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From the President's Desk - Blog

From the President's Desk - Blog

McNeese's response to shrinking appropriations

August 13, 2012

In the past year it has been no secret that McNeese has faced a significant reduction in appropriations.  As the nation and our state of Louisiana have felt the strain of difficult economic times, higher education has particularly been affected by the shortage of state funding.  This year, we will be facing an even greater reduction in funds than the one we faced last year - about $4.7 million dollars in cuts.  

The hard truth is that now and in the future, higher education institutions will have to find ways to do more with less.  The environment is changing, and in order to survive these economic challenges McNeese has no choice but to adapt and take steps to cut costs to make up for the multi-million dollar cut in revenues.  

One action we are talking to reduce costs is reorganization.  Last year we reorganized administrative services in a manner that reduced our salary and benefit expenses, especially at the Senior Staff level.  This year, we are forced to reorganize yet again.   
In addition, the budgets for each department will have to scale back budget lines relating to supplies, travel and other discretionary areas.  Unfortunately, employee salaries will remain frozen d

Our Collective Vision and Goals

August 7, 2012

Based upon all of the observations and analyses described in my previous blog installments, we arrive at the following vision statement as a guide to McNeese operations for the five-year period beginning in January 2013:

Through the promotion of innovative teaching and learning methodologies, regional partnerships, service-learning opportunities, applied research, cultural engagement, and athletic excellence, McNeese will play an active leadership role in the civic and economic renaissance likely to transform Southwest Louisiana over the next five years.

This vision can be achieved through the application of the following goals, each followed by a set of specific objectives designed to achieve that particular goal.  The objectives are written using broad, aspirational language, with the understanding that the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, in collaboration with Academic and Student Affairs administration, the Faculty Senate, and the Student Government Administration (SGA), will establish measurable outcome indicators and suggested timelines for each objective.  These will be placed in the form of recommendations to be submitted to my office no later than Fall Commencement in December of this year (2012).  It is my hope that the re

SWOT Analysis - Part 2 and Hedgehog Analysis

July 11, 2012

In my last post, I introduced SWOT analysis and discussed how we are using this method in our strategic planning process. We took a look at the general strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that were inferred from your answers to our Strategic Planning Questions.  (You can read the full Part 1 post here.)  Today, I'd like to share with you a few connections between some of our strengths and opportunities and between some of our weaknesses and threats, and the bigger picture implications of these findings.  

Matching Strengths with Opportunities
One intersection between McNeese's strengths and opportunities is located where the strong McNeese motto ("Excellence with a Personal Touch") might be used to foster innovative academic methods; e.g. the new Innovation Engineering™ curriculum, clicker technology, custom-designed certificate training programs, and distance learning initiatives.  A second intersection can be found where the establishment of the SEED Center and McNeese's strong relationships with regional partners might be expanded through new collaborative ventures with the SWLA Alliance (including all of its business, civic, and governmental members), Sowela Technic

SWOT Analysis - Part 1

June 12, 2012

If you've been following this blog, you know that I've been promising a "SWOT analysis" in regard to our strategic planning questions and answers.  This type of analysis is quite common in the business world, but it is also commonly used in strategic planning by governmental and charitable organizations.  The letters S-W-O-T stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The first two of these-strengths and weaknesses-can be viewed as internal traits of an organization.  Generally these are organizational features over which the organization has a measure of control.  The second two traits-opportunities and threats-can be viewed as external, and typically include events or circumstances over which the organization may have little or no control.  Opportunities and threats may arise unexpectedly and without warning.

The best managed organizations are constantly engaged in various forms of SWOT-related activities, even when these activities are called by other names.  For example, the typical exercise of evaluating employees on an annual basis is one way in which an organization can assess internal strengths and weaknesses relating to its personnel.  Similarly in the world of higher education, the periodic revie

Word frequency analysis - Part 2

(May 8, 2014)

This is the second part of a two-part blog series on our look at word-frequency analysis in our Strategic Planning survey questions.  As we discussed in our previous Part 1 post, word-frequency software uses statistics to identify frequently used key words in large pieces of text.  We've used this software to help us identify some general themes from the answers we received from you in the survey.  Here's what the software suggests as a general interpretation of your answers for questions 6 - 12, based on the amount of times key words and phrases were used:

Question 6: Is there anything about McNeese that is so fundamental that we should protect it against change?  
The answers to Question 6 showed that you consider some of our more unique traits to be important enough to protect against change.  Some of these include our name and logo, our motto, the personal interaction between students and faculty ("Excellence with a Personal Touch"), and our academic programs. 

Question 7: What threats should McNeese be guarding against over the next five years?
The main threats that were mentioned in the answers to Question 7 were identified as los