Dixie State University

Strategic Planning

2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Working Draft of
Values, Vision, Mission, and Goals


DSU will be a premier open and inclusive comprehensive polytechnic university distinguished through an ethos of innovation and entrepreneurship and the achievement of exceptional student learning and success.


DSU is a comprehensive polytechnic university serving lifelong learners in southern Utah and the West. The University provides open and inclusive access to academically distinctive programs, featuring active and applied learning and career-readiness, so students acquire the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to achieve their potential and enable success.

Core Values

  • Academic Distinction
    A premier open and inclusive learning ecosystem that is flexible, active, integrated and lifelong to foster knowledge, skills, responsibility, innovation and G.R.I.T.
  • Student Learning and Success
    A university culture where students are empowered through a sense of belonging and connection by a university community who supports and fosters their persistence, achievement of an academic award, career placement, and transformational growth.
  • Equity and Inclusion
    A community of diverse individuals, ideas, and beliefs who practice and facilitate open and civil discourse and collaboration
  • Purposeful Discovery
    Think and act critically and creatively by exploring across boundaries to solve complex problems both individually and collaboratively
  • Collaborative Culture
    A campus culture grounded on principles of honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability, mutual respect, and freedom of inquiry
  • Public Service
    Effective leadership of civic, educational, economic, and cultural entities and initiatives to transform communities
  • Local and Global Resources
    Mutually beneficial partnerships that engage and integrate local and global resources into educational experiences, with a special emphasis on southern Utah resources
  • Innovation and Responsiveness
    Responsiveness to local and regional needs and opportunities through institutional innovation and entrepreneurship

Adult Students

Individuals aged 25 and over, or as otherwise defined in DSU policy

Authentic Learning

Refers to an activity that involves real-world problems that mimic the work of professionals. It is an activity that involves presentation of findings to audiences beyond the classrooms, uses open-ended inquiry, thinking skills and metacognition. It is where students engage in discourse and social learning in a community of learners, and where students direct their own learning in project work.

Comprehensive Polytechnic

A comprehensive polytechnic university provides a balanced education in the arts, sciences, and technology, while encouraging cross-disciplinary and co-curricular experiences. The university model is specifically characterized by the dimensions of applied/active learning, career-focused degree programs and readiness, the infusion of professional expertise and organizations within the learning experience, and the integration of liberal arts and sciences with major degree programs.

Equity Gap

Any disparity in a metric, like graduation rate or term-to-term persistence, along racial, socioeconomic, gender, or other demographic grouping.


Refers to inclusive teaching and learning that recognizes all student’s entitlement to a learning experience that respects diversity, enables participation, removes barriers and anticipates and considers a variety of learning needs and preferences. The design of inclusive teaching and learning aims to eliminate equity gaps based on gender, age, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity neuro-cognitive-physical ability level, and other unique circumstances.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A university ethos where students, faculty and staff continually generate new ideas and convert those ideas into viable and adoptable solutions, products, systems, and practices and then design, launch and operate a new entity, operation or practice to implement the idea. Skills that enable innovation and entrepreneurship include curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, systems analysis and GRIT that are best learned through active and applied learning.


Refers to “Open Education”, which is a particular way of providing education, often using digital technologies. Its aim is to widen access and participation to everyone by removing barriers and making learning accessible, abundant, and customizable for all. It offers multiple ways of teaching and learning, building and sharing knowledge. It also provides a variety of access routes to formal and non-formal education, and connects the two. Open education is characterized by transparency, sharing, collaboration, community and the 5r Model of retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute educational content.

Through open education, each and every individual, at every stage in their lives and career development, can have appropriate and meaningful educational opportunities available to them. These include access to content, courses, support, assessment and certification in ways that are flexible and accommodate diverse needs. For example, barriers to entry and cost, are reduced or eliminated.

DSU will adopt elements of the OpenEdu framework created by the European Commission in 2016 and adopted by universities worldwide.1 The OpenEdu framework features ten dimensions of open education, including “what” is opened and “how” education is opened.  The six core dimensions defining the “what” are: 1) open access; 2) open educational resources; 3) open educational practices; 4) recognition/certification of formal and non-formal learning; 5) open research and innovation; and 6) collaboration. The four enabling dimensions define “how” education is opened: 7) strategy; 8) leadership; 9) technology; and 10) quality metrics.

1 Inamorato dos Santos, A., Punie, Y., and Castana Munoz, J. (2016). Opening up education: a support framework for higher education institutions. Joint Research Center Science for Policy Report, European Commission, Sevilla, Spain).


Best in a category

Student Learning and Success

Student learning refers to an individual’s achievement of specified student learning outcomes defined at the institutional, program and course level. Student success refers to the attainment or completion of a degree, program of study or other educational goal, including holistic personal development.





Community Comments

Community Comments

Comments on draft versions of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

What portion of the Strategic Plan you are commenting on?
0 is very unhappy, 5 is neutral, and 10 is very happy
Please be specific, and give us concrete suggestions.

2020-2025 Plan Tentative Completion Timeline

  • Nov. 3-4: Finalize Vision, Mission, Core Values, Core Themes, Select Goals
  • Week of Jan. 22: Finalize Outcomes
  • Week of March 22: Finalize Strategies
  • End of March: Complete Draft of Strategic Plan
  • End of April: Finalize the Plan
  • May: Implementation Meeting

Letter From President Williams

Dear Trailblazer Nation,

Guided by the six goals of our last strategic plan, Dixie 2020: Status to Stature, Dixie State University has grown tremendously in the number and diversity of programs offered, student attendance, and facilities available in the past five years. This growth has garnered immense excitement for the future of our beloved institution. Building off this momentum, we are eager to create the next strategic plan that will guide our growth into the year 2025.

Now that we have successfully achieved university stature, this next strategic plan will shape what our university will look like for generations to come. Some things will never change: we will continue to rank our students’ success as our top priority, offer educational and cultural opportunities to our community, and meet the needs of our faculty and staff, as they play a vitally important role in fulfilling our educational mission and meeting our strategic goals.

As we prepare to launch our new plan in the fall of 2020, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee is already hard at work. As part of this process, the committee is hosting town hall meetings and conducting research to ensure the voices of the entire campus and Washington County communities are heard. With this feedback, the committee is refining DSU’s core values, vision and mission; developing desired outcomes; formulating strategies; developing the implementation plan; and ultimately completing the strategic plan.

Within each step of the process, there is ample opportunity for community-wide involvement and feedback. I encourage you to take full advantage of this and share your ideas in the Community Comments section above to ensure the plan we craft accurately reflects on the values and priorities of Dixie as a whole.

Thank you in advance for all your hard work in building up Trailblazer Nation and making every day a great day to be a Trailblazer!


Meeting Notes


Richard B. Williams

University President

Email: president@dixie.edu

Phone: 435-652-7502

Office: South Admin
Dixie State University
225 South University Avenue
St. George, UT 84770