Auburn's current strategic planning process began in fall 2012 with four primary objectives:
Using a bottom-up approach, this process engaged key members of the Auburn Family in a constructive and comprehensive dialogue that significantly enriched the University's strategic planning endeavors. The design of the strategic planning process thus focused on developing a viable plan benefiting from the feedback of Auburn's stakeholders, both on and off campus.
Following a charge from President Gogue, Provost
Timothy R. Boosinger convened a Strategic Planning
Steering Committee, consisting of 25 representatives of the University's senior administration, faculty, staff and student body, including elected leaders of key governance groups.
To organize its work, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee identified key areas of emphasis, forming five key work teams. Each work team focused on completing a strategic analysis in one of the following areas:
Each strategic analysis included (1) an assessment of Auburn's current performance benchmarked against aspirational peer institutions, (2) a situational analysis to describe the internal and external environments, and (3) an identification of key opportunities and potential barriers to success. Following completion of this SWOT analysis by each work team, the planning process then broadened to engage groups of institutional stakeholders from across the state.
Beginning in January 2013, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee conducted several off-campus listening sessions to collect ideas for Auburn's future. Held in each legislative district of the state, these facilitated sessions were well attended and included representatives from the University Senate, the Board of Trustees, alumni, the Cooperative Extension System, and elected officials. Participants received preliminary information including accomplishments from the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan and a composite of the SWOT analyses completed by the work teams. Participants were asked to respond to the question "What should Auburn University aspire to be in 2018?"
In total, 12 listening sessions were completed with more than 150 participants providing substantive feedback and ideas that have been incorporated into the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan.
Following the off-campus sessions, the Strategic
Planning Steering Committee conducted 28 on-campus listening sessions at the Auburn and Montgomery campuses. In total, these sessions involved more than 350 participants representing faculty, staff and students. The on-campus focus groups provided a tremendous amount of data for the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to consider as they began drafting the strategic priorities.
To involve even more people, a structured Strategic Planning Survey was administered in late spring to further solicit the opinions of Auburn faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, administrators, community partners and other members of the Auburn Family. This survey provided an opportunity for the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to test the appeal of ideas developed earlier in the process. The survey results affirmed key themes and provided additional areas of emphasis for the Steering Committee.
Finally, themes emerging across the whole planning process were shared with members of the campus community during an open forum held in late spring. The forum offered an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to refine many of the strategic priorities and ideas developed.
Throughout the planning period, the university community received regular updates on the strategic planning process through monthly letters sent by the Provost to the faculty and made available on the Provost's website. Elected faculty leaders attended each statewide listening session and provided additional updates to the University Senate. An initial draft of the strategic plan-outlining priorities, goal and commitments-was presented to President Gogue and a team of university leaders who had not served on the Steering Committee for review and feedback. These individuals provided additional viewpoints and considerations for the final list of strategic directions.
The development of strategic priorities must be grounded in a reliable assessment of our institution's current strengths. Our strengths include:
In assessing the University's relative weaknesses, it is important to identify deficiencies that can be targeted and minimized:
It is important to recognize some of the numerous external factors that carry the potential to benefit the institution in crucial ways:
Threats include those environmental factors that carry the potential of hindering Auburn's success: