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Information Gathering

An actionable strategic plan must be informed by the lived experience of a unit’s stakeholders both inside and outside the unit and by the context in which the university operates, within New York City, within the US economy, and within the higher education landscape, for instance.

You will want to examine current or past strategic plans, self-studies, fact books, print and electronic promotional materials, and any enrollment, marketing, fundraising or financial analyses.

Other important methods of gathering information are:
Obtaining Community Input
Conducting an Environmental Scan
Conducting a SWOT Analysis

Summarize and Discuss Initial Analyses

It is useful to prepare a document that articulates some initial strategic issues and themes that arise based on your information gathering for discussion at your strategic planning committee (SPC) meetings.

Discussing findings and working hypotheses allows you to:

  • Identify areas of agreement and disagreement
  • Pinpoint issues requiring additional analysis and/or discussion
  • Begin to describe the overall architecture of the strategic plan and content of its major sections. See drafting the plan.