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Strategic Planning Process

Boise State University initiated a strategic planning process in fall 2019, and significant attention and effort was invested in spring and summer 2020 to put in place structures and processes to facilitate the successful development of a strategic plan. With an accelerated one-year strategic planning development and implementation process, Boise State redefined stewardship of its campus resources without sacrificing broad stakeholder participation. It can take institutions two or more years to develop and implement a strategic plan, but Boise State’s experience demonstrates the positive impact of shorter planning horizons for better stewardship of university financial and personnel resources.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee released the strategic plan framework—mission, vision, and goals—to the campus in September 2020. Following its release, the committee’s highest priority was ensuring campus participation and gathering campus feedback and strategy ideas regarding the draft framework. The response to this call for participation had strong engagement by faculty, staff, and students. Highlights include:

  • Nearly 1400 total students, faculty, staff, and friends of the university participated in discussion and feedback opportunities, including town halls, information sessions, open forums, or focus groups, regarding the strategic plan process and framework.
  • The information gathered from those engagement opportunities was analyzed and distilled into a comprehensive strategic planning survey, which was released in October 2020.
  • A total of 979 individuals took the strategic planning survey (240 faculty, 247 professional staff, 91 classified staff, 362 students, 29 friends of the university, and 10 “unknown”). Summary results of the survey were shared with campus in early December 2020.

The results of “in-person” discussions and the campus survey demonstrate that Boise State’s faculty, staff, and students showed overall interest in the strategic planning process. The largely positive participation was tinctured with understandable concerns owing to the pandemic context and corresponding uncertainties. Overall, we learned that across all constituent feedback there was hope for a plan that would sharpen the vision for Boise State’s future, while attending deliberately to core infrastructure needs, student success, and a more inclusive and interconnected culture.

Boise State University mission, vision, and strategic plan, Blueprint for Success, 2021-2026 was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in June 2021.

Strategic Planning and University Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) requires that:

  • the university have a mission statement and a strategic plan
  • we demonstrate that our initiatives and actions are guided by our mission and strategic plan
  • when we make university decisions they correspond with the priorities we have laid out in our plan.

Strategic Planning and Program Prioritization

Strategic planning can be thought about as a governance mechanism that encapsulates and coordinates various important initiatives on campus. The strategic planning process and accompanying goals provides the overarching strategic direction for the university. It guides how the university sets new activities and executes on pre-existing activities.

Program prioritization is a compulsory process of the State Board of Education for all Idaho universities. Universities are required to repeat this process at least every five years with regular annual updates to the Board. The Board also explicitly requires universities to “integrate program prioritization into their respective strategic planning, programming (academic and nonacademic) and budgeting processes.” Program prioritization is designed to increase alignment of resources with mission and the strategic plan and priorities of an institution, and help make informed decisions through conducting a careful evaluation of programs and services.

The university has developed and implemented a process to synchronize annual strategic plan and program prioritization reporting with strategic budget requests.  This synchronized submission process allows for aligned and integrated thinking about progress being made on the strategic plan, continuous improvement action items, and the funding needed to support them.