The mission of the Spears School of Business is to provide high-quality, engaging, and accessible business education, relevant and innovative outreach, and high-impact research to improve the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world.
Our Purpose – Why We Come Together
The Spears School purpose is to inspire and engage the student in everyone to dream big, stretch their leadership potential, transform organizations, and make a difference in the world. This purpose presumes that regardless of our role (students, faculty, administrators, or external parties) or our age, we are all students in some sense – capable of dreaming, growing, and making meaningful differences.
Our Values – The Internal Compass that Guides our Actions
We at the Spears School dream big and pursue our passions. We expand our horizons and stretch to reach our potential. We work hard and expect our hard work to pay off. We strive to always do the right thing. We know that success depends on working together and the support of our community. We use our resources efficiently and effectively. We make a difference and transform the lives we touch.
Our Visionary Goal – Our Aspiration for the Foreseeable Future
By 2020, our goal is to become the business school known for positively transforming organizations. We will accomplish this through the unique Spears Engagement Experience, actively involving stakeholders in a learning environment that is explorative, challenging, inspirational, supportive, and transformative.
Our Stewardship – Our Special Responsibilities as a Land-Grant University
As a land-grant university, we have a stewardship responsibility to generate and leverage the resources necessary to achieve our goals; achieve growth through the delivery of impactful programs in Oklahoma and globally; manage costs and expenses through process efficiencies and effective resource allocation decisions; and live and promote the triple bottom line of planet, people, and profit.
Within our purpose, we focus on three primary positions (where we want to excel), six priorities (how we want to get there), and four practices (how we monitor and communicate). The purpose, positions, priorities, and practices are captured in the following pyramid.
Spears School Strategic Pyramid
We seek to be recognized for excellence in three key positions (1) corporate responsibility; (2) evidence-based management; and (3) innovation.
- Corporate Responsibility includes the areas of ethics, governance, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. The key corporate crises of the recent past have been driven, at least in part, by serious ethical lapses and failures in governance. Crises of the future, both corporate and social, are likely to be linked to failures of corporate citizenship and inattention to issues of sustainability. In order to make a meaningful difference, we seek to foster impactful research related to corporate responsibility; to develop students grounded in a sense of responsibility; and to provide outreach that educates and supports the public in these areas.
- Evidence-based Management addresses the need to deal with vast supplies of data and information and efficiently utilize those inputs to make optimal decisions backed by current best evidence. We seek to develop inquisitive students who ask good questions, think critically, have the technology skills to develop valuable information, and the communication skills to make that information available and understandable to appropriate parties. We contribute to the growth of impactful research in this area; and our outreach efforts seek to educate and support business and nonprofit entities in utilizing data to make better decisions.
- Innovation addresses three key areas: (1) conception of novel ideas (creativity); (2) implementation of new ideas within entities (innovation); and (3) conversion of ideas into economically viable operations (entrepreneurship). We seek to be a leader in the teaching of innovation; in researching innovation; and in incorporating innovation into our research, educational, and operational practices. As a result of these endeavors, our students should be better equipped to positively impact the future.
Our purpose and positions are undergirded by six priorities:
- Student engagement – Our interactions with students must be active, engaging, and experiential, rather than passive. Curricular and co-curricular activities should be more than a “process” and should ascend to the level of an “experience”–impacting them at a deep, emotional level. Students should experience exploration, inspiration, challenge, support, and transformation.
- Strong relationships with external parties – Recruiters, donors, governmental agencies, etc., are a lifeblood to our institution. Mutual ties to these entities must be continually built, maintained, and strengthened.
- A collegial and collaborative culture – We must have synergies created through a sense of common goals, cooperation, and shared successes. Faculty, staff, and administration must learn to engage seamlessly in interdisciplinary efforts.
- Boundary-less learning – Our education, research, and outreach is not limited by geographic boundaries or time. We reach students all over the world and students of all ages; and we open ourselves to their outreach as well.
- High-impact scholarship –Together with traditional research that meaningfully advances the business and economic disciplines, the SSB must maintain a portfolio of scholarly activity that substantially advances business knowledge and practice.
- Improved reputation and recognition – All stakeholder groups have expressed a desire to be associated with a respected and recognized school. If we focus on the preceding priorities and effectively monitor and communicate our efforts and successes both internally and externally, the impact on reputation and recognition will follow. We aim to achieve and improve leadership status among business schools in the nation. This achievement will require that we be proactive and aggressive in managing our reputation and that we market ourselves through both traditional and social media.
Finally, we have at least four significant practices that play a critical role in the achievement of our mission.
- Initiative Portfolio – We maintain a portfolio of important initiatives to achieve our mission. In determining whether to undertake a particular initiative, we base our decision on the extent to which a proposed initiative contributes to the preceding mission, positions, and/or practices. Initiatives that contribute to multiple facets of our strategic plan are more likely to be embraced and undertaken.
- Service Quality – Higher education is an expensive undertaking for all parties involved. Our key stakeholders deserve and will receive a high quality of service within the constraints of remaining economically viable and competitive. We seek continuous improvement in the quality of education delivered, student advising, career consulting, and outreach.
- Dashboard – We develop, review, and act on a variety of metrics to measure our performance and progress in key areas. These metrics include but are not limited to measures of student satisfaction with education, advising, and career services; student quality, retention, and progress toward graduation; faculty productivity; research quality; recruiter and alumni satisfaction; and employee satisfaction.
- Integrated Communications – We use targeted communications to internal and external parties to spread the word about our successes and to educate.