We prepare students for lifelong success through transformational academic, professional, and co-curricular programs.
To be a nationally recognized leader in rural higher education known for its remarkable student learning and outcomes. We will be an institutional destination–ambitious in our efforts to distinctively and boldly inspire students to serve, empower, and transform communities through Education for Service.
Stewardship and Sustainability
Respect and Inclusiveness
Reimagining our Future, Driven by Four Themes
Four themes of compelling story, inspiring students, transforming communities, and focused growth combined with the elements of stakeholders, financial resources, internal processes, and organizational capacity helped to determine 16 action items.
University leadership has established key performance indicators to monitor—at a glance—progress on the strategic plan. Members of the University leadership will work in tandem with their respective campus academic and non-academic leaders to create annual operating plans which will strategically address goals and define quantitative measurements.
Theme I: Compelling Story
BVU will be a known leader in rural education and in transforming rural communities from surviving to thriving. We will invest in market research and engage stakeholders to propel the University to build a shared voice and brand that is not only relevant—but compelling.
Theme II: Transforming Communities
BVU will support a culture of risk-taking and innovation through the development—and investment—in our physical footprint and human resource capital. Not only will BVU be a dynamic place to work, but BVU will be a community which values its natural and capital assets to support student success.
Theme III: Inspiring Students
BVU will create a pathway to success which will provide current and future students with exceptional experiences to make them life and work ready. The University will make it a priority to invest in high-impact practices, align curricular and co-curricular priorities, and create seamless engagements and practices for a transformational undergraduate experience which will increase enrollment and retention.
Theme IV: Focused Growth
BVU’s founding men and women were entrepreneurs who had a cultural and academic vision. Dr. William H. Cumberland wrote, “The history of Buena Vista College reveals a determined effort to survive in spite of harsh economic times, wars, and often a churchly indifference to its success and growth.” Despite our perseverance, despite our past success, we cannot be complacent.
Strategic Planning Team Members
- Joshua D. Merchant
- Brian A. Lenzmeier
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
- Dixee Bartholomew-Feis
Dean, School of Social Science, Philosophy, & Religion
- Lori Berglund
Director, Career and Personal Development
- Thomas Bonagura
Assistant Professor, Biology
- Patti Demers
Assistant Director, Financial Aid
- Jack Denholm
- Stacy Gibbs
Interim Dean, Online, Site, and Graduate Programs
- Ashley Farmer-Hanson
Interim Vice President, Student Success Dean of students
- Jim Hewett
- Tanya Landgraf
- Mark Lumsden
Chief Information Officer
- Grant Mollring
Head Football Coach
- Jamie Mullen
- Matthew Packer
Associate Professor, English; Chair, Faculty Senate
- Rick Pallister
Chief Marketing Officer
- Suzette Radke
Vice President, Finance & Administration
- Shawn Stone
Professor, Physics/Computer Science
- Emily Williams
Director of Advancement Operations