State of the University 2010: PSU Celebrates Successes

March 10th, 2010 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Plymouth State University continues to advance even in a slow-moving economy and is making strides in meeting an ambitious five-year Strategic Plan, said President Sara Jayne Steen in her third annual State of the University address March 10. With a steadfast commitment to the University’s educational mission of scholarship, teaching, and service and a genuine interest in working through creative partnerships, PSU is making vital contributions to the well being of people in New Hampshire and around the world.

xSara Jayne Steen
PSU President Sara Jayne Steen delivers the State of the University address March 10

“While this may be a difficult time to strengthen financial resources, it also presents opportunities to reaffirm our commitments to our students and community. I am enormously proud of the way people on campus have collaborated on behalf of the University,” Steen said. “PSU has long worked to contain costs and operate efficiently, and the campus community strives to improve service, reduce energy consumption, and leverage technology and innovation.”

Steen highlighted a variety of significant achievements met in the past year by the University before an audience of faculty, staff, and students at the Silver Center for the Arts. Steen said PSU delivers a first-class education for all of its more than 7000 undergraduate and graduate students.

• PSU students continue to be recognized nationally for their service learning and community volunteer efforts, graduation rates have increased and more classes are being offered to accommodate students’ lives and schedules.

• PSU has created the White Mountains Institute, which celebrates the storied heritage of the White Mountains and creates a premier center for research and coursework, taking advantage of the spectacular living and learning laboratory surrounding this rural campus and connecting it with programs in environmental studies, tourism management, natural resources, historic preservation, meteorology, arts and culture, and more. One very popular feature is a Museum, a center of excellence dedicated to the study and appreciation of the White Mountains. The Museum recently received a large personal collection of rare White Mountains artifacts, books, art, and valuable glass-plate photographs.

• The ALLWell Center (for Active Living, Learning, and Wellness) continues to make progress. The first phase of the ALLWell project, a new welcome center and ice arena, will open this summer with special celebration events for students, alumni, employees, and the community scheduled through December. The facility, located at Exit 25 of I-93, will be integrated with local communities; the welcome center invites visitors to the University and also to Holderness and Plymouth, the gateways to the Lakes Region and the North Country.

• New academic programs respond to regional needs and reach new audiences. PSU is now well into the first year of doctoral study in Learning, Leadership, and Community. The academic affairs division is organizing into colleges to better reflect the campus growth and also successfully has formed the College of Business Administration. PSU has contracted with ELS Language Centers to offer 12 levels of English as a Second Language to international students who come from across the globe to study in an intensive program with state of the art facilities.

• The University’s Five Year Strategic Plan is now at its midway point. The goal was to make PSU stronger and even more distinctive as a regional comprehensive university. The plan is innovative and ambitious and divided into five sections: Excellence and Quality, the overarching principles; Student Success, PSU’s most important task; Faculty and Staff, support for the people who devote their lives to this mission; Partnerships and Engagement, a recognition that PSU is an engaged university of place, integrated within the region and the world; and Physical, Technological, and Financial Resources, the foundation for all other achievements. The Strategic Plan is used as a guide, and a Planning and Budgeting Leadership Group was established to help align the plan with the budget to assure that all goals and objectives are accomplished.

“PSU is moving forward with such energy on our Strategic Plan because people at PSU are entrepreneurial and committed, and in spite of financial uncertainties and an economy that is slow to recover,” Steen said. “PSU has much still to accomplish, and in deciding what to fund and not to fund as we move forward, we will remain focused on our plan: we cannot stop investing in good ideas and in the future.”

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu