Below you'll find a link to the draft strategic planning document that is making its way around the Faculty Senate (which will discuss it today) and other campus groups. The plan was, I think, required by our accreditors, who found Southern at 150 in need of revision. I made some sage remarks on strategic planning in an earlier post; this plan and process do not fall into the worst excesses of the strategic planning racket, but the resulting draft plan is rather disappointing.
I'm just working through the plan myself. While my faith in the efficacy of such plans is limited, my initial reaction is that this is a strategic plan lacking a strategy. Love it or hate it, Southern at 150, Walter Wendler's import from Texas A & M, did promote a specific vision for this university; it was probably an impracticable one, and it certainly slighted undergraduate education in the service of high-profile research (at least in my opinion), but it did outline a strategy, with goals clear enough that they required specific means to reach them, and our success or failure in reaching those goals could be clearly measured.
This plan offers a number of ideas, many banal, some smart, some troubling. But there is, as far as I can tell, no attempt here to clearly articulate any overarching goal, new direction, change in emphasis or reordering of priorities. Other than a shockingly frank criticism of the SIUC foundation (more interested in controlling money than raising it), there is no effort at diagnosing our problems and planning to overcome them. If one believes that strategic planning is a real opportunity for an institution in crisis, as this one is, to turn things around, then this is a missed opportunity.
A Strategic Plan Feb 15 2012