Approve University’s New Strategic Plan
commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no
plans.”--Peter F. Drucker, Educator
According to a survey by Cohen and
March, many universities fall into a planning trap. While they may have a
strategic plan, they let it go stale and outdated, or never really commit to it
in the first place.
State University is determined to never fall
into any of those categories.
For more than a year, the
University’s Strategic Planning Committee, appointed by President Dr. Bill
Meehan, has worked very hard to formulate a dynamic Strategic Plan that
supports JSU’s vision
and mission statements and seven institutional goals. The Plan was approved by
the JSU Board of Trustees on January 22, 2007.
Although a nod from the Trustees
might suggest to some mission accomplished, the approval of the plan actually
indicates that work is just beginning.
State University operates in a rapidly changing
environment that mandates a proactive approach to creating a desired future.
This approach requires continuous thoughtful review of past challenges and
successes, evidence-based decision-making, prioritization of resource allocations, and broad-based
participation by students, administration, faculty and staff. The implementation
of the new Strategic Plan is a renewal of the University’s commitment to these
- ongoing attention to how JSU teaches
citizenship and leadership to students;
- guaranteeing the highest quality
- promotion of the University’s role in
research and service;
- development and maintenance of a
robust learning community;
- maintenance of
cutting-edge technology that will meet the demands of an ever-changing learning
environment, and which will prepare our students for future
- increased efficiency and
effectiveness of the University’s administrative processes and services; and
- sound financial planning that assures
adequate fiscal resources for the University.
Surveys sent to the University
community made up of faculty, staff, administrators, and students have played an
active role in the formation of the Plan. Early in the process, more than 2,100 members of
community responded to
a survey that helped identify the University’s core values. The
JSU community also responded to a survey about the new University vision
statement. Then again, before JSU’s Strategic Plan was approved by
the Trustees, the University surveyed faculty, staff, administrators, and
students. Of the 17 items included, at least 80 percent of those surveyed agreed
or strongly agreed with every item except for “the strategic plan is attainable
within the next five years,” for which 76.6 percent of the respondents agreed or
strongly agreed. More than 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that “the
strategic plan is relevant to the University’s mission.”
From the beginning, Jacksonville
State University President Dr. Bill Meehan sought broad-based participation in
the development of the Strategic Plan. Increased participation from students,
faculty and administration will continue to be a cornerstone of the strategic
The Strategic Plan committee met
promptly after the Plan’s approval to prioritize strategies, and plan a kick-off meeting that will
take place in February. Quarterly committee update meetings, the presentation of
reports to the community and Trustees, and regular updates to the Strategic
Planning website will ensure smooth sailing as the Plan continues to help the
University chart its future course.
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