JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - At a meeting held on the campus of ITT Technical Institute in Earth City, members of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) agreed on a vision to position Missouri higher education as an innovative and coordinated system of diverse institutions that will equip all of our citizens for personal and professional success in the 21st century, benefiting the state and the nation.

Through an ongoing collaboration with Missouri's postsecondary institutions, Imperatives for Change: Building a Higher Education System for the 21st Century has emerged as a framework for the CBHE's coordinated plan. Over the next three to five years, Imperatives for Change will serve as a universal guide for improving our higher education system through goal prioritization, resource allocation and requests, and implementation of strategies expected to provide Missourians with the educational opportunities necessary to compete in a global economy.

The plan's strategic issues include overarching goals of improving educational attainment; developing a well-prepared, world-class workforce; and demonstrating higher education's key value in order to secure increased external financial support for these objectives. As Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Robert B. Stein notes, "Access without success is an empty promise, so first and foremost the focus of the system remains on students, learning, and the realization of reaching full educational potential."

While the CBHE's collaborative work continues in identifying measures, setting target goals and dates, and assigning responsibilities associated with the strategic plan, the board also moved to update its Public Policies Manual to more readily reflect current practices. As also passed by the board, a new draft policy represents a uniform approach for the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) and the CBHE to administer penalties for institutions that show a willful disregard of CBHE policy, as directed by the signing into law of Senate Bill 389 last August.

The CBHE meets five times per year at locations throughout the state. The next meeting is scheduled for Apr. 10, 2008, at Linn State Technical College. Board books and official meeting minutes may be found on the MDHE Website at