Q & A
WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING?
“Strategic planning is a system approach that is continuous rather than episodic in nature. The plan provides direction and offers a road map for the institution to follow. It tells us why an organization is doing what it is doing, how it will do it, and how well it is doing it.”
Thomas J. Haas, President, GVSU, 2006
Strategic planning is a process intended to engage stakeholders in building a commitment to a particular purpose and direction for the organization that will then guide the allocation of the organization’s resources. Strategic planning is an iterative process that is conceptual and collaborative and involves problem-solving and decision-making. As author and management expert Peter Drucker states, “Planning is not an event. It is a continuous process of strengthening what works and abandoning what does not, of making risk taking decisions with the greatest knowledge of the potential effect, of setting objectives, appraising performance and results through system feedback, and of making ongoing adjustments as conditions change.”
WHAT IS A STRATEGIC PLAN?
The purpose of strategic planning is to create an organizational strategic plan. The strategic plan serves as a road map or blueprint for improving the performance of the organization. The plan includes a vision of what the organization aspires to be, a mission stating the purpose of the organization, values that guide organizational behavior and culture, goals for achieving the vision and mission, and objectives and strategies that form the action plan for actualizing the goals.
WHY IS STRATEGIC PLANNING IMPORTANT?
Author Charles Handy in The Art of Paradox articulates the realities of our world today, “We’ve got to live with chaos and uncertainty, to try to be comfortable with it and not to look for certainty where we won’t get it.” Today’s world challenges us with uncertainty, chaos, and unpredictability. For an organization to gain stability and balance in such an environment, it is essential for the organization to have a vision and mission connected to innovative strategies.
HOW WAS THE UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN DEVELOPED?
The development of the University Strategic Plan began with the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee comprised of representatives of the university’s constituent groups. The purpose of the committee was to engage the university community in creating a mission, a vision, values, and goals for the university. Using the vision, mission, values, and goals, as well as the North Central Accreditation Criteria, the university divisions developed their operational plans for fulfilling the mission and making the vision become reality. The university’s operational plan was then developed based on the predominant themes of the divisional plans. Thus, the framework for the University Strategic Plan was created from the work of the Strategic Planning Committee and the operational plan was created from the work of the divisions. This process allowed a top down framework and a bottom up operation.
HAS THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVED THE UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN?
On October 16, 2009, the Board of Trustees approved the 2010-2015 University Strategic Plan which includes the mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives. The board also authorized the administration to revisit on an annual basis the University Strategic Plan in the manner the administration deems appropriate.
WHAT IS THE 2010-2015 STRATEGIC POSITIONING COMMITTEE AND WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
The 2010-2015 Strategic Positioning Committee is a standing university committee that is comprised of representatives from the university’s constituent groups. The purpose of the committee is to periodically review the University Strategic Plan for its relevance, currency, and appropriateness for strategically positioning Grand Valley State University for its preferred future.
WHAT ARE THE 2010-2015 STRATEGIC POSITIONING COMMITTEE’S RESPONSIBILITIES?
The 2010-2015 Strategic Positioning Committee’s responsibilities include the following:
Review and update the University Strategic Plan and the university’s planning process
Develop a framework to guide the university’s future planning and the integration of the University Strategic Plan with the operational planning of the divisions, colleges, and departments
Establish a planning cycle that includes review, update, and progress reports
Ensure that multiple sets of data are linked to the plan and the planning process for continuous improvement.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE NORTH CENTRAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS?
The North Central Association (NCA) is the accrediting body for the university.
Grand Valley engaged in developing its self-study for the North Central
visit which occurred October 2008. The University was approved unconditionally for the maximum 10 year re-accreditation. Strategic planning is integrally linked to the
university’s accreditation as outlined in North Central’s Criteria 1 and 2. The
university can demonstrate best practice by following the University Strategic Plan
for the organization’s mission, vision and direction, which will then guide the
allocation of the university’s resources.
Page last modified December 8, 2009