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Institutional Planning at Southwest Minnesota State University

An Overview

Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) has two main planning documents: the Strategic Plan and the Annual Plan. These documents identify SMSU’s unique role within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (Minnesota State). They also communicate the mission of SMSU, within the scope of Minnesota State, to students, communities, member schools, accrediting bodies and other stakeholders.

The Strategic Plan sets the direction and establishes the goals for periods ranging up to five years. This long-range plan is a general “rolling” plan that is updated annually. Being a rolling plan, the Strategic Planning Committee meets every year to review results of the prior year and to adjust these goals as needed to respond to a dynamic educational environment. The Strategic Planning Committee is composed of students, faculty, administrative staff, and members of the community and has the responsibility of translating the mission of SMSU into goals. Since the Strategic Plan is the product of a committee with broad representation, it is a top-down mandate to create goals that will be stratified into specific actions by SMSU’s departments and schools in the annual planning process.

The Annual Plan is a tactical document that prescribes specific short-term actions that respond to the broad goals contained in the Strategic Plan. The annual plan is a bottom-up planning process with each unit of the university preparing plans that empower them to put into action the goals contained in the Strategic Plan. These annual plans are discussed and modified at each level and then “rolled up” to the next level until a university-wide plan is finalized and published.

Strategic Planning Day is a day set aside for the entire university community to participate in the review of the Strategic Plan. It is a day of reflection, sharing, and debate. The expected outcome is a Strategic Plan that will provide a clear vision for those who participate in the Annual Planning process.

Last Modified: 2/2/18 4:56 PM