Strategic Plan

At Henderson State University we believe in the potential of every person to become extraordinary leaders and difference makers in society. The university’s very foundation rests on its outstanding ability to educate first-generation college students and students from rural areas by harnessing the transformative power of higher education and making it available to any and all prospective students who desire to become educated.

The 2014-2020 strategic plan, Beyond the Horizon, builds upon this rich 124-year tradition while challenging us to build an even stronger university over the next six years and beyond. Achieving the very ambitious goals outlined in the plan will require us to aim higher and to look farther as we imagine the Henderson State University of tomorrow. We will navigate the current political landscape, public cynicism regarding higher education, decreasing state support, the ever-changing nature of our students and their preferred learning styles, and concerns regarding affordability and student success as we strive to work beyond the horizon by embracing change and seizing opportunities. 

The horizon is the farthest anyone can see into the future. In today’s rapidly changing world, however, we reach and surpass the horizon more rapidly than ever before, requiring higher education specifically to plan better and act faster to continue educating our students for a future we cannot see and can barely imagine. Thus, when Henderson began its strategic planning process in 2013, our goal was not only to stay true to our long, great tradition of educating students but also to look beyond the horizon to identify the strategies that will empower our students to excel in the future. Included in the final outcome of the plan are many bold ambitions that will significantly transform the university as we prepare for our next 125 years of service. These lofty ambitions include:

  • Doubling the six-year graduation rate and increasing all student success indicators
  • Strengthening existing academic programs while introducing outstanding new programs
  • Growing the enrollment to 5,000 students (10-year timeframe)
  • Providing peer-competitive faculty and staff compensation to attract and retain outstanding faculty
  • Doubling the size of the university’s endowment
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive campus master plan
  • Implementing sustainability initiatives at all levels of the university
  • Raising the university’s overall profile as we strive to be formally recognized as one of the best public universities in the South.

Our plan begins with a statement of our core values, those timeless commitments that tie us to the past and will remain true regardless of what is beyond the horizon. Henderson, above all, is centered upon the success of the student, and to ensure that success we value academic excellence, collaboration and community, human difference, integrity, tradition and innovation, and the liberal arts education.

As we anticipate articulating the importance of these values to our students and the society which we serve, we adopted our vision statement and updated our mission statement to more clearly convey the university’s mission to the current and future generation of students. The Henderson educational experience has provided students with the foundation for personal and career success for over a century. As education becomes more closely tied with job opportunities, we wanted to specifically emphasize how Henderson prepares students for a lifetime of intellectual and personal growth that will enable career and personal success. By more deliberately integrating professional studies and the liberal arts, we will guide students to prepare for a career now as well as the career they cannot yet imagine.  This “liberal arts with a purpose” approach will ensure that the university will always be perceived as relevant in an environment of constant change and high public accountability.