The development of the Academic Master Plan was intended to focus the University’s efforts to achieve its vision and to engage in continuous improvement.  The University’s primary mission is preparing students to be productive and responsible citizens with the educational tools needed to pursue meaningful careers and service.  Therefore, it was important for Academic Affairs to take the lead in developing a plan since all other planning processes and resource decisions throughout other divisions and services of the university must support and enhance the academic mission and the Academic Master Plan.

Role and Philosophy

Academic Affairs is responsible for all instructional programs, educational policy, academic planning, academic resources, and faculty personnel actions. In addition, the Division is responsible for academic support units including the Library, the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, Honors, International Studies, MSUB Online, and the Centers for Disabilities, Training and Development, Applied Economic Research, and Northern Plains.

Academic Affairs has a strong history of shared governance.  Programmatic and curricular decisions and faculty evaluation are conducted by peer and administrative evaluation through standing committees in the Colleges and the University.  The Academic Affairs division is focused on student learning and student success.  The division values academic freedom and the development of a community of scholars.

Academic Affairs Mission Statement

To ensure all current and prospective students have access to excellent academic programs and the customer service and support they need to succeed; to provide a rich educational environment for students by building a community of scholars dedicated to student success through excellence in teaching and learning, innovation, discovery, creativity, civic engagement, diversity, and inclusiveness; to direct constructive change in the delivery and implementation of academic programs in response to the needs of students and of employers in the twenty-first century; and to demonstrate wise stewardship of all the University’s instructional and academic support resources through assessment, accountability, and continuous improvement to ensure high quality, relevant, higher education at an affordable price.

Foundation for the Academic Master Plan

The Academic Master Plan begins with the University’s vision, core values, mission, and motto.  These statements, along with the University’s nine strategic initiatives are the foundational underpinnings of the Academic Master Plan and guided and shaped its form and content.

MSU Billings Core Purpose, Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Core Themes

Core Purpose

To assure that all members of the University community reach their individual potential.


Montana State University Billings provides a University experience characterized by:

  • Excellent Teaching
  • Support for Individual Learning
  • Engagement in Civic Responsibility
  • Intellectual, Cultural, Social and Economic Community Enhancement


Montana State University Billings will be recognized as a regional leader for:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Translating Knowledge into Practice
  • Researching for the Future
  • Accepting Leadership for Intellectual, Cultural, Social and Economic Development Beyond University Boundaries

Core Themes

  • Core Theme One:  Cultivating Teaching Excellence
  • Core Theme Two:  Providing an Environment for Learning
  • Core Theme Three:  Promoting and Engaging in Civic Responsibility
  • Core Theme Four:  Enhancing the Community
  • Overarching Core Theme Five: Essentials for Success

Core Values

Integrity: MSU Billings' actions are ethical and principled to assure dignity and equity for all

Educational Excellence: MSU Billings provides distinctive programs and challenging educational experiences for a diverse university community

Student Achievement: MSU Billings provides academic support and administrative services to foster academic & professional achievement of the university community

Community of Learners: MSU Billings respects and nurtures variety in intellectual contribution and scholarship enriching both the University and its extended community

Meaningful Engagement: MSU Billings supports all members of the university community in their individual growth toward confidence, individual sense of purpose and acceptance of civic responsibilities

Responsiveness: MSU Billings meets the changing needs of our learners with informed action and innovation based on current standards of educational & technical excellence

University Motto:  Access and Excellence