Cleveland State University

Vision Unlimited: The Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning University Review (SPUR)

The Strategic Planning University Review (SPUR) is an annual review session where campus leadership meet and interact face-to-face to build a better University

Each year a new topic important to the strategic plan is identified and discussed at SPUR.

Previous SPUR Topics:

SPUR III - Engaged Learning : Spring, 2008

In response to the theme which emerged as CSU’s brand early in 2008, The USPC’s focus on master planning paled in comparison to the timeliness of “engaged learning” and its challenges and opportunities for all academic units.

Two of the USPC goals for SPUR III were to: 1) increase university-wide participation; and 2) move toward expanded community involvement. Internally, invitations were extended to chairs of standing Faculty Senate committees, Faculty Senators, student representatives, and university staff. In an attempt to expand community involvement, all Trustees were invited along with the chairs of the colleges’ visiting committees. The response and participation of “new” invitees was quite positive. Given the attendance rate and energy that the new invitees brought to the SPUR discussion sessions, further steps “outward into the community” and increased student representation should be explored for SPUR IV.
A summary of key outcomes with engaged learning that emerged from the SPUR III discussion groups included:

CHALLENGES:
1. Engaged learning is time consuming;
2. The majority of our students are part-time and/or commuting with other life spheres that require “engagement”
    (e.g., family, work);
3. Reward structures are needed for students, staff and faculty who commit to engaged learning; and,
4. Assessment of community needs and baseline data to assess our initiative’s progress are essential.

OPPORTUNITIES:
1. Enhancing the students’ transition from the role of “student” to the roles of “worker” and “citizen”;
2. Drawing upon the richness of our urban setting;
3. Drawing upon the knowledge and experience of community experts;
4. Highlighting CSU’s established record of engaged learning; and
5. Utilizing technology to facilitate engaged learning programs and activities.

SPUR II -  Measurement,Collaboration and Funding : April, 2007

In April of 2007 the USPC hosted its second annual Strategic Planning University Review (SPUR II) to continue the conversation among leaders and to seek answers to specific planning questions. In all, ninety campus leaders were invited to participate and 56 individuals attended SPUR II. The USPC used the same "speed dating" format used in the first SPUR session to maximize interaction among all participants.

Participants responded to questions relating to measurement metrics (key performance indicators), the master planning process involving physical expansion and capital outlays, budget integration, and collaboration within the university. SPUR II provided valuable information to the USPC. Suggestions were made for improving the metrics for each of the six goals, to better link the master plan and the strategic plan, to develop formal procedures for updating the master plan, and to better communicate about space use and changes on campus. The groups discussing the relationship between budget and strategic planning suggested an annual retreat between these two campus committees as well as the creation of a special fund to support new initiatives in the strategic plan. The groups discussing collaboration suggested conducting a communication audit to determine the problems areas, support new collaborative activities with an innovation fund, and create better methods of communicating and promoting collaborative activities.

The output of SPUR II consisted of a list of suggested metrics to measure and assesses progress towards the Vision Unlimited goals; methods to maintain and adapt the master plan for the university facilities; strategies to develop the budget to support these initiatives; and to simultaneously build the organizational collaborative culture within the university to support the efforts.

SPUR I -   Strategies and Priorities : November, 2005

In November of 2005 the first annual Strategic Planning University Review (SPUR) was held to finalize the goals, strategies, and tactics of the strategic plan. The University Strategic Planning Committee reviewed 91 departmental and divisional reports to identify strategies and tactics crucial to the university. The leadership of the university was invited to attend including Faculty Senators, the Senior Administrative Team, Deans, Student Leaders, and Board of Trustee Officers.

The first SPUR agenda included activities to focus and finalize strategies (n=20) and tactics (n=147) to support actions towards the six goals identified in Vision Unlimited--CSU’s strategic plan released in August, 2006. Outcomes from this initial review provided the USPC with identifiable actions to promote and monitor within the university. It was also decided that such a session should continue annually to improve communication among campus leaders and to facilitate an ongoing strategic planning process.

Participants conferred in several table sessions to identify the best strategies and tactics to address seven goal areas (later consolidated to six for Vision Unlimited) previously specified for the university. The product of the session has evolved into a working document for strategic planning efforts at the unit level, as faculty and administrative leaders annually update tactics to enhance their effectiveness among students and community.