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Shaping the World

UCM introduces a new strategic positioning platform.

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President Charles Ambrose

President Ambrose on Strategic Positioning

"One thing I've learned while serving as a university president is that institutions are driven by a clear sense of vision, and absent that, an institution like Central Missouri just has too many pieces and programs. Unless you are all pulling on the same oar, you will lose a lot of effectiveness," said UCM President Charles Ambrose. "The strategic positioning platform that has been built for UCM is much like that used by leaders of Fortune 500 companies to be really strategic. Without it, we would be working at a disadvantage."

Ambrose said the process of positioning the institution is built on three clearly defined outcomes. One of them is to create a "sense of destination." As he put it, "It identifies who we are, what we do, what we're all about, the people and the place. So, when you say 'University of Central Missouri' there is a sense of purpose that is both a noun and a verb -- it's something you do. The strategic positioning platform strengthens that sense of place."

The second outcome is to provide a "sense of alignment," which the president said has the most immediate impact on the campus because everything the university does must be consistent with the strategic positioning platform. Strategic positioning serves as a compass for decisions that support the university's overall direction in key areas such as enrollment management, fundraising, community engagement, and the further alignment of institutional resources.

Ambrose said "the third attribute beyond destination and alignment is a heightened, evident, clear, concise statement of value, which is being creatively articulated as 'Learning to a Greater Degree.' That is the value in terms of what we stand for but also what the investment in the UCM experience and its cumulative effect will have on students, their parents, our faculty, staff and alumni."

Along with the positioning statement describing unique attributes of a UCM education, the strategic positioning platform also identifies "reasons to believe" in a UCM education, based on four supporting features: a culture of service, engaged learning, future-focused academics, and a worldly perspective.

"One of the great aspects of this positioning platform is that it puts the learning environment as the primary role and responsibility of the institution, which is a great affirmation of faculty who are committed every day to teaching and learning," Ambrose said.

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