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III. The Framework and Structure for the Strategic Planning Process

At the Symposium, President Eibeck will lead the discussion of the structure, framework and particulars of the Strategic Planning Process. The Strategic Planning Process consists of four phases, a one-page visual summary of which is found at Strategic Overview.

Phase 1: Designing and Scanning (June - August 2011)

The first phase of strategic planning has been primarily conceptual, focused on the pre-work necessary to launch a successful planning process. The prevailing spirit of this phase is bringing forward clear expressions of existing values, assumptions, and programs and designing a planning process that will enable the reconsideration of these elements in the context of potential futures. Starting in June 2011, the President and Cabinet began a conscious, reflective process of designing a strategic planning process tailored to address the University's distinctive opportunities and challenges. These concepts were refined and extended at the Academic Leadership Retreat on June 15-17, which engaged academic and administrative leadership. Donald M. Norris facilitated the retreat and he will continue to provide expert and developmental support throughout the strategic planning process.

Throughout July and August, the Strategic Planning Organizational Design for the strategic planning process was further refined and enhanced. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), a 12-person, ad hoc group reporting to the President and Cabinet, will serve as the central coordinating body for the planning process from September 2011 through October 2012. The SPC is non-representative and therefore is not composed of representatives of units or other committees or constituencies. Rather, its members are selected for the capacity to think institutionally and strategically. The SPC will be chaired by the Provost and will coordinate the efforts of a constellation of Strategic Working Groups that will create a series of briefings during the Divergent Thinking Phase of the Strategic Planning Process. The Academic Council will select a subset of the faculty to serve on the SPC, so the SPC can fulfill its critical role.

Activities during the design and scanning phase also focused on how the new strategic planning process aligns with other planning and change-related activities and how to manage and keep track of that alignment. Two resources memorialize this alignment: a Planning Activities matrix that explains the variety of different planning activities that are occurring simultaneously, and a graphic image Aligning Planning, Strategy, and Actions that shows how we can best align important process now and into the future.

The first phase of the strategic planning process also focused on scanning the environment for key factors influencing the University of the Pacific today and in the future. During July and August a body of knowledge was accumulated on the following factors: political/community, economic/competitive, social/demographic, technology/teaching, learning and scholarship, and environmental factors affecting higher education. These resources are available in a repository to support the work of the planning groups and can be accessed at Strategic Planning Environmental Scanning Materials. Also available is a preliminary Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis which was initially developed at the Academic Leadership Retreat, refined through subsequent conversation, and will be further refined during the course of the strategic planning process.

Phase 2: Divergent Thinking (September - December 2011)

This phase of strategic planning will be highly participatory, iconoclastic, and bottom-up. Its spirit is to question existing values, assumptions, and offerings in the context of the range of emerging views of the possible futures that the University may confront. This phase will be about exploring future conditions, challenges, opportunities, and alternatives, not making decisions about final solutions.

The Strategic Planning Committee will be convened in September 2011 and will assume different tasks and roles appropriate to each phase. During the Divergent Thinking Phase, the SPC will meet biweekly and review environmental scanning materials, SWOT materials, and the emerging work products from the Strategic Working Groups.

The Strategic Working Groups will be the heart of the Divergent Thinking Phase. They will be guided by insights from the Environmental Scan, SWOT Analysis, Strategic Planning Symposium and a statement of Values/Principles, Assets and Assumptions provided prior to the Symposium. Directly following the Symposium, the Deans will explore the future of their professions in their school with a group of faculty, staff and students. Examination of issues that affect the entire University will be carried out in Strategic Working Groups that will explore ten cross-cutting issues:

  1. The Future of Liberal Learning

  2. The Future of Human Health and Well-Being

  3. International and Global Futures

  4. The University without Borders/Distributed Learning

  5. Information, Technology and Learning

  6. Next Generation Students

  7. Inclusivity and the Future Student

  8. Edu-Business: The Business of Higher Education

  9. Emerging Careers and Academic Programs

  10. Society's Expectations of Higher Education

Description of the Cross-Cutting Issues provides a summary of the charge of each of these cross-cutting groups. Each Strategic Working Group as well as the groups lead by the Deans within their schools will prepare a 10-page report by the end of November, answering a common set of questions for each discipline/issue. Both the perspectives of existing schools and programs and cross-cutting issues will feature prominently.

Phase 3: Convergent Planning (January - April 2012)

The third phase of the strategic planning process primarily involves the Strategic Planning Committee, weaving together the many threads put forward by the Divergent Thinking Phase. The rhythm of this phase is about converging to possible solutions, strategies and decisions. These will be incorporated in a Draft Strategic Plan.

Early in the 2012 spring semester, either late January or early February, the University of the Pacific will convene a Symposium on Strategic Choices, which will showcase the alternatives, options, opportunities and challenges highlighted by the reports of the Strategic Working Groups. This will provide an excellent opportunity for discussion and input. The detailed planning for the format and program of the Symposium will be conducted in late November and December, based on the input from the Strategic Working Groups.

During January-April 2012, the Strategic Planning Committee will meet weekly, actively engaging in converging on strategic decisions and crafting robust strategies. The SPC will also receive input from other planning groups, such as Information Strategy and Policy Committee, which will be engaged in developing a new IT strategic plan during the spring of 2012. A sub-set of the SPC will develop and draft early versions of the Strategic Plan for view by the full SPC and eventually the broader University community. In April 2012 the Board of Regents will review and approve the general strategies as expressed in the Strategic Plan.

Phase 4: Refining (May - October 2012)

This fourth phase of strategic planning will involve continued refinement of the Strategic Plan, creating a Strategic Financial Plan aligned with the Strategic Plan, and preparing for planning at the level of individual schools and administrative divisions. The spirit of this phase will be refinement and detailing of plans for executing strategy, and encouraging strategic thinking, planning, and alignment at the school/department/program levels. The focus will also be on providing for effective and flexible execution of strategy, identifying the organizational capacity that will need to be developed for strategies to succeed, and describing the metrics and supporting analytics necessary to support strategy execution and capacity building.

During this phase, the Strategic Planning Committee will meet less frequently and the drafting sub-group will refine and extend their work. On the other hand, a Strategic Financial Planning Team, led by the Vice President for Business and Finance, will develop the Strategic Financial Plan in Spring/Summer 2012. Other special Working Groups, to be detailed during Phases 3-4, will explore organizational capacity and analytics solutions and suggest the solutions needed to align strategies, actions, responsibilities, outcomes, and metrics.

Moreover, the Provost and Deans will lead School-level planning efforts that will continue through the end of 2012. In October 2012, the Board of Regent will endorse the final University of the Pacific Strategic Plan. The individual school plans do not require Board approval.

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