategic Plan was redrafted for a couple of reasons, according to The Strategic Plan Background Document draft. One reason listed is the upcoming completion of a 10-year accreditation cycle. 

“In addition, the new University leadership (President Michael Shonrock and Provost David Cordle) combined with Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) expectations were the complementing circumstance prompting the current strategic planning process,” the document also states.

The Strategic Planning Timeline draft said the plan won’t be officially implemented until fall of 2015. However, approval of the continuation of work on the Strategic Plan by the Kansas Board of Regents in June allowed the new vision statement to be used by ESU. 

“I think the new vision statement is great,” said Tyler Huddleston, Associated Student Government president and junior communication and Spanish major. “As a student, I believe that it is important that students have 

experiences in college that further their belief in helping the community. The new vision statement will tell prospective and current students an idea of what Emporia State University is about – fostering vibrant communities and exercising adaptive leadership for the common good.”

The university begsn using “Changing Lives for the Common Good” on some of its printed material after KBOR approve the progress on the plan, Backhus said, though it might not end up in all departments’ printed goods.

“One would hope that it becomes something that persons who receives communications from Emporia State University would associate with Emporia State University,” Backhus said. “Just as everything doesn’t show up through departments, I can’t answer that. But would I expect the university will have that fingerprint on it.”

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