The Strategic Planning Process
The Old Dominion University Strategic Plan: 2009-2014 represents the University's sixth formal strategic planning cycle since the early 1980s. For over 25 years, ODU has engaged in an ongoing systematic and collaborative strategic planning process to inform long-term capital planning, annual academic activities and annual operating budgets. ODU's strategic planning process has always maintained the academic mission at its core, with plans for other areas of the University in support of that mission. The annual operating budget request process requires units that submit resource requests to cite the relationship between those requests and the accomplishment of one or more strategic planning goals. Consistent with the University's ongoing institutional effectiveness efforts, the strategic planning process incorporates periodic assessments of progress toward goal accomplishments and strategic plan objectives, with subsequent adjustments to plan implementation based on those assessments.
Preparation for the 2009-2014 strategic planning process began in May 2007, with a mid-cycle review of accomplishments of the goals within Old Dominion University's Strategic Plan: 2005-2009. Efforts moved to the next level in Summer 2008, when then Acting President John Broderick created the Office of Enrollment Management and tasked it to oversee a broad-based analysis and planning process that would establish ODU's enrollment management strategy for the next several years.
Fourteen Strategic Enrollment Management Committees were convened in August 2008 and reported out in December 2008 on a wide range of topics: Data Assessment; Continuing Education/Non-Credit operations; Customer Service; Technology/Distance Learning; Military; First Year Experience; Financial Aid/Scholarship; Transfer Students; Graduate Studies; Retention; Campus Infrastructure; Budget; International Activities; and Institutional Reputation. The findings and recommendations from the 14 committees were presented for discussion at Faculty Forums and via a Strategic Enrollment Management web site accessible from the University's home page, and formed the basis for eight 2009-2014 Strategic Plan working 'topic' committees that were convened in January 2009.
Planning Input and Information Dissemination
The Old Dominion University Strategic Plan: 2009-2014 preparation process included: (1) early and continuing guidance from the Board of Visitors and senior officers of the University, including President Broderick, the Provost, Vice-Presidents and Deans; (2) incorporation of prior and concurrent planning processes such as in enrollment management, capital planning, and the academic colleges' strategic plans; (3) inclusion of broad representation across academic and non-academic areas, with an emphasis on faculty representation and leadership, on the eight working committees and on a task force overseeing the process; (4) provision of a variety of assessment, institutional research, and planning materials as resources to the planning process; (5) a strategic planning website to provide regular and frequent reports on committee activities and give University community members the ability to track and comment on those activities; (6) two open forums and a web blog for members of the University community at large to provide input; and, (7) presentations of the draft Goals and Objectives at various meetings and retreats of faculty, administrators, and student groups, including a 2-way video conference with site directors and other members of the ODU Distance Learning unit.
Other planning and assessment efforts contributed greatly to the 2009-2014 Strategic Plandevelopment process. The six academic colleges were provided detailed information on departmental resources and academic program productivity in Fall 2008. Early input was received from an external consultant, who discussed results of an environmental study with the ODU Board of Visitors at their winter retreat in January 2009. Recommendations were received from a Quality of University Life survey of all full-time teaching and research faculty, administrative and professional faculty, and classified and wage employees conducted by Human Resources staff in the latter half of 2008. Additional input included Office of Assessment reports on student satisfaction, a consultant's report on graduate programs, and discussions with Vice Presidents, Deans, and other members of the Provost's Council and central administration.
The Strategic Plan Executive Task Force was established and co-chaired by the Provost and a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The Task Force was composed of approximately 20 individuals including faculty members, administrators and clerical staff, in addition to the chairs of the eight strategic planning topic committees, seven of whom were fulltime faculty members. The topic committees were: Quality and Institutional Effectiveness; Community Engagement; Educational Outcomes and Student Experience-Undergraduate; Educational Outcomes and Student Experience-Graduate; Campus Life; Faculty Development and Resources; Research and Scholarship; and Academic and Administrative Support-Technology, Facilities, Resources.
The Strategic Planning topic and Task Force committees comprised over 125 faculty and staff and included members of the undergraduate and graduate student leadership. Weekly meetings began in late January 2009 and initial recommendations were discussed at an open Forum on April 29, 2009. Task Force discussions continued through early summer 2009 and a preliminary draft of the 2009-14 strategic goals was presented to the Board of Visitors in June 2009 and to the Vice President's and Deans in early July 2009. Board of Visitors input was again solicited in mid-July 2009 and revisions from all areas incorporated into a final draft that was presented to the President's Administrative Retreat in early August 2009. The 2009-2014 Strategic Plan was completed in mid-August 2009 and presented to the University community at an open forum in early September 2009, and to the ODU Board of Visitors for final approval on September 17, 2009.
From all of these discussions, the following 6 Strategic Goals were developed for the Old Dominion University Strategic Plan: 2009-2014.
- Provide Students with the Tools to Succeed
- Gain a National Reputation Through Key Academic Programs and Scholarship
- Invest Strategically in Research to Spur Economic Growth
- Enrich the Quality of Campus Life
- Expand International Connections
- Build Strong Civic and Community Partnerships
Implementation and Assessment
On completion of the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan and its endorsement by the Board of Visitors, the six major Goals outlined are to be incorporated into revisions of the academic college strategic plans, the capital planning process, and into the ongoing operating budget process at the University. Implementation of an annual assessment process for the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan will incorporate feedback on the accomplishment of goals, objectives, and tasks into an annualreport and will form an integral part of the annual operating budget process.
Programmatic Assessment and Resource Planning Process
Between September and November 2009, a complete analysis of the University's current and future resource prospects will be reviewed in light of ongoing and likely future changes in Commonwealth funding to the University and anticipated student enrollment increases. Concurrently, a series of tuition and fee scenarios will be generated as more external financial information becomes available. During the same time frame, each academic college and all non-academic vice presidential areas will be asked to update their strategic plans in light of the new Old Dominion University Strategic Plan: 2009-14.
These processes will allow for the development of an Operational Plan: 2009-14 that will be in parallel with the new Strategic Plan. The Operational Plan will incorporate multi-year implementation timelines, needed resource allocations and reallocations, and detailed measures of success in accomplishing each Strategic Plan goal and action. It will provide a workable management and accountability tool both for the Board of Visitors and for the University's administration.
In addition to the benefits of having more complete information regarding the University's financial future when the Operational Plan: 2009-14 is developed, these activities will coincide and coordinate with the externally mandated planning process under the Higher Education Restructuring Act, which requires submission of six-year Enrollment, Academic, and Financial Plans to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in November 2009.