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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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University reflects on results of Vision 2020 initiative

Vision+2020
Photo by Graphic by Anthony Pangonas
Vision 2020

In 1999, a task force composed of university faculty, community members and students created Vision 2020, an initiative to guide Texas A&M’s efforts over the decades that followed.
The mission statement of Vision 2020 was to “enhance the global value of Texas A&M,” outlining 12 key objectives which would be pursued to meet this statement. The outcomes of the program and goals of its upcoming successor program are important topics in understanding how the university has transformed since 1999. Michael Benedik, vice provost and chief international officer, said Vision 2020 has helped to positively shape the university.
“Vision 2020 was really a document with the intent of transforming the university,” Benedik said. “It laid out a path and a set goals for changing A&M from what was really a good regional teaching place to coming out as a top-tier university.”
Benedik said while Vision 2020 wasn’t created with the intent of meeting specific milestones, the university has met many of the general aspirational targets set by the plan.
“Vision 2020 was a set of aspirations, not goals,” Benedik said. “If you look at what the university was like 20 years ago and look at what it’s like today, you’ll see that Vision 2020 was a success.”
Benedik said the improvements A&M has made since 1999 might not be immediately noticeable, but there is a dramatic difference in the university’s environment.
“Our faculty is stronger, better known and more accomplished,” Benedik said. “[We have] strengthened our undergraduate and graduate programs. The university has become more diverse than it was and pays more attention to diversity.”
The currently-unnamed successor program setting objectives for the 2020 to 2030 period is under development by administration with community and student representatives. Several students suggested subjects they would like the initiative to focus on.
Kinesiology senior Matthew Nino said the next phase should focus on strengthening the undergraduate experience, an aspiration that was also included in Vision 2020.
“For any program, they should just focus on the quality of the degree and the coursework,” Nino said. “This will enhance the quality of life for students because if they have a positive experience, they will be more likely to absorb the material.”
Wildlife and fisheries sciences senior Jorge Maldonado said A&M has done well, but suggested including increased student engagement and involvement in administrative decisions.
“A&M could take more student input on different things,” Maldonado said. “I think it is something A&M needs to think about. They need to find out what is best for the student and take that into account.”
While the next initiative’s aspirations will not change significantly, Benedik said A&M will seek to improve on the foundation laid by Vision 2020.
“It is going to be a mission statement, because the imperatives in Vision 2020 remain true, so there isn’t a reason to rearticulate that,” Benedik said. “It will have real aspirations on what it means to be a great university and to keep getting better.”

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