Alumni of Southern Oregon University and other interested community members are being asked again to share their thoughts as the university enters the home stretch on a plan that will shape SOU’s future and how it serves students and the region.

Hundreds of responses were received after SOU reached out to community members last spring to participate in a “strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats” (SWOT) analysis of the university. Those responses helped shape the university’s proposed vision, mission and values (available online at sou.edu/strategic-planning/the-sou-plan/) — guiding principles that will serve as a framework for SOU’s growth and evolution.

A new online survey (sou.edu/strategic-planning/feedback/) seeks community members’ feedback on the strategic planning process to date, and on each of seven “strategic directions” that are intended to move the university toward the future that is envisioned.

The strategic directions were created this summer by the university’s Strategic Planning Committee and other campus leaders, based on the work that had been done in previous months by a broad cross-section of constituents. The directions call for SOU to transform how and what it teaches; become an employer of choice that provides excellent service; support campus sustainability and ecological resilience for the bioregion; create a diverse, equitable and inclusive community of flourishing learners; achieve and maintain financial stability; develop physical and virtual environments in which learners can thrive; and serve as a catalyst for regional economic, cultural and social development.

SOU will continue its collaborative planning process through the fall and is expected to adopt and begin implementing a new strategic plan next year. The intention is to produce a focused, achievable and forward-thinking plan that will inspire SOU’s faculty, staff and students to strive for greatness.