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Strategic Planning


More than anything, planning should inform how we allocate our resources, broadly defined.

Planning should be informed by data and analysis at all levels from the identification of critical issues to consideration of alternative strategies to prioritization to evaluation, testing assumptions at every turn. Planning should recognize competitive pressures and other external forces.

Planning should be cross-cutting and integrative -- it should not simply be a collection of plans and ideas from various units or senior staff members, although that may be a starting point. Planning should seek the connections between or among critical issues.

Planning should use the college’s existing committee structure when appropriate, complementing it judiciously with small special groups. The Committee on Mission and Priorities will oversee planning efforts.

Special care should be give to developing charges and background materials for specially appointed groups. Each issue should be researched and background materials collected before charging committees.

To encourage broad participation and awareness of the planning issues and process, a communications plan will be developed. The communication strategy should provide information flow using several different means, such as campus e-mail, Web pages, regularly scheduled meetings, etc.

A small group should be appointed as a planning support group, charged with preparing issue briefs, collecting and analyzing data, responding to information requests, and drafting reports for the various working groups.

Planning should allow (even seek) different time horizons, with some action items to be implemented in next year while others may emerge over next five to 10 years.

Resulting strategies or action plans must include explicit objectives and a means for gauging progress toward intended outcomes.

While focusing on larger issues, Smith’s plan should not be so general that it could apply to any liberal arts college.

Essential Information

Questions to Consider

Organization &

Process & Timeline

Assumptions About
the Planning Process

Planning Updates


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