Policies/Reports: Academic Affairs' Planning Process Policy

The Division’s planning process is derived from that used to create its first strategic plan and operates on a five-year cycle. That effort, begun in February 1996, adopted a "bottom up" process which focused on input from faculty and staff, who were asked to develop a vision for their unit and describe how their areas of responsibility related to the university vision and mission. Employing a variety of assessment data, each academic department and directorate analyzed its area, assessing the structure, function, and activities of the unit. Units were also asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses. Following this analysis, each unit advanced a vision and proposed a series of goals and strategies in support of the university's mission. Faculty and staff, in cooperation with chairs, deans, and directors, then prepared a series of specific initiatives in pursuit of the vision and goals of the department.

Deans and directors collected, assimilated, analyzed, and synthesized information from their areas of responsibility and forwarded a single plan for each school, college, and directorate to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA). The VCAA staff reviewed plans from each directorate in detail with the academic deans and discussed plans for the schools and college with the responsible dean. After collective review by the deans, their faculties, and the VCAA staff, the plan was reviewed by the directors and their staffs and then submitted to the Faculty Senate Steering Committee for comment. The process resulted in the Division’s Strategic Plan for 1997-2002.

Beginning in 1999, the Division initiated planning retreats in the fall and spring of each academic year, attended by the Provost and VCAA staff, deans, and directors. The retreats provide a means to assess the progress toward fulfilling the Strategic Plan projections and for making adjustments to the plan. Faculty and staff are now asked to submit budget requests and proposed new initiatives based on these themes, including academic programming and administrative/personnel needs, to deans and directors, who prioritize them and present them for discussion at the spring retreat. At the subsequent fall retreat, held after state funding has been determined, priorities are again reviewed and funds allocated according to agreed upon priorities.

The Division will develop a second five-year strategic plan in 2001-2002 for the academic years 2002-2007. The new planning process, modified as described above, will also incorporate the assessment data and other information generated by the Self-Study prepared for the reaffirmation of SACS accreditation, which will be completed in spring 2002.

Adopted March 13, 2001


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