Strategic Planning Process
During the fall 2013 opening faculty and staff meeting the College announced its plan to be more inclusive in the upcoming biennial strategic planning. All stakeholders from all departments and units of the college were asked to strategize and develop four or five goals that could be incorporated into institutional goals. The process integrated an intentional, inclusive need for all stakeholders to become vested in the process. In the spirit of shared governance, this intentional, inclusive process of strategic planning and goal setting was started. The Strategy Forum Team used the Forum to refine the process and align it with the college’s funding allocation timeline. The process was implemented and has followed an established timeline that aligns with the College and State of Nebraska’s funding appropriation’s calendar.
The department and unit goals were used during the biennial retreat to determine themes and goals based on areas of need addressed by a majority of the departments and units.
The new 2013 Strategic Planning process has been defined as an inclusive process to generate intentional and comprehensive planning—linked to the mission, vision, and budget planning of the college with metrics used to measure outcomes to define success.
Departmental and unit goals were distilled during the strategic planning retreat and then further synthesized by the Council of Vice Presidents. The finalized goals were announced to the entire institution in December 2013. The departments and units then were asked to develop specific action plans with budget implications to achieve the finalized goals, providing ownership and responsibility to the process. The purpose and goals of the 2013 November Strategic Planning Retreat were to accomplish the following.
The new process continues to follow the process and timeline created during the 2013 Strategy Forum and is right on schedule. The process began with empowering the departments and academic schools and moved to the institutional level, which distilled the overarching, institutional goals. Departments were then again empowered to align their specific goals with action plans to achieve the institutional goals. The process was created to ensure that departmental priorities were not forgotten and localized decisions were continually considered. To be inclusive, an important element of the process is to listen to all voices and use departmental decisions written in proposed action plans. Goals not needing new biennial budget allocation consideration can be funded using school and/or department budget allocations or through reallocation of funds. Continual communication to reinforce the new process is ongoing. Annual surveys and evaluations are being analyzed to continuously strive to improve the process. The 2013 Strategic Planning Retreat survey collected responses from 30 of the 49 possible respondents. Responses to the question “A new process was used for the 2013 Strategic Planning Retreat, how effective was the process in developing institutional goals?” resulted in 59% answering “very effective”, 24% “extremely effective”, and 17% “fairly effective”, no one answered “slightly effective” or “not at all effective.”