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Strategic Planning in Academic Units March 22 nd, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategic Planning in Academic Units March 22 nd, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategic Planning in Academic Units March 22 nd, 2011

2 Outline of Session  key elements of strategic planning and a case study to demonstrate application  panel of colleagues with experience leading strategic planning - sharing lessons learned  sharing of helpful supports & resources

3 Fundamentally Its About…  discovery and learning  connecting with others who share your interests and ideals  reconnecting with your own aspirations  creativity  choice  building community

4 What a Good Strategic Plan Will Do For You 1. defines in clear terms where a Faculty or department will be in the future in order to maximize its success (whatever that means to us) 2. maps out, in general terms, how it’ll get there making the best use of limited resources 3. creates alignment and cohesion within the Faculty/department 4. generates interest & support from key stakeholders

5 Other Benefits of Investing in SP  builds a consensual view - fosters a common understanding of the environment in which the unit operates and shared vision for the future  develops “strategic agility”- the unit’s ability to succeed has more to do with an ability to transform itself in response to changes in the environment, than whether it has the right strategy  engenders a proactive posture – the ability to bring about a needed change rather than reacting to it  helps focus limited resources - time, talent, money - where they can be most beneficial  outlines how objectives, efforts, resources and accountabilities can be harmonized with other aspects of the University

6 Key Elements Mission Vision Guiding Principles Strategic Action Plan Strategic Directions … a vibrant and compelling image of what we want to create or become … our core purpose, why we exist … the fundamental rules that inform our decisions, priorities and behaviours … the specific actions needed to “move” the Directions … the major thrusts of activity needed to realize the Vision... with key results

7 What It Looks Like External Factors Strengths & Constraints Guiding Principles Strategic Direction 3 Strategic Action Plan Strategic Direction 2 Strategic Action Plan Strategic Direction 1 Strategic Action Plan Strategic Direction 4 Strategic Action Plan Key Results Mission Situation Analysis Vision Progress & Achievements Strategic Directions Preferred Future Context Considerations for Fit within University

8 Mission  Our mission sets out … – what we do and why we exist  If possible, it reflects our distinctiveness  Many units adopt a tag line to bring the mission to life: “Advancing Concepts in Chemistry” “Inspiring Minds”

9 Mission of the VP-A & P Office The Vice-President Academic and Provost (VP-A & P) is the Chief Academic Officer and senior Vice-President of Dalhousie University. The VP-A & P Office works closely with the Deans to:  foster a culture of academic excellence,  set the University’s broad academic directions and goals,  ensure the continued development and provision of high-quality academic programs, and  recruit, develop and retain outstanding faculty and students. In addition, the VPA & P works closely with the President and other VP’s to advance strategic institutional initiatives. The VPA & P’s Office integrates with:  the eleven faculties  Dalhousie Libraries  Academic Staff Relations  Centre for Learning and Teaching  Office of Human Rights, Equity and Harassment Prevention  Office of Institutional Analysis and Research  Dalhousie Art Gallery

10 Situation Analysis - Generally 1. What have been our achievements and what has changes since the last plan was developed? 2. What’s happening “out there” that will or could impact the unit over the next 3-5 years? (opportunities, challenges, unknown impact) a)outside the university b)within the university 3. How do we fit with the University and Faculty strategic directions & priorities? 4. What are the strengths or assets that could be leveraged? 5. What are the constraints that will need to be addressed?

11 Situation Analysis – VP-A Office 1.What’s happening, outside of the university, that will or could impact us academically (i.e. factors/forces/trends that we may need or want to respond to)? 2.What academic opportunities, challenges or needs within the university do we believe the VP-A’s Office needs to respond to? 3.In what ways might the VP-A’s Office want to modify its role or priorities in response to any of the above? 4.What aspects of the VP-A’s Office are working well and should be maintained or leveraged to greater advantage in the future? 5.What constraints or limitations will the VP-A’s Office need to address to maximize its effectiveness and contributions?

12 Guiding Principles  They provide: – parameters for decision making/priority setting – guidelines for “how things work around here”  Principles adopted for Dalhousie’s Strategic Plan (page 4 - although not defined as guiding principles) : – differentiation – excellence – focus – flexibility

13 1. We actively engage in constructing a collaborative, team oriented, supportive community among faculty, students, staff, preceptors, practitioners, and clients and other partners, by: –welcoming challenges, questions and debate; –ensuring fairness in our treatment of each other; –practicing open communication; and –respecting the contributions of all. 2. We strive for excellence in our work, through: –creating a teaching and learning environment that is challenging, exciting and intellectually rigorous; –exceeding professional standards for educating quality therapists; –engaging in scholarship that is respected and admired; and –fulfilling our commitment to practicing therapists in the Atlantic region by providing opportunities for life long learning. 3. We actively pursue justice, equity and inclusiveness, by: –welcoming people from diverse and/or marginalized backgrounds; –ensuring that no one feels dismissed, especially due to status, rank, experience, or social background; and –attending to and speaking out about everyday life injustices. 4. We seek balance, individually and collectively, through: –managing the creative tensions between personal, professional and community commitments –establishing equilibrium between the academic pursuit of knowledge and the education of skilled practitioners; and –remembering to have fun together. Guiding Principles – Sample 1

14 Guiding Principles – Sample 2 Our program offerings will:  align with our mission/vision/priorities  in the end, benefit patient care  respond to needs that are critically important our key stakeholders and will exist over the longer term  contribute directly to achievement of our defined learning outcomes  be progressive – reflecting approaches that are new and distinctive  be undertaken if we are the best or only group to do it – where turning away will have a negative impact  proceed only if we have, or can acquire, the resources (time, money, people) needed to successfully implement... and are prepared to bear opportunity costs  produce impacts that are measureable and national in scope  be fiscally responsible – we will realize substantial benefit from the investment  build capacity and/or position us for other strategic opportunities

15 Vision  A short, punchy statement about where the Faculty or Department aspires to be in ___ years (having chosen an appropriate planning horizon)  It provides a vibrant and compelling image of what we want to create, invites us to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and points out the gaps that exist today  The meaningful stuff is often embedded in the strategic directions and made concrete with key results

16 Vision for the VP-A & P Office With consideration to our situation analysis, what do we want the VP-A’s Office to have achieved in 3 - 5 years with respect to: 1.Extending academic excellence and innovation 2.Strengthening enrolment (incl. internationalization) 3.Growing & enhancing the graduate program 4.Strengthening interdisciplinarity/collaboration 5.Enrichment of student learning opportunities 6.Recruitment, development and retention of outstanding faculty

17 Strategic Directions & Actions A small number (max 5?) of major thrusts of activity needed to realize the Vision, each with: a)key results/outcomes b)the specific actions needed to “move” the Directions c)consultation with administrative support offices (Facilities Management, Financial Services, ITS, Registrars, etc.) regarding implications

18 Draft: Faculty of Computer Science Scorecard 2011 Financial Measures – Computer ScienceQuality Measures – Computer Science Strategic Issues – Dalhousie UniversityOperational Issues – Computer Science Initiatives 2008-2013 1. Foster Academic Innovation Establish learning objectives for each program and course Identify and develop spaces within CS building where CS students can work in groups Revitalize graduate programs Executive level full-fee masters program 2. Strengthen Enrolment Strengthen teaching infrastructure to increase retention Outreach activities to increase profile Increase recruitment and outreach activities Explore articulated programs Expand formal international relationships 3. Enrich Student Experience Improve gender balance More private spaces for grad students More community events with students 4. Support Research Excellence Raise profile of research achievements Foster a culture of contract research Marketing and communications show our achievements 5. Develop Outstanding Human Resources Improved use of support staff expertise Create an environment that values and fosters enthusiasm and creativity around teaching 6. Sustain Campus Renewal: Increase opportunities for connecting 7. Ensure Financial Stability: Develop capacity plan 8. Engage our Community: Strengthen alumni relations Increase our profile Change public’s perception Red - No progress; Yellow - Good progress; Green- Met target; Black - Completed UG 400/G 280 2010 2011 Target

19 Fundamentally Its About…  discovery and learning  connecting with others who share your interests and ideals  reconnecting with your own aspirations  creativity  choice  building community

20 Experience Has Taught Us… The “good” ones:  start with a shared and bold intention – to shape the game rather than simply play it  are oriented around big, relevant strategic questions  foster engagement – at the outset and throughout  communicate to the max – at the outset and throughout  sustain a sense of importance… or benefit… or urgency  use an iterative process, alternating divergent and then convergent discussions, to build consensus  involve primary stakeholders in a meaningful way  are appropriately informed… but aren’t stalled by the belief that more data is needed  are laying a foundation for implementation from the get-go

21 Helpful Supports & Resources  The Dean  Leaders.Dal.Ca –resources, sample plans, articles  VP-A Office  Employee & Organizational Development –guidance, direct facilitation, resources and referral to other internal & external resources –Jim Neale, Director (, #1112) or main (, #1115)  Academic Staff Relations –guidance regarding collective agreement implications for managing change –Jasmine Walsh, Director (, #2962)

22 Helpful Supports & Resources  Employee Relations –guidance regarding collective agreement implications for managing change –Heather Williamson, Director (Heather.Williamson@Dal.Ca, #5186)Heather.Williamson@Dal.Ca  Office of Institutional Analysis and Research –academic planning data –Elizabeth Lane, Director (Elizabeth.Lane@Dal.Ca, #7064)Elizabeth.Lane@Dal.Ca  Others:

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