Our Planning Cycle
Strategic plans at the University are for five year increments so that there are five cycles to an approved plan. Amendments to the plan are made during each of the cycles as needed. At the end of each cycle the results are reported and assessed with suggestions for modification.
Strategic Plan Goals are set forth by cost center (department or other budgetary unit). Their inclusion is from their importance in advancing Operational Objectives. They were not developed to be an expression of every conceivable institutional goal flowing from the institutional statement of mission. To keep focus there are to be, in general, no more than three or four Plan Goals per cost center.
The chart below illustrates the planning cycle at Living University.
The primary objectives to be realized in the planning process are the following:
- To enhance the probability that the mission of the University will be fulfilled.
- To increase dialogue between the administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- To foster improvement of the conceptualization and understanding of program planning, resource allocation, and managing processes.
- To improve planning and management processes at all levels at the University.
- To demonstrate the effectiveness of the University in achieving its institutional mission and scope.
Through the planning process, cost center managers are to develop Plan Goals for their department or other budgetary unit in operational terms as realistically as possible. These are to be stated in the context of the mission statement of the University. These strategic Plan Goals become targets by which the University can gauge progress toward achieving its mission through the assessment process.
There are eight fields required for each Plan Goal as follows:
- Program Objective. A specific primary or support program objective, linked to mission, as stated by Board Statute (see Statutes Section 2.2.1). Primary programs consist of those purposed to provide instruction, research, and/or public service. Support programs consist of academic support, learning resources, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of plant, scholarships and fellowships, auxiliary enterprises, and independent operations. Program Objectives are set forth in full in the Statutes of the Board.
- Operational Objective. A statement for a primary or support program objective with suitable comprehensiveness and depth, to furnish further meaning related to the accomplishment of that objective. These operational goals are set forth in full in the Administrative Regulations as approved by the President of the University. Recommendations for modifications or changes are to be made to the President as needed.
- Plan Goal. A specific goal or task to be accomplished in the work of a cost center. These are developed at the department or cost center level consistent with existing operational objectives as a Plan Goal is a specific implementation of an Operational Objective. Occasionally a proposed Plan Goal may require a new or modified Operational Objective consistent with institutional mission.
- Accountability. Accountability assignment is to the primary person providing oversight for fulfillment and reporting of an operational goal.
- Preliminary Budget Request. The Preliminary Budget Request for all cost centers is normally due by April 1 annually. This allows for the review necessary for formulation of the Preliminary Budget and its presentation to the Board of Regents in June. Plan goals that have a defined budget amount shall include it in their Preliminary Budget Request.
- Criterion. Statement that describes specifically what results fulfill the stated operational goal.
- Result. Report of the outcome.
- Reflection. Data-driven narrative that indicates program strengths and/or progress made plus logical steps for addressing outcomes partially met or not met.