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Goal Advice from President McIff

Updated: Feb 22

President Stacy Mciff, Current Dean of Snow College. Photo Courtesy of Snow College website

By: Emma Wilden

With 2024 just beginning, setting goals is on many people’s minds. Setting goals is a skill that can help many college students in their studies, but it can be challenging. On goals, Stacee McIff says, “For both individuals and organizations, written goals are critical for articulating the vision, providing motivation, and promoting accountability. For an organization, goal setting can help everyone work towards the same overall objectives. Work can become more meaningful, and people can see how their contributions connect to the whole.” 

Continuous improvement is also something McIff values and is an important aspect of goal setting. She says, “Continuous improvement means that working to get better is an ongoing process. We establish plans to improve, measure the improvements, and then build on improvements time after time. Continuous improvement is applicable in our personal lives as well as in business and organizations.”

However, knowing the importance of goal setting does not make setting goals easy. McIff understands this. To make sure the goals set for the college get accomplished, everyone stays accountable, which is not easy, but assures success. “For the college, we have made specific assignments of leads on each of our sub-goals. In weekly Cabinet meetings, we hear updates. We have established a reporting schedule, so Cabinet members come to Cabinet prepared to report on specific actions that have been taken towards achieving the goal. I ask them to report on what’s going well as well as the barriers to achievement, request assistance from others in Cabinet if needed, outline upcoming tasks, and share dates and deadlines. We are also accountable to our Board of Trustees and our employees and provide updates on goal progress throughout the year. Without our incredible and committed faculty and staff, the college would not be able to progress.

For students, McIff gives two approaches: MBO and SMART goals. MBO is helpful for managers or those who work under a manager. She says, “For managers (or even if you’re not a manager but you have a manager), a concept called MBO, management by objective, is a method of goal setting where both the manager and employee agree on the annual goals. If managers and employees are both involved in setting objectives, and especially if they are also aligned with the organization’s goals, everyone is on the same page, and no one is surprised or caught off guard about expectations.”

SMART goals are helpful for individual goal setting. McIff says, “When we asked our staff to set personal goals that align with the college’s goals this year, we recommended using the SMART goal approach. I think setting SMART goals is the best way to set yourself up for success because you’ll have clarity about what you want to accomplish, you’ll be able to determine whether you met the goal or not, you are realistic about your goal, and you set up a deadline for completion. Being real with yourself about whether or not the goal is achievable within your time frame is especially important.”

Stacee McIff’s goals for the college are the goals she has for herself professionally as well. Her focus is always on the students. She says, “A primary goal for me is to help every Snow College student have an amazing, memorable, life-changing experience during their time with us. Fulfilling this goal includes providing opportunities for social, academic, mentorship, and life experiences that really can’t be found anywhere else. And that’s just one of many reasons why I love Snow College!


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