Rethinking FHSU's mission: Online survey at provides opportunity for input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, community

At the direction of President Edward H. Hammond, a group has been hard at work over the summer organizing a review of the Fort Hays State University mission statement.

Now it is time for the university's family and friends to weigh in.

"Dr. Hammond put together a University Mission Task Force in the spring semester charged with the review and revision of the current mission statement," said Dr. Chris Crawford, assistant provost for quality management and chair of the group. "We have worked diligently through the summer and have prepared a survey designed to gather perceptions about the current mission statement and to generate ideas for the revision."

The task force was charged to review, research and propose a procedure for revision of the university's mission statement. The intended outcome is an updated, focused mission statement responsive to the university's current and future higher educational environment.

Beginning Monday morning, Aug. 22, the survey will be available on the FHSU website, which can be found at It will be featured in the Spotlight section on the bottom left of the home page. Everyone is encouraged to click on the link and participate in the survey, which takes only 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey will be available online through Sunday, Sept. 4.

The review of the FHSU mission statement was spurred in part by the university's accreditation process. In 2000, with the support of the Kansas Board of Regents, FHSU embraced a new model of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission called the Academic Quality Improvement Program. The AQIP process allows member institutions to adopt the guiding principles of continuous quality improvement as their guiding force. The FHSU mission statement has remained largely unchanged since the late 1980s.

Crawford explained that a university mission statement defines what the institution does in terms of education, research and public service; how those services are provided; how the institution competes; and possibly its core values.

"Our task force recognizes that feedback from various campus constituencies is essential to our review process," Crawford said. "This survey is one important stage of our input gathering process and will be followed with focus group inquiries that will generate feedback from selected stakeholder groups. The task force estimates completion of the review and revision of the mission statement by the end of the fall 2011 semester."

Crawford said that in addition to faculty, students and staff, the task force wants to hear from alumni and the many other friends of FHSU. "As we refine the direction FHSU should take moving forward, everyone should have a voice in what the university should be and what it should accomplish," he added.

In addition to Crawford, the members of the University Mission Task Force include Todd Powell, general counsel and executive assistant to the president; Dr. Joey Linn, associate vice president for student affairs and registrar; Dennis King, director of the Virtual College and learning technologies; Curtis Hammeke, athletic director; Dr. Paul Faber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Chapman Rackaway, associate professor of political science and president of the Faculty Senate; Dr. Jeff Burnett, associate professor of health and human performance; Dr. Rita Hauck, associate professor of technology studies; and Tyler Thompson, president of the Student Government Association.

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