The second cycle of Strategic Directions planning will build upon the existing mission, core values, and vision statements to refresh the overall institutional directions. The Core Team spent several months gathering information and ideas from the campus community about what those directions should be.
The team chose a four-pronged approach for collecting ideas to ensure that all who wished to participate would have ample opportunity to submit their ideas for consideration.
- Personal visits to campus meetings: Core Team members attended department and division meetings to describe the planning process and solicit ideas from attendees. During October and November, over 300 people were contacted through these visits.
- E-mail requests for ideas: E-mail messages sent to several lists have invited members of the campus community to describe their ideas in a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ten groups returned collective summaries, and ten individuals sent suggestions.
- Three open forums: Forums were held on November 5, 8, and 9 at different times in different campus locations. Total attendance at all forums was 114, with good representation from students, faculty and staff. Each forum involved a “brain-writing” exercise, round-table discussion, and report-out for sharing the best ideas.
- Online survey: The Core Team created a short online survey using the broad-based ideas gleaned through their outreach efforts. Invitations to participate were sent to students, alumni, faculty, and staff on November 22. The survey asked respondents to indicate the relative importance of 25 strategic ideas for revising USD’s strategic goals for the next five years and provided a comment box for sharing any ideas not listed. The online survey form presented the 25 ideas in random order.
When the survey closed on December 10, 2308 people had responded, with response rates varying by group. For their analysis, the Core Team coded the responses from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important) and ranked the strategic ideas for each group from high to low based on the total score for each strategic idea. To give each group an equal voice in the final analysis, the core team averaged the rankings for each group to produce a composite list of strategic ideas.