By TRUDI FISHER/Montana State News

Montana State University and its students are searching for the best long term plan to implement in order to improve college life here in Bozeman.

The school’s Planning Council released a draft of plans, called the “Strategic Plan”, Wednesday, Feb. 8, sharing its vision to grow the institution into an inspired community in “excellence in teaching, learning, discovery and civic responsibility.”

In the first goal, Integrating Learning, Discovery and Engagement, “MSU will help students, faculty and staff improve the world.” Each of the goals, which also include stewardship, access, and success, have an equally inspiring potential outcome, measured by certain years and hopeful percentages increased rates of job placement, retention, graduation, etc.

The plan intends to increase student service projects globally and locally, increase enrollment, keep the current 17-to-1 student faculty ratio, increase faculty pay to 80 percent of national averages, as opposed to the 72 to 78 percent it is now, and many other ambitious goals between 2015 and 2020.

These plans are aimed at creating a better learning experience for students at MSU. Students, staff and faculty were given the opportunity to comment using sticky notes during a presentation of the draft in the Strand Union Building Wednesday. Among the comments were, “Where is research?” and “How will these extra students be accommodated in terms of housing, class space and parking?”

Research is one of MSU’s top attractions and unique opportunities, and the committee, which includes student Joe Thiel, does not foresee student research declining with the implementation of the plan. They believe that as student-professor projects are encouraged, research in general will also increase.

The drafted plan includes goal areas, a vision, and values and can be viewed at www.montana.edu/plannincouncil/spc/draftstratplan/

Edited by Susan Andrus.

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