Planning for the Student Experience

Planning for the Student Experience

In mid-August the President’s Cabinet convened its usual pre-semester retreat to focus on questions and issues concerning master planning. This is one of the objectives found in our Strategic Map – GEIST. FPU’s Master Plan should be a physical manifestation of its Strategic Map. The plan consists of short-term projects which assist in accomplishing the long-term goals, aspirations and vision of the university.  In that light, we develop a framework to guide our work together.

Plans should:

  1. Enhance the student experience at all campuses and in all categories (TUG, DC, Grad, Sem).
  2. Encourage assessment of existing physical conditions based on current and projected program needs.
  3. Facilitate the alignment of the physical plant with the mission, vision and Strategic Map.
  4. Promote physical and environmental stewardship.
  5. Help the physical plant express characteristics of FPU as a Christian university.
  6. Strengthen the connectiveness between main and regional campuses.
  7. Prioritize future physical plant needs based on program trends.
  8. Prioritize projects and costs for consideration in the FPU Comprehensive Capital Campaign.

We plan to collect student input but also framed a process to insure university-wide involvement and discussion. The process will include:

  1. Leadership Retreat/President’s Cabinet meetings
  2. President’s Council
  3. Regional meetings at north campuses
  4. Regional meetings at south campuses
  5. Student leadership input
  6. Campus-wide forum
  7. Board committees (finance/building, advancement)
  8. Full board presentation (priorities)

As we embark upon this process, it is important that we as a community remind ourselves that this work is about enhancing the student’s learning experience and spiritual development. No matter how many great facilities we plan, if we neglect our calling or lose sight of why we were established as a Christian institution then we have failed our students.

There are so many influences that impact student lives, thought and spiritual development. Each student may have different experiences, but our prayer is that they will experience the life of Christ in much deeper ways before graduating. That Christ-centered experience must be incorporated in our relationships and the environment we steward to honor Jesus Christ.

We have five locations where students come to learn, dream and strengthen their faith. We must daily ask ourselves whether students’ years with us increase the influence of Christ in their lives because of our work, or will they miss him through our neglect and self-focus.

 How do we model Christ’s life and make his words live in each of our contexts? We must ask ourselves what fruit and values are evident in our interactions with other staff, faculty and students. We do know many will increase in knowledge and skill, but has wisdom also matured their direction and guided them into paths of peace?

We all pray for students fervently, but more importantly we model what we pray. May all our work this year be reflective of him who called us to serve here at Fresno Pacific University.

Joseph Jones, Ph.D.

Joseph Jones, Ph.D.

University President