Underlying the pillars, strategies and success measures is a single aspiration: to be ceaselessly innovative and demonstrably effective in every process that will improve academic quality, promote student success and augment institutional communication and efficiency. American higher education has experienced several periods of significant change, similar to what, today, is referred to as disruption. In the past, institutions that were established primarily for the training of teachers and support of agriculture were transformed into institutions providing educational programs in a wide range of professions. Institutions that were established to educate a very small percentage of the population opened their doors to the vast majority of the nation’s high school graduates. Huge investments in research were initiated, a massive system of financial aid was implemented where none previously existed, and quickly evolving developments in technology transformed the instruction, the research initiatives, and the administration of universities across the nation. The current time is also a period of change, and, as Montclair State has grown and transformed itself to meet the changing needs of society throughout its history, it will continue to do so by drawing on its energized entrepreneurial spirit, prepared to seize the new day with yet unseen and unknown opportunities, while staying true to its fundamental values and never failing to place student success as its foremost goal. The University has been and will continue to be both nimble and thoughtful in making the continuing adjustments essential to maintaining its vital relevance for both transmitting cultural traditions, creating new knowledge, meeting emerging market demands, and serving the higher education needs of an evolving world.
Our goals are ambitious but achievable. To accomplish them by 2025, we must adopt an entrepreneurial, nimble, innovative and risk-rewarding approach to all aspects of the University’s programs and operations. This entrepreneurial attitude will speed up time-tables and require alertness, excellent communication, and collaboration across divisions. This responsive, change-ready culture will be transformative, enabling timely creation of new programs and strategies supported by data and the timely recycling of other programs and strategies that are unsupported by student demand or university mission. Analytics already in production and reaching across University divisions will arm leaders and innovators with methods for evaluating initiatives for their effectiveness, value, and resource allocation.
In an entrepreneurial culture, innovative thinking allows for experimentation, and therefore risks unsuccessful ideas as well as successful ones, with individuals recognized and valued for engaging as well as succeeding. Ideas, programs, and initiatives will rise with their successes, and the people who invent and promote them will understand their responsibility to plan strategically and shrewdly while also understanding that every innovative idea, program, or initiative will not flourish and those that fail following our best efforts must be promptly discarded. These values — innovation, creativity, efficiency, and data-informed decision making — are characteristic of vital institutions and compatible with flourishing careers.