Stephen F. Austin State University

The Next Strategic Plan

Why does SFA care about strategic planning?

Simply put, strategic planning is the process an organization (in our case, SFA) uses to define its direction, set goals, determine the actions and resources needed to achieve these goals, and establish performance measures so progress can be gauged.

A strategic plan defines the goals [ends] and outlines how these ends are achieved by the means [resources].

Envision SFA...

is what we are calling the five-phase collaborative strategic planning process that will inform the development of our next strategic plan.

Phase I Phase II Phase III Phase IV Phase V
Overview

Collaborative Strategic Planning

The process we will employ over the next several months is termed "collaborative strategic planning." This planning method has been developed by Dr. Patrick Sanaghan as he has shared his expertise on strategic planning, leadership development and facilitation techniques with more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years. This five-phase process is designed to meaningfully engage University stakeholders with the goal of creating a shared future vision for the institution.

Planning Update

Engagement and Data-Gathering / Sense-Making

Over a nine week period last fall, the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) engaged with more than 2,100 people (see Timeline and Progress). The purpose of this engagement was to hear what these internal and external stakeholders believed was most important for us to consider as we developed the next strategic plan. A huge amount of input was collected. To manage this, the SPT conducted a day-long "Sense-making Workshop" facilitated by Dr. Pat Sanaghan to identify the themes that were most prevalent so we could focus our efforts.

In broad strokes, six strategic themes emerged. The SPT divided into six writing teams and developed concept papers on each of these themes.

Academic Innovation

SFA Identity

Make/Increase/Strengthen External Connections

Recruiting & Retaining High Quality Faculty and Staff

Transformative Experiences for Students

University Culture

[Note on Concept Papers: The goal was to create an non-academic paper for lay persons that is informative and doesn't try and steer the reader in a specific direction or have an agenda of some kind. It helped translate the data we had received through the engagement and data-gathering process for the participants of the Vision Conference.]

Vision Conference

After hearing from more than 2,100 people, surfacing the prevalent themes, and developing concise concept papers on each topic, the SPT hosted a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders on January 30, 2015, for a Vision Conference.

The goal of this day-long conference was the creation of a shared vision for a "preferred future."

Participants included representatives from the following groups:

During this day-long exercise, the SPT continued to narrow the mass of input we have received into more concise elements that helped us develop as aspirational statement of our preferred future. You can see that Vision Statement here. This Vision Statement will be foundational as we approach the goal-setting phase of planning process.

Here are some pictures of the Strategic Planning Team working with a group of internal and external stakeholders during the Vision Conference on January 30, 2015:

Next up....The Goals Conference

Questions?

E-mail us at envision@sfasu.edu.