The COVID-19 pandemic caught most colleges and universities off-guard, and those institutions are forced to respond quickly and decisively to the ongoing threat often without a thought-out strategic plan linked to budget. In response to potential budget shortfalls and cutbacks, institutional leaders must make hard decisions towards sustainability regarding personnel, facilities, and both present and future software. Despite the urgency to put solutions in place, leaders would do well to learn from their colleagues across the nation and discuss, even if briefly, what plans they propose and what solutions they still need. Travel restrictions forced cancellation of local and national meetings where colleagues could discuss such matters, with Zoom webinars serving as virtual meeting forums to exchange ideas and seek answers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has palpably reshaped lives and businesses. Higher education, in particular, has found itself pivoting rapidly to ensure safety, adjust myriad processes, maintain academic rigor, drive administrative productivity, and keep institutions on mission.
According to Ryan Jockers, institutional and strategic analytics coordinator at the NDUS system office, the cloud-based planning SPOL software was purchased after the launch of the State Board of Higher Education’s strategic plan. SPOL was determined to be the best fit to further SBHE goals for the system, as well as track metrics of success. Additionally, the SPOL platform helps address prior concerns on documenting evidence related to increased performance of operations.
Strategic planning can shape the future of a higher education institution, from effectively managing budgeted funds to driving continuous improvement efforts. Below, we outline ten ways your institution can get the most out of its strategic planning efforts.
Developing or updating a strategic plan for an institution of higher education is a substantial endeavor. Engaging colleagues in committee and subcommittee meetings, discussing the future direction of the institution, and coming to a consensus on goals to guide the institution for the life of the plan: these considerations are at the heart of the collaborative process that is strategic planning in higher education.