Strategic Planning Process
A. Definition and Recognition of Base Units
A base unit, a term used for institutional strategic planning purposes only in the process monitored by the University Planning and Budgeting Committee, is defined as the smallest unit which receives any support from the University and is, therefore, included in the strategic planning process. The following are base units:
a. The department(s) or administrative unit(s) involved.
b. The University Planning & Budgeting Committee.
c. The University Senate.
Organizations such as centers, institutes, and clinics must have bylaws reviewed by the University Senate before the Senate makes a recommendation to the President.
Existing center shall also have their bylaws reviewed by the Senate, which shall make recommendations to the University.
The President may then request formal approval by the Board of Trustees.
Adopted: Feb. 20, 1985
Admin. Approval: Mar. 28, 1985
Revised Senate: Oct. 20, 1993 (R-93-9-1 )
Admin. Approval: Dec. 13, 1993
B. Procedure for Recognizing Base Units
The department(s) or administrative unit(s) involved would submit reports to the University Planning and Budget Committee (UPBC) which would study the matter. The UPBC would then report to the University Senate which would examine all aspects of the matter and make a recommendation to the University President.
Admin. Approval: Mar. 28, 1985
C. Role of Governance and Strategic Planning
Admin. Approval: July 3, 1986
D. Definition of a Strategic Plan
Strategic Planning is the process by which an organization determines what it wants to become and the means by which it achieves those ends. George Keller, in his seminal book entitled Academic Strategy: The Management Revolution in Higher Education (1983) provides some thoughtful comments on the nature of strategic planning in higher education. His observations are useful as the University begins the process of constructing a strategic plan. Keller argues that:
“Academic strategic decision making means that a college, school, or university and its leaders are active rather than passive about their position in history. To think strategically is to look intensely at contemporary history and your institution’s position in it and work on the planning process that actively confronts the historical movement, overcomes it, gets on top of it, or seizes opportunities latent in it. A campus with an academic strategy has a battle plan to get stronger and better in the teeth of historical conditions…Strategic thinking leads one into being an active defender, analyzer, or prospector, rather than a passive reactor.”
Strategic planning and management, other observe, has been defined as:
Such a process provides an excellent framework for re-engineering the management environment. Strategic planning models call for periodic analyses of the external environment, institutional strengths and weaknesses, and institutional values. Matching opportunities/constraints, strengths/weaknesses, and values enhances a university ’s ability to develop more responsible mission and goals statements and more appropriately, to link planning and budgeting. This institutional strategy is reinforced with a functional approach delineated in tactical plans, e.g., academic plan, financial plan, computing plan, etc. Finally, operational strategy is presented in unit plans which define actions to be taken within a budget cycle which, over time, result in the accomplishment of institutional goals. 2
The strategic plan at Western Connecticut State University is firmly anchored in the priorities, values, and aspirations defined in the current Statement of Mission.
F. Strategic Planning Process
The five-year strategic plan is biennially cyclic, and reflects the following process.
G. The Role of the University Planning and Budget Committee (UPBC)
The University Planning and Budget Committee plays a critical role in the development and ongoing refinement of the University’s strategic plan. The committee’s responsibilities include:
(1) Mark Meredith, Robert G. Cope, and Oscar T. Lenning, “Differentiating bona fide Strategic Planning from Other Planning,” a study paper, May 1987, p.3.
(2) James M. Rosser and James I. Penrod, “Strategic Planning and Management: A Methodology for Responsible Change”, The Journal of Library Administration, 1992.