Cameron University: Planning for the future
Two plans are currently working to improve and beautify the Cameron University campus: Plan 2018 and Campus Master Plan 2025.
CU President Dr. John McArthur said both plans have different purposes.
“Our campus master plan is really our guidance to what we want the physical facilities of Cameron University to look like in Lawton and Duncan,” McArthur said.
Since there’s physical facilities involved, McArthur said cost is a huge component of the master plan. A typical building may range from a few hundred thousand dollars to 20 million dollars.
“The time it takes to raise that amount of money is one consideration, and certainly the time it takes to build the buildings is another consideration,” McArthur said. “So because of that, our campus master plans tend to work on a 10 year time frame, so we want to think that far ahead of looking at needs and looking at the life expectancy of our current buildings.”
One example listed in the Campus Master Plan 2025 is the dorms, which were built in the 1960s. McArthur said looking in advance at replacing the dorms raised questions such as, “If the dorms were replaced, what would be built instead?”
When brainstorming for each plan, student, faculty and staff listening sessions are one of the actions McArthur said he deems the most beneficial.
“To put them together, we usually appoint a faculty member to head up the team, and then they will listen to different groups,” McArthur said. “They’ll go to SGA. We’ll clump our employee areas. We’ll meet with computing and technology faculty and IT. We’ll meet with Public Affairs and the communication faculty – people with similar interests, but a little bit different, so not just all professors or all staff. We’ll get their views and then we’ll do the same thing with our community members… Then we take a year to boil all that down. They make a proposal to me, I look at it, and then we present it to our regents.”
Both Campus Master Plan 2025, headed by Communication professor Dr. Matt Jenkins, and Plan 2018, headed by Communication Chair Dr. Christopher Keller, conducted these listening sessions when drafting their documents.
“Plan 2018: Values Driven, Action Oriented” began in 2013 outlining Cameron’s goals and initiatives for the next five years. It is the third strategic document of its kind. McArthur said the plan is more about action, rather than construction.
“It’s guiding us in terms of, ‘What do we value as an institution?’ and then based on those values, ‘What steps would we like to take?’” McArthur said. “Our time frames for strategic plans are five years. For us, five years gives us time to think about it and talk about it and then enact it and then test it and then tweak it. Five years is a pretty good fit for academia.”
Plan 2018 lists six different values: student learning; excellence in teaching, scholarship, service and mentoring; leadership in community and region; shared governance; diversity; and responsible stewardship of public and private resources, the public trust and Cameron’s future.
McArthur has something special he associates with the strategic plan.
“The value of the strategic plan, for me, is I have so many wonderful ideas come across my desk,” McArthur said. “I mean, our students, our staff, our faculty and our community members, a day does not go by that someone doesn’t stop me, send me an email or call and say, ‘hey, wouldn’t it be great if Cameron did blank?’ And they’re all great ideas. But the strategic plan, because it’s built on our values, really helps me focus and separate and see which ones are great ideas for Cameron. It helps me a great deal to establish priorities.”
If Aggies have ideas they want to contribute to future strategic plans or campus master plans, they can contact McArthur or inquire with their SGA Representative, Senator or Executive Council member.
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