How Well Does Your College Serve Its Students?
If a college is to continually move closer to the Vision (produce students who will thrive in the outside world), many factors need to be addressed and monitored. They include the following:
1. The College’s Vision, Mission and Value Statements should accurately represent the core values of the college. These statements should then be used to guide all critical decisions and actions associated with the college.
2. College Leaders, Faculty, Staff Members and All Employees should be expected to fully support the college’s Vision, Mission and Values.
3. The College’s Reward Systems should be tied directly to the Vision, Mission and Value Statements. All college leaders, faculty, staff members and employees should be held accountable for their performance and be rewarded and recognized based on their success in achieving and supporting the college’s vision. Performance, Innovation and Changes that move the college closer to its Vision must be consistently recognized and rewarded.
4. Alumni can support their college and the Vision a variety of ways. Not all graduates can contribute financially. However, all alumni can help current students by coaching, mentoring, guiding, tutoring, inspiring and hiring them or helping them find jobs.
5. College Trustees should support the college’s Vision, Mission and Value Statements by making decisions and acting in ways that enable the college to continually move toward the fulfillment of the Vision. To do this effectively, they must be visible, active and heard.
6. Performance Assessment Instruments should be used to evaluate how well each person’s performance matches up with their job requirements and the college’s Vision, Mission and Values. Everyone must be held accountable for their efforts to support the Vision.
7. College Leaders should:
a. Demonstrate the Courage, Desire, Capability and Determination to achieve the Vision.
b. Set The Example for others to follow.
c. Immediately deal with employee Behavior That Discourages, Punishes or Prevents other members of the college community from supporting the Vision.
d. Establish, encourage and lead Events and Traditions that support the college’s Vision, Mission and Values.
8. Tenure should only be granted to Professors who consistently achieve results that confirm that they are in sync with the college’s Vision, Mission and Values and are acting in the best interests of the college and its students.
9. Employment Requirements for all employment candidates (top to bottom) must include past examples of their performance and commitment to the principles described in the college’s Vision, Mission and Value Statements. College leaders will actively seek Professors, Instructors and Adjuncts who take a genuine interest in the success of their students and take pride in their ability to transfer information to students in a variety of interesting, innovative, inspiring and effective ways.
10. Union Contracts must be carefully negotiated so as not to include provisions that infringe on or restrict the college’s Vision, Mission and Values. College leaders should not agree to anything that limits the college’s ability to pursue and achieve the Vision, Mission and Values or negatively impacts the colleges ability to produce the largest number of students who can thrive in the outside world.
11. Student Organizations of all types (Sororities, Fraternities, Clubs, Teams and Groups, etc.) should be expected to respect, support and work toward the college’s Vision, Mission and Values.
12. Operating Procedures and Processes include instructions, statements and methods that make it easy for everyone in the college community to work toward the Vision, Mission and Values of the college.
13. The Personal Priorities and Goals of College Leaders, Professors, Instructors, Adjuncts, Staff Members, Employees and Students that contradict or interfere with the college’s Vision, Mission and Values should be addressed, prevented, stopped or discouraged and not rewarded or encouraged.
14. Successes That Support The Vision should be publicized and celebrated to recognize, reward and encourage behaviors that move the college closer to the Vision.
15. Adequate and Appropriate Resources should be provided so as to enable the Vision to be actively pursued by members of the college community.
The factors described above must be addressed by college leaders who hope to give their students a brighter future. In fact, colleges that disregard these factors, only address a few of them or choose to maintain the status quo are destined to see a very different future. That future includes gradual institutional stagnation, loss of quality in all areas and students who are neglected and shortchanged.