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Photo President A. WhiteA Message from the President:

In a little more than 10 years, Austin Peay State University will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Today, I am pleased to present to you our Leading Through Excellence Strategic Plan, which will ensure that APSU remains a strong institution when we reach that important milestone in the year 2025.

This plan is an expression of our collective vision because all University stakeholders were invited to contribute to its development. The process began several months ago when we noticed a major population shift taking place in our area. Austin Peay sits on the edge of the second-fastest growing economic region in the country, with around 1,500 new residents arriving each month. Our job, as set forth by the University’s mission statement, is to raise “the educational attainment of the citizenry” and to develop “programs and services that address regional needs.” The region’s needs are changing, and the plan you helped develop allows us to respond to those changes while continuing to provide a top-quality education to our students.

Early in the process, as we looked at our needs, we discovered significant gaps in our student population that placed us behind other institutions of comparable size. That is why we intend to increase enrollment to 13,000 students by the year 2020, and then to 15,000 students by the year 2025. To achieve this goal, we are targeting freshman, dual-enrollment, graduate, out-of-state and international students. A university should have a mix of students to interact and learn with each other and from each other, and we will provide that type of environment.

Work on this new strategic plan also coincided with a major shift in the state’s higher education landscape. Tennessee’s new Drive to 55 initiative, which seeks to provide 55 percent of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate by 2025, presents us with an incredible opportunity for growth. As one of the few Tennessee Board of Regents universities offering associate degree programs, Austin Peay is set to be a leader in this new educational movement. The Leading Through Excellence Strategic Plan calls for us to develop this growing population of students into skilled leaders capable of succeeding in a global workforce.

We are now in the process of defining what we want Austin Peay to be in the next 10 years, and I am happy that so many of you helped form this vision. Key members of the APSU community, identified within these pages, will support the implementation of the plan’s major goals, and they will maintain open lines of communication as we move forward. I invite you to engage with these individuals as we work to ensure that Austin Peay remains a vibrant and sustainable institution for future generations of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the broader community.

Thank you for believing in this University, and I look forward to celebrating its successes with you over the next 10 years.

Dr. Alisa White