Shippensburg University is in the process of updating its strategic plan for the 2013–14 school year.
A 15–person steering committee consisting of representatives for all constituencies on campus, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees, will be heavily involved in the entire process.
The process involves a comprehensive look at SU’s mission, vision, core values and beliefs.
The committee will look at how well the university is meeting those aspects by reviewing the Academic, Facilities, Comprehensive Campaign Capital, Information Technology and the in-development Enrollment Master Plans.
Appropriate updates will be made to the mission, vision, core values, beliefs and master plans.
One major goal is to allow vice presidents to drive the strategic planning in their specific area in such a way that their groups can function to their fullest individually but also maintain cooperation with others.
One way to see how well the university is living up to its mission, vision, core values and beliefs is to see how students feel about the institution and see if that reflects those things.
That is one thing the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is used for.
“The process of strategic planning always starts with looking at what information you have about the institution and asking, are the assumptions and core values you work from true?” Mark Pilgrim, director of Institutional Research for SU, said.
“The NSSE survey is great. It allows us to get a sense of what’s on the students’ minds, and it helps us to understand if we’re providing a mix of support services that are on par with needs,”Pilgrim said.
As the steering committee meets, it will develop updates for the strategic plan as well as four to six general goals to accomplish to address issues. Some of the issues include enrollment planning and financing and budgeting.
“One issue is making sure that the budget that we have follows the strategy that we develop, not the other way around,” SU President William Ruud said.
“All too often, the strategy follows the budget,” Ruud said.
Ruud said the campus community can be involved every step of the way, and he emphasized communication as the way to keep people engaged.
He plans to send out regular emails to keep students updated along with making draft copies of the plan available as the process continues.
Ruud hopes students become more involved and engaged during the process, and he hopes it makes them start to think about what they want to take from their time at SU and what they want to leave behind.
“You get as involved as you want to, and hopefully the leadership of all the constituencies will get really engaged. So, it’s our plan, it’s not my plan, it’s Ship’s plan,” Ruud said.