Throughout the fall, the Administrative Council and the Board of Trustees identified the strategic areas of importance that should be studied and evaluated through the strategic planning process. The process was developed and the steering committee was established.
Having a clear picture of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges facing Hope in the short and long term is a critical step in developing a strategic plan. During this phase, several study groups will be tasked with evaluating the college around each of the ten strategic areas of study. The study groups will assess the current situation looking at data available to them through existing sources, develop new data or identify areas where data is needed, analyze the data, and prioritize areas of most significance in achieving the vision set forth for the strategic plan. Study groups will engage members of the Hope community in opportunities to provide input through open forums, focus groups, surveys, or other methods. Once information has been collected and prioritized, it will be shared with the Steering Committee for the next phase of planning.
The Steering Committee will use the work of the study groups to develop the goals for the strategic plan. Based on the recommendations and priorities established by the study groups, the Steering Committee will look for issues that have the highest relevance for Hope to focus on and which can have the greatest impact on achieving the vision. The Steering Committee will have a tremendous amount of data and information to sift through, and they need to find the common themes, trends and issues that the college needs to address in order to become a nationally and internationally recognized leader in Christ centered higher education. Discipline will be required to narrow down all the information and priorities identified through the process into a manageable number of goals around which we can develop specific and measurable outcomes and key performance indicators.
A comprehensive plan always runs the risk of being so broad that its ability to impact any given goal is diluted. Often these plans become so massive that very little is actually accomplished, or at least not enough to feel like success was achieved on many or all of the goals. It is at this time when discipline is important -- discipline to include only those issues of most strategic importance to achieving the goals, discipline to communicate that clearly and effectively back to study groups and to the campus at large, and discipline to develop measurable outcomes and accountability plans to ensure we follow through and make real progress toward our these goals. Everything the college does in the next ten years should align with a goal in the strategic plan. However, not everything the college does should be included in the strategic plan. The items included in the plan will become the key performance indicators to let us know if we are making progress toward achieving our goals.
On April 30, 2015, the Hope College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the strategic plan. Implementation, resource allocation, and accountability standards will follow.