Student Housing Announces Strategic Plan

Multiyear plan focuses on enhancing student experience and improving existing facilities

Archive Photo: Students move into campus residence halls before the 2019 fall semester. The university’s Department of Student Housing has launched a strategic plan designed to enhance its operations and facilities over the next five years. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Seeking to make campus housing more attractive and accommodating to both first-year students and upperclassmen, the Department of Student Housing at the University of Mississippi has launched a strategic plan designed to enhance its operations.

The 2020-26 Student Housing Strategic Plan encompasses six overall themes, including student learning, facilities, occupancy development, employee excellence, sustainability and diversity. Several objectives developed for each of these areas will allow the department to evaluate and assess its progress annually.

The plan creates a framework for what the team collectively expects to achieve over the next six years, said Lionel Maten, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management.

“I am encouraged and expect that this plan will operationalize and guide the housing team through meaningful engagement and collaboration with campus partners in response to departmental opportunities and challenges,” Maten said.

“More importantly, focusing on this plan and what comes next in a post-pandemic environment helps create a thoughtful, forward-thinking strategy that allows our student housing program to grow and evolve to meet student needs.”

Michael Nguyen (right), an external facilitator, leads Department of Student Housing employees (from left) Vernita Ivy, Kara Alspaugh and Brittany Martin in an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as part of the department’s strategic planning process. Submitted photo

All department team members were involved in developing feedback and future pathways for the Strategic Plan.

“Student leaders, staff and faculty within (the Department of) Student Housing contributed much in the three-day planning session,” said John Yaun, director of student housing. “The plan was also presented to student affairs leadership for their feedback and recommendations. This was truly a team effort involving the collaboration and input of all parties.”

The goals of the strategic plan include:

  • Enhancing the student experience and student learning by providing opportunities to students that foster belonging, connections, pride, interactions with faculty and student success
  • Improving existing facilities to enhance the student residential experience, make student housing competitive with off-campus living, and address renovations and new construction
  • Implementing strategies to increase department occupancy and revenue
  • Evaluating staffing, pay structures and learning opportunities to remain competitive, attract a diverse workforce, drive employee excellence and ensure an exceptional employee experience
  • Incorporating sustainability into all aspects of student housing that equips students and staff to use this knowledge to make an impact on their environment
  • Developing initiatives and levels of understanding by continuously fostering an environment that supports and advances student and staff learning, development and success around diversity and inclusion

Click here to view the complete Student Housing Strategic Plan.