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The Strategic Planning Process

Q: What is strategic planning?

A: Strategic planning is a comprehensive planning process that establishes organizational priorities and activities that will enable the organization to meet those priorities. The process involves input from numerous stakeholder groups, to include students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and members of the general community. SDSU is approaching this process from a collaborative, shared governance approach and will require campus-wide involvement, to include students, faculty and staff.

Q: Will there be a separate plan that addresses diversity, equity and inclusion?

A: No. SDSU will be providing institutes, support and resources to guide units in their local development of plans responsive to the Senate resolution. However, at the University level, the strategic planning process is meant to produce a single, unified strategic plan with the principles the University Senate defined incorporated into that plan.

Q: What is the intended outcome for the strategic planning process?

A: The university’s strategic priorities will be developed over time and through university-wide conversations that will include students, faculty and staff. As the strategic planning process is launching in September 2019, no predefined goals are limiting the process. The strategic planning process and, ultimately the decision-making process, requires broad campus participation.

As we work together to build a long-term plan and strategy for SDSU, the university is committed to ensuring that this process is open, transparent, interactive and inclusive for all members of our campus community. Please visit this site frequently for updated information throughout the process. Also, while a great number of ideas will be shared, not all ideas will be reflected in the final plan. While not all ideals will be strategic, many ideas are important and needed throughout this process.

Q: Why is SDSU launching this initiative?

A: SDSU has a more than 122-year legacy of success and impact and, over the course of that time, the university has only led two major strategic planning efforts: “Building on Excellence”, under the leadership of then-President Elliot Hirshman, and "Shared Vision", which was designed specifically for SDSU's growth under the leadership of then-President Stephen Weber. The strategic planning process SDSU is launching this year will represent the first process involving all levels and areas of the campus community, including SDSU Imperial Valley and the auxiliary units, in a comprehensive process. Further, the developed plan will set priorities for not one, but three campuses: the main campus, SDSU Imperial Valley, and the proposed development of SDSU Mission Valley. Our plan is meant to be aspirational and inspirational and, for that reason will need to allow for involvement among all members of our campus community.

Q: I cannot attend the kickoff and the discussion groups in September 2019. How can I get involved?

A: The university will be recording the event, and including information on the Campus Events section of this site. After the week of the kickoff, a survey will be circulated to gather information for those who were not able to attend discussion groups that week. Also, additional events will be scheduled to gather community input. Visit this site frequently, as it will be continuously updated with new information. Lastly, we encourage any member of the community who has questions or feedback about the strategic planning process to fill out the online form.

Planning Teams

Q: Who is leading the strategic planning process?

A: SDSU Provost and Senior Vice President Salvador Hector Ochoa and J. Luke Wood, SDSU Chief Diversity Officer, are co-leading the strategic planning process. Students, faculty, staff are involved in the committee and will be deeply engaged in the process in the months ahead. Ochoa and Wood are leading a team of more than three dozen students, faculty and staff broadly representing all campus divisions and colleges, and other campus units, to include Associated Students and Athletics.

Q: Who are the university’s consultants?

A: SDSU has hired Emeritus Consulting Group LLC as lead consultants for the process. Emeritus is partnering with AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development to help guide the process.

The Emeritus Consulting Group, with more than 50 years of collective experience advising organizations, will help the university to develop approaches that will enable the university to define its strategic priorities.

AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development consultants will work with administration and key leadership teams to manage and oversee the strategic planning process. The team will also consult on identifying and creating avenues for the success of students, faculty, staff and the overall organization. The team is comprised of former college and university presidents and chancellors who support campuses nationwide on efforts related to strategic planning, leadership assessment, organizational and board development, academic planning, financial and administrative evaluations, fundraising and other areas.

Q: Why did the university hire consultants?

A: SDSU is committed to a strategic planning process that is both dynamic and transformative, with input from all levels of the university. This is not meant to be a process fully lead by campus leadership or administration. For these reasons, SDSU is drawing on expertise from within and outside of the organization to develop a contemporary and forward-looking planning process that will help to generate broad and deep campus engagement.

The consultant team members are affiliated with Emeritus Consulting Group LLC and AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development. The role of both teams is to provide objective third-party perspective and to support the SDSU Strategic Planning Steering Committee to create an inclusive, university-wide plan and approach that will generate ideas and action plans responsive to the needs and concerns of the SDSU community. The consultants, who bring decades of experience and expertise within and outside of the higher education sector and a level of impartiality, will help ensure that the university allows every member of the campus community to be involved in the strategic planning process. The involvement of consultants also helps support the university’s strategic planning process in a way that reduces workload for the students, faculty, staff and administrators involved in the planning process.