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Getting Started

Establish an Effective Local Planning Team

Designate a core team responsible for developing the strategic plan itself, managing the planning process to that end, and ensuring effective coordination with other local and university-wide planning groups and processes.

Some suggestions for establishing an effective strategic planning committee (SPC):

Leadership
The SPC should have a chair (or co-chairs) who:

  • Is either the unit’s leader or is appointed by the leader and will update him/her
  • Has the stature, access, and administrative support to manage the planning process (e.g., scheduling meetings, connecting with other local or university units, etc.)
  • Is respected throughout the unit and is a capable meeting facilitator

Membership
The composition of the SPC should reflect the composition of the unit as a whole. Besides faculty, staff and students, SPC members sometimes include the following:

  • Alumni
  • Faculty or staff of other local units with which the given unit has significant interaction
  • Service recipients, who can provide a perspective on their needs and how well these are met
  • Outside partners

The SPC should strive to include a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Size
In general, to ensure both critical mass and manageable meetings, the size of the committee should be in the range of 8-10 people.

Capabilities/Requirements
SPC members should be:

  • Willing and able to attend all SPC meetings
  • Willing to put pen to paper between meetings to draft content for discussion and eventually for the local strategic plan
  • Be active, thoughtful, and good listeners, willing to share opinions in meetings, listen carefully to others, synthesize views and strive for consensus among the Committee members.
  • Be able to speak forcefully for what they believe without pursuing a narrow agenda.