Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some general questions about the strategic planning process at Elizabethtown College.
Elizabethtown College is proud of its shared governance. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, community partners, neighbors of the college, local employers, school districts are just some of our key stakeholders. We want to be sure to the extent feasible relative to our timeline that everyone is being given an opportunity to have a say in our future. The Strategic Planning Process is designed to solicit input by efficiently leveraging our governance structure, targeted interviews and focus groups, surveys, and other feedback strategies, theme-based sessions, and retreats. Please note that ultimately the plan will present prioritized expectations for the campus through the strategic goals and objectives.
The sessions will occur while the campus moves through its key stages: values and initial ideas; strategies; goals and objectives; and tactics. If, at any time, you believe you have not had an opportunity to provide input at any one of these stages and would like to know how to engage please contact a member of the Strategic Planning Committee or use our Feedback form to provide constructive input.
It begins with several Strategic Visioning, Values, and Ideation sessions with campus stakeholders, then it will move to the distilling of key themes that will serve as the basis for the College’s Strategic Roadmap. We will also undertake an environmental scan which helps us understand efficiently our strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats to success. Once the key themes are distilled then the Strategic Planning Committee will move to leverage this information toward the development of goals and objectives which are the heart of the plan. Upon drafting the plan, the community will have an opportunity to provide input, and then the plan will be formalized. Congruently, the campus will begin to assess and align resources to inform prioritization of these goals. The new plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for adoption in May of 2021.
Following adoption, the campus academic and administrative units will be tasked with developing tactical strategies to support implementation along with measures for success. We expect nearly 500 people, representative of all of Elizabethtown’s constituencies, will be involved in the various sessions, interviews, or focus groups to help us answer the following types of questions: What makes Etown distinctive? What would you like to celebrate at Etown? What do we expect to have as our pillars of distinction?
The processes have been designed to invite and encourage as much participation as possible, so all of Etown’s stakeholders will have a role in Evolving, Engaging, and Empowering our campus to new heights.
We have set up this process in an earnest attempt to get as much input as feasible and we want to hear from you. You may offer feedback that does not make its way into the plan. However, it is not a small matter that your feedback may spark other ideas to come to the fore, create a focus in prioritization, and/or force tough decisions due to competing priorities or budgetary constraints. This is inevitable in any collaborative and participatory planning process and the ideas that do not make their way to the finish line are often critically important to inform the end result. We hope this is understood and does not preclude you from participating or result in a cynical view of the process. We ask you to enter the process as a full participant willing to share your dreams and aspirations for Etown, your ideas for action, and allow the collaborative and participatory process to do its work.
Some organizations have three- or five-year strategic plans. We expect Etown’s Strategic Plan will be a rolling plan with a five-year horizon. It will be a living document under constant review and revision. Each year, we expect to publicize the plan’s progress and revisions. A dashboard highlighting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be created to assess the progress toward our goals visible and ensure this is transparent and accessible to the community.
The Strategic Planning process and ultimately the Plan itself will invite, encourage, and expect participation and collaboration among all constituencies. Everyone who works for Etown, supports the campus, or partners with us will own a piece of the Strategic Plan and the vision it sets forward for our community. It is up to each one of us—to be highly engaged, constructive in feedback, and supportive in its implementation, assessment, and continual revision.
Participate! Participate! Participate! Listen openly, speak up, be constructive in feedback, hear what others think is important in the community, and encourage others to get involved. Also, begin to think about your area of responsibility and context this relative to what you will begin to hear as various stakeholders in our community express what they deem is important. Begin to think about how you will enhance, revise, and align your plans to meet the resultant plan! It will be important to keep in mind that projects that reflect work toward university goals and strategies will likely be what is given highest priority when it comes to support and funding. We all need to move in one direction to achieve success once this has been distilled from our work together as a community.
President Cecilia M. McCormick J.D., with support from the College’s Board of Trustees, is working to effectively position the College to be successful in the years ahead. President McCormick has initiated the process of creating a new five-year Strategic Plan. When completed, this plan will serve as the roadmap for the College to pursue a future vision that reflects the priorities of its many stakeholders.
The role of the strategic planning committee will be to:
- Ensure that the College’s mission, vision, and values are updated and clarified based on stakeholder input and serve as the context for the Committee’s work.
- Synthesize input and recommend strategic themes based on campus engagement processes solicited from key stakeholders
- Aggregate the key themes and develop a strategic plan framework for recommendation to the President
- Coordinate and provide leadership to working groups or consultants where required to address strategic themes
- Identify and recommend key strategic goals and objectives
- Produce a strategic plan for recommendation to the President
- Develop a strategy for collecting and refining unit tactics for implementing the plan
- Make recommendations for monitoring and reporting outcomes against the plan