A Ten-Step Approach to Refreshing Strategic Plans Within Higher Education



Department Name When Scholarship Produced


Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023


Academic institutions, ranging from for-profit companies to non-profit organizations like hospitals and public universities, periodically engage in crafting strategic plans. These plans guide organizations towards their long-term objectives and typically have a duration of one to five years. This research paper primarily focuses on strategic planning for academic units within comprehensive university systems but is applicable to any academic or staff unit in higher education. The paper emphasizes the importance of alignment with the university's overall strategic plan, which ensures that academic units pursue goals consistent with the institution's vision. A diverse strategic planning committee, comprising faculty and staff from different sub-departments and experience levels, is recommended to facilitate comprehensive input and collaboration. Further, integration is the key to success, requiring alignment with organizational plans, systems, and culture. The strategic elements should be visible and integrated into various processes, such as hiring, classroom instruction, and campus events. While strategic planning is a vital endeavor for organizations, there is limited research on its impact and best practices in academic institutions. This paper fills a gap in the literature and provides a comprehensive ten-step approach applicable to most colleges and universities of all sizes and missions. By following this framework, academic units can develop effective strategic plans that align with their institution's vision, engage stakeholders, and drive success in achieving long-term objectives.

Journal Title

Journal of Business Administration Online