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[ president’s desk ] Accent MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

Vol. 34, No. 3 Fall 2010 President

Edwin H. Robinson, Ph.D.

Vice President, University Advancement Jon North

Admissions 1-800-800-8887, ext. 3380

Alumni & Friends Office 1-877-496-8668 Accent Staff

Managing Editor Carol Best


David O’Brien Contributors

Carol Best, Jim Bradford, Denene Brox, Kim Campbell, Jordan Hobson, Tom Munds


Carol Best, Kim Campbell, Jen Christenson, Josh Klekamp, Nick Neumann, Jim Smith, Emily Taylor

Accent is published by MidAmerica Nazarene University and mailed free to alumni, friends and supporters of MNU. It is produced for University Advancement by the MNU Marketing and Communications Office. Postage is paid at Shawnee Mission, Kan., and additional mailing offices.

Contacting Accent Voice: (913) 971-3586

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© 2010 MidAmerica Nazarene University. All rights reserved.

The (Strategic) Great Adventure Adventures have an unpredictable nature – unspecified means of travel on unfamiliar

roads toward unknown destinations – with little guarantee how long or how arduous the trek may be. Some people enjoy these exhilarating journeys. Life for them is one great adventure. Others find adventures tense, exhausting, and maybe even a waste of time. The important things in life need goals and strategies, the more detailed the better. Life for them is too important to rely on the unknown.

Organizations are like people. Some embrace the adventure – always running to keep up with what’s happening, managing positive chaos and rushing blindly into the future. The frantic institutional pace energizes everyone caught up in its optimistic wake or discourages those swept up in its cynical vortex, depending on the state of the economy. Others are highly strategic with intense plans teeming with extensive research, detailed responsibilities, and explicit targets. There is security in knowing where the institution is going, what it must do to get there, and how long it will take to achieve the goal.

Is it possible to have both – strategy and adventure? I believe people and institutions can. Priority 2015, MidAmerica’s five-year strategic plan, is a detailed, yet adventuresome glimpse into our future. The vision of being “a premier Christian university with global impact” within the next five years is ambitious, perhaps too ambitious for some. The six strategic objectives establish defined activities and specific targets, many of which will require heroic effort and different structures. You’ll read about the plan in this issue of Accent and you can explore the specifics online at

Strategic adventures have more risk than security. They set a direction, establish measurable goals, determine time frames, and inherently invite accountability. Strategic adventures set the goals high enough to be a challenge. They press time frames near enough to require extraordinary performances and gracious circumstances. They are anything but safe. Priority 2015 is no exception.

“Strategic adventures have more risk than security…Strategic adventures set the goals high…They are anything but safe.”

The 46-year journey of MidAmerica Nazarene University is one of consistent adventure. There is no reason to think that adventuresome trek has taken its last turn. In reality, the journey has only begun. But as adventuresome as we think we are, we won’t be where we want to be five years from now without a strategic plan. So, welcome to the great (strategic) adventure: Priority 2015. ❡

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