The plan is comprised of six strategic challenges to guide ongoing efforts in our pursuit of discovery, diversity, engagement, and learning. These focus areas were chosen based on university strengths and opportunities, and reflect our dedication to serve our students, the greater community, and our world. It is through these channels that LSU has the potential to make transformative changes that will have a positive impact on a state, national, and global level. While there is a wide range of additional efforts ongoing within the university, these six challenges serve as points of collaboration, and will guide us forward.
Louisiana’s prominence in a broad spectrum of the arts and humanities is recognized throughout the world. Expressions derived from generations of our multi-cultural heritage enrich the state’s economic viability and enliven the social fabric of our communities. As Louisiana’s premier public university, LSU excels in educating students in fields involving art and design, visual and performing arts, and in all areas of the humanities. Through collaborations across the university, and by coordination among arts and cultural leaders around the world, LSU will proudly continue to educate new generations to become leaders in preserving and advancing the arts, humanities, and our cultural heritage.
LSU’s study of the coast, energy and the environment is reflective of the increasingly complex relationship humans face with land, sea, and air. A large percentage of the earth’s growing population shares the common challenges, benefits and vulnerabilities of living near coasts and within close proximity of a delta, which is often the site of fossil fuel production. The world’s energy needs and the pursuit of traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable and efficiency resources remain at the national forefront. In facing these challenges LSU has become internationally recognized for its expertise and resources in science, engineering, agriculture, energy, and coastal studies. With Louisiana’s focus on energy, along with the rapid erosion of our coast, climate change, and the inherent risk of hurricanes and flooding, LSU’s faculty must continue to address these critical issues with urgency.
As the state’s flagship institution, LSU is uniquely positioned to facilitate economic vitality and opportunity on a state, national, and global scale through the research work of its faculty. Pivoting from established and emerging areas of research expertise, the university will promote an ecosystem of collaboration focused on basic and translational research. In partnership with the state of Louisiana, local economic development organizations, and entities across the nation and the globe, LSU will lay the foundation for building a 21st century innovation economy for Louisiana, while at the same time serving the state’s economic backbone—energy, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Quality of life issues affect all aspects of the socio-economic outlook for not only Louisiana, but for citizens across the globe. The need is great as evidenced by health issues ranging from an alarming rate of low-weight births to early onset of disabilities caused by diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. LSU will use collaborative approaches to move forward with the design and implementation of a One Health initiative. Given the university’s vast expertise and research capabilities in the health care arena encompassing all Colleges and LSU partners, it is imperative to create and implement strategies to transform health and wellbeing through research, education, clinical studies, interventions, and outreach.
LSU must pursue scholarship to transform the educational experience through enhanced teacher quality and leadership development, improvements in course standards, and access to university expertise. While the anchors of LSU’s educational efforts will continue to be the four-year and graduate programs, LSU must be more than an institution that offers degrees, but a lifelong learning partner providing high-quality, affordable, easily accessible educational experiences as people advance throughout their lives. As the number of nontraditional students continues to grow, LSU must enhance online and distance programs, protocol, and educational opportunities that meet the needs of this population.
LSU has a long history of producing outstanding leaders. As times change, so, too, do modern leadership qualities. LSU must adapt its pedagogy to continue providing students with the highest level of skills needed to lead and succeed in the global market. As prospective students matriculate to LSU, we believe that the foundation of the undergraduate student experience should be rooted in a curriculum that embodies the values of the university—not just through traditional classes, but also through the synthesis of traditional teaching, co-curricular experiences, and experiential learning opportunities. As such, LSU will modernize its general education curriculum requirements to better prepare students for the 21st century workforce. In addition, the university must enhance its efforts to recruit high-quality students predisposed to leadership success and support them during their initial collegiate career while positioning the university as their lifelong learning partner.