Welcome to Arkansas State University!

The sun rising over the Dean B. Ellis Clocktower

Draft Strategic Plan

Goal 1: Through a comprehensive enrollment management strategy, optimize student recruitment in Arkansas and beyond (regional, national, international) and ensure region leading graduation results.


  1. Integrate enrollment management practices to insure that students benefit from appropriate programs and services in an inclusive, ongoing, supportive and consistent student life experience.
    1. Reshape First-Year Experience.
    2. Apply a “best practice” centralized advising model.
    3. Enhance a sense of “community” among students – one that is vibrant and meaningful and deepens a spirit of belonging on and off campus.
  2. Build, resource, and support agile infrastructure that promotes a diverse, inclusive, and globally engaged campus.
    1. Expand cultural/educational experiences domestically and abroad.
    2. Strengthen community-based residential experiences.
    3. Ensure a reliable support system that leads students to degree completion.
    4. Invest in student success.

Goal 2: Actively invest in programs that match consumer demands and future workforce needs.


  1. Define and become known for distinctive “signature” programs differentiated and informed by analysis of regional, national, and global industry trends.
    1. Determine the promising opportunities aligned with university program and faculty expertise and areas of strength (e.g., computer science, engineering, agriculture, digital humanities, big data, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, health, public administration, sales).
    2. Implement strategic pathways and investment/business plans (private support, grants, and operational support) to realize their full potential.
  2. Strategically establish courses/programs that are not “traditional.”
    1. Incentivize creative opportunities and make the case for value (e.g., release time for research, patents).
    2. Form cross-disciplinary partnerships that leverage academic strengths across the university and respond to growing careers.
  3. Transform certificate programs through diverse formats that respond to industry needs and accelerate access for students.
    1. Increase their visibility and appeal through increased marketing.
    2. Reallocate resources for greatest academic impact.
  4. Reimagine and repackage General Education.
    1. Communicate relevancy and responsiveness to the career and professional requirements for our graduates.
  5. Increase “real world” experiences through partnerships with business, industry, and governmental organizations (e.g., internships, mentoring, fast-track career preparation, etc.).

Goal 3: Strengthen the University’s role in the community through economic and cultural impact.


  1. Convey our impact to societal and economic development and quality of life (e.g., celebrate faculty expertise and research contributions; expand continuing education, entertainment/athletics/arts and youth programs).
  2. Designate and charge a new position to oversee and champion our role in the community.
  3. Increase workforce placement and partnerships through collaborations with business, industry, nonprofit, and other educational organizations.
  4. Leverage our current role as a cultural center to become the recognized and valued cultural hub for the Jonesboro region and Northeast Arkansas.
    1. Expand value to the community through greater understanding of our cultural and entertainment assets and develop additional strategic partnerships for mutual benefit.
    2. Reward/recognize faculty/staff members and students who as serve as ambassadors for cultural impact.
  5. More effectively “tell our story” externally; showcase “best in class” contributions; advance our position through authentic, sincere, realistic messages.

Goal 4: Invest in academic research, scholarly activities, and creative endeavors (faculty and student) that builds on academic strengths and leverages regional opportunities, while providing solutions to changing labor and economic markets.


  1. Acknowledge, build out, and market our natural and existing strengths relevant to industry and business to create meaningful pathways for students.
    1. Work with industry partners to better understand the lifetime learning trajectories for careers of the future and develop competency building platforms that engage graduates for life. 
    2. Expand graduate programs through use of umbrella programs.
    3. Re-constitute the graduate college and increase support for our graduate program.
  2. Build and equip adequate facilities.
    1. Engineering building (e.g., computational sciences, artificial intelligence, engineering, and related interdisciplinary work).
    2. Biological Sciences/Agriculture.
  3. Invest in new and innovative research areas. This should be led by each college, but some examples are:
    1. Data analytics and artificial intelligence.
    2. Material science, materials handling, and manufacturing.
    3. Agriculture/Biotech/Environmental.
    4. Rural Communities Institute.
  4. Incentivize entrepreneurial ventures (e.g., faculty startups and industry partnerships).

Goal 5: Improve A-State Spirit and Campus Culture.


  1. Incorporate inclusive model: “Every Red Wolf Counts” is not just about students – it is in everything that we do and applies to faculty and staff as well.
  2. Define and apply our brand values authentically to our internal and external culture – “Who are we?”
    1. Brand “promise” to our external stakeholders and to ourselves.
    2. Incorporate annual climate survey and “Best Place to Work” standards.
  3. Ensure performance standards and accountability at all levels.
  4. Invest in professional development opportunities for members of the faculty and staff.
  5. Develop understanding of the importance of the new strategic plan and direction to our organizational success and to the success of each member of our A-State community.