II. Planning Process
Planning at Texas State is undertaken with many purposes in mind. These include:
To guide us toward achieving our mission and shared values through identified goal statements;
To reflect our university goals and initiatives in the development of the university budget;
To assess our progress toward achieving these goals at all levels of the institution through identified key performance indicators;
To support the integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment at the department, school, college, division, and university levels;
To allow for responsiveness in intervening and adapting to unforeseen catastrophic events;
To continually involve the entire university community in the development of plans at various levels of the institution;
To direct the use of assessment results to improve processes and revise plans; and
To regularly provide feedback to the community on the progress made toward achieving our goals.
As Texas State began developing our 2017-2023 University Plan, we wanted to ensure that the university conducted a thorough review of the mission statement to determine if there were critical areas where we should make changes. Based on the new mission statement, goals and initiatives were created to narrow our focus and guide us in our desired direction.
The review process took nearly two years to complete. In order to prepare for this review, in early spring 2016, President Trauth announced the launching of the 2017-23 planning process, beginning with a university-wide review of the Texas State mission and value statements. All faculty, staff, and students had the opportunity to respond to an online questionnaire containing eight questions: 1) What commitments, emphases, directions, or actual statements contained in the current mission statement remain critical to our university mission? 2) What situational elements (history, place, demographic, traditions) should be included in our mission statement? 3) What philosophical elements (beliefs and/or values) should be included in our mission statement? 4) What aspirational elements (“hopes and dreams”) should be included in our mission statement? 5) What operational elements (actualization and/or implementation of aspirations) should be included in our mission statement? 6) What would be the top five priorities? 7) What sets Texas State apart from other universities? 8) List any other comments concerning the mission statement review that you would like to include. Once feedback was received, the President appointed a committee to review the feedback and to draft a new university mission statement. Once the mission statement was completed, four university goal statements were developed, along with corresponding initiatives for each, at the President’s Cabinet annual planning retreat.
In summer 2016, the President’s Cabinet reviewed a list of ongoing potential environmental impacts prepared by University Planning and Assessment. From that list, the Cabinet created a document entitled “Challenge and Change: Background Briefs to assist with Planning Efforts” This document focused on ten priority topics forecasted to have the greatest potential impact on Texas State during this planning cycle. These topics included: 1) College Affordability & State Funding; 2) Changes in Students; 3) Student Life; 4) Student Success; 5) Engaging Alumni; 6) Create, Understand, Reveal, Teach; 7) Hire, Inspire, Retain; 8) Charting a Path to NRUF; 9) Emerging Technologies and Digital Learning Environments; and 10) The Space Deficit. Key stakeholders were identified for each topic and were charged with drafting and submitting 2-3 page briefs. The completed document was distributed to all faculty and staff in order to aid the planning process.
In fall 2016, the President introduced the 2017-2023 draft university mission, values, goals, and initiatives to the university community via e-mail to again solicit feedback. Once this feedback was reviewed by the President’s Cabinet, minor changes were made and the draft was given final approval by the President’s Cabinet, Texas State University System Board of Regents, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most suggestions that were not incorporated into university initiatives seemed more appropriate for department, school, college, and division plans that would be developed in spring 2017.
By January 2017, Texas State had produced the 2017-2023 university mission statement, goals, and initiatives to achieve those goals. Using this information, all academic and administrative units created draft plans that directly linked to the university goals and initiatives. In March and April, academic deans and vice presidents presented in open forums an overview of 2017-2023 planning priorities developed within colleges and divisions. In addition, the President appointed three committees to read across college plans to gather information for special initiatives to be addressed in our new plan. These initiatives included Graduate Education, the Honors College Experience, and Innovation. As a follow-up to the final submitted reports, the Cabinet conducted interviews with chairs of the “read-across” committees to discuss and clarify information provided in the reports. Colleges and divisions were given the opportunity to revise plans using information from the “read-across” committees.
In summer 2017, the President’s Cabinet officially endorsed and approved all college and division plans. The plan was launched September 1, 2017. In early September, the Cabinet also identified and approved key performance indicators (KPIs) for each goal and initiative in the 2017-2023 University Plan to allow for better assessment of annual progress toward accomplishing these goals. Each KPI also includes primary assignments of responsibility for tracking progress.
As is our tradition, Texas State began a formal mid-cycle review of 2017-2023 University Plan in April 2019. The mid-cycle review occurred in four phases: the Preparation Phase, the Communication Phase, the Development Phase, and the Implementation Phase.
During the Preparation Phase, which occurred from April through August 2019, supporting documents used in the initial development of the 2017-2023 plans were revisited. The university Planning Background Briefs were reviewed by the President’s Cabinet and key stakeholders for continued relevance and potential modification, including topic deletions and/or additions. Proposed topics were submitted to University Planning and Assessment by each Cabinet member and a consolidated list was then presented to the President’s Cabinet for review and consideration. Upon identification of a final list of proposed topics, with appropriate authors identified, new and/or revised reports were submitted and a formal revised document entitled “Meeting the Challenge and Affecting Change: Revised Background Briefs to assist with Mid-Cycle Planning Efforts” was drafted. This revised document focused on eleven select priority topics forecasted to have the greatest potential impact on Texas State for the remainder of this planning cycle. These topics included: 1) College Affordability & State Funding; 2) Student Life; 3) Student Success; 4) Engaging Alumni; 5) Competing for and Supporting Quality Faculty; 6) Hiring, Inspiring, and Retaining Outstanding Staff; 7) Charting a Path to NRUF Eligibility; 8) Emerging Technologies and Digital Learning Environments; 9) The Intentional shift from Diversity to Inclusion; 10) Utility Infrastructure; and 11) Fundraising. The revised Background Briefs were formally approved by the President’s Cabinet for use in the mid-cycle review process.
The approved Mission Statement, Core Values, and Goals remained the same, only initiatives and key performance indicators were modified. Cabinet members individually reviewed the current Plan initiatives and key performance indicators for possible modification, including proposed new initiatives and key performance indicators, proposed deletion of existing initiatives and key performance indicators, as well as modifications and revisions to existing initiatives and key performance indicators. Suggested modifications to the Plan were collected and a consolidated draft was submitted to the President’s Cabinet for review and approval for use in the planning mid-cycle review process. Upon approval by the President’s Cabinet, the draft revisions to the 2017-2023 University Plan and the revised University Planning Background Briefs were published for use in the formal mid-cycle review of all department, school, college, unit, and division plans.
The Communication Phase, which took place from September through October 2019, focused on communication and feedback from the university community. Beginning with the President’s announcement of the formal mid-cycle review of the 2017-2023 planning process during the fall 2019 Convocation, university constituents were encouraged to collaboratively participate and provide feedback regarding proposed changes to the 2017-2023 University Plan. As an additional means of communication, the director of University Planning and Assessment visited with all college and division councils, as well as the Council of Chairs, Council of Academic Deans, and the Institutional Effectiveness Council to announce planned community feedback solicitation, which was later distributed by email to the entire university community. Additional proposed University Plan modifications were collected and considered by the President’s Cabinet in a second revised draft of the 2017-2023 University Plan, which was approved in early November 2019 for use in the mid-cycle revision of all department, school, college, unit, and division plans.
During the Development Phase, from November 2019 through April 2020, academic and administrative department heads, academic assistant/associate vice presidents, and administrative unit heads developed their own revised 2017-2023 plans as part of the mid-cycle review process. Using detailed instructions provided, as well as the Revised Planning Background Briefs and the second draft of the revised 2017-2023 University Plan, each of these areas completed their own mid-cycle plan review and submitted their revised plans to their respective dean or vice president for consideration in development of revised college and division plans. These final revised 2017-2023 college and division plans were submitted to University Planning and Assessment by January 2020. Upon receipt and review of all college and academic AVP plans, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs revised the Academic Plan.
In early May 2020, the Implementation Phase of the mid-cycle review of 2017-2023 plan was executed. The President’s Cabinet, at their annual retreat, reviewed and formally approved all revised college and division plans. The Cabinet also discussed any additional necessary modifications to the revised 2017-2023 University Plan, and with the caveat that these changes be incorporated, formally approved the Plan. For assessment purposes, Cabinet members also collaborated with their direct reports to identify and assign responsibility for key performance indicators developed to measure annual progress towards achievement of university goals and initiatives, beginning at the end of fiscal year 2021.
Upon approval, all revised college and division plans, as well as the revised 2017-2023 University Plan and revised Planning Priorities, were published on the planning website and formally announced via email to the university community. During the fall 2020 Convocation, President Trauth officially launched all revised and formally approved 2017-2023 college, division and university plans to be effective in September 2020 and remain in effect through August 2023.