The fundamental purpose and enduring commitment of the University of Mississippi is the pursuit of academic excellence. Academic excellence is furthered through high-quality academic programs, innovative research, and creative accomplishments to address societal challenges and opportunities. This excellence results from the hard work of outstanding faculty, staff, and students. The University of Mississippi strives to advance the academic endeavors of inspirational education (through effective teaching and learning), cutting-edge discovery (through effective research and creative achievement), and transformation of lives (by creating opportunities and collaborative engagement with communities).
Along with partners at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Strategic Planning Council identified a Transformative Initiative to build multidisciplinary research strength to tackle key grand challenges. It also identified several campus-specific goals to build upon UM Oxford’s existing academic strengths, advance our academic offerings, broaden our diversity, and improve performance and retention.
Across all facets and campuses of the University of Mississippi, we will develop and implement Flagship Constellations that bring together innovative, multidisciplinary clusters of diverse faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external partners to accelerate and inspire solutions to society’s grand challenges. The inaugural Flagship Constellations involve four sections of discovery that will ignite and fuse university expertise across the disciplines:
Rural communities face increasing challenges to their economies, personal health, environmental health, food security, housing, and infrastructure. Our cross-disciplinary research teams and programs will work within communities to identify the factors impairing their well-being and deploy new programs and practices to build stronger, more vibrant communities.
Reducing the impact of disasters on our communities requires a multifaceted methodology: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. This constellation marries insight and research from environmental and legal disciplines with material sciences, information technology, and public health. Together, we will develop technologies, tools, and policies to mitigate disasters and increase the resilience, security, and sustainability of communities.
The human brain is both mysterious and wonderfully complex. It is also the core of many health issues. We are bringing together an academically diverse team to realize a fuller understanding behind brain function as a result of injury, addiction, and disease. Our engagement in population-based research, clinical care, and education will assist with the development of technologies and evidence-based practices that bolster prevention and recovery from brain impairment.
We have access to more data more quickly from more sources than ever before. But how might we harness the power of data to inform smarter decisions and discover better solutions? The Big Data team is pursuing how to gather, organize, store, secure, analyze, and visualize data so as to extract key knowledge. From algorithm development to virtual reality, we are creating new avenues to exploit big data for applications in medicine, population health, engineering, security, business, policy, the humanities, and education.
- Number of faculty and staff involved in Flagship Constellations
- Recruitment and retention of faculty affiliated with the Flagship Constellations
- External support for research and creative achievement
- Increased cross-disciplinary collaboration
Enhance the Quality of Academic Programs
Integrate meaningful, experiential learning opportunities into all undergraduate, professional, and graduate academic programs to attract talented, diverse students and to prepare them for careers as lifelong learners and engaged citizens
Encourage the development of experiential learning in all undergraduate academic programs
Foster excellence in graduate and professional education
- Number of faculty and students and number of academic programs participating in experiential learning
- Number of graduate degrees awarded (master’s and doctoral enrollment and graduation)
Support Faculty Excellence
Provide opportunities to foster innovations in teaching, research and scholarship, service, and administrative leadership
Create programs to support teaching innovation, especially around use of technology and novel active learning pedagogies to improve learning outcomes
Create programs to support innovative research capabilities and engagement
Develop the leadership skills of newly appointed administrators or faculty interested in administrative opportunities
- Number of faculty and programs engaged in active learning
- Retention of faculty
- Promotion rate of faculty
Enhance Student Success and Critical Thinking
Provide opportunities for students to engage in experiences and services designed to enhance student success through critical thinking
Develop and implement a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to foster critical thinking across the curriculum
Develop and implement educational practices that contribute to student success
- Accomplish the goals of the QEP
- Improve persistence (sophomore and junior retention)
- Freshman retention rates and four- and six-year graduation rates
- Degrees conferred by level
Increase Research and Creative Achievement
Enhance productivity in research and scholarship by supporting innovative and creative endeavors
Develop mechanisms to support research and creative achievement, especially through collaboration and synergistic activities
- Research and sponsored program support (externally sponsored funds for research)
- Total fiscal year research expenditures
- Faculty productivity (publications, performances, exhibitions, program rankings)
- Number of licenses, patents, material transfer agreements, corporate partnerships
- Nationally recognized awards to faculty for research and scholarship