UPG Committee Minutes


Northeastern State University
University Planning Group
Minutes: June 17, 2009 Meeting

Scheduled Time: 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Location: UC Morgan room (no ITV)


  • Amend/Approve Minutes
  • Mission/Vision/Values Task Group: Final proposal - discuss and approve.
  • Proposal to add several unit leaders to the UPG to foster effective communication - Steering Committee.
  • Fall 2009 UPG priorities - Dave Kern
  • Initial note on spring 2010 UPG priorities
  • Encourage/collaborate in Academic Priorities and HLC accreditation processes.
  • Brief update on academic and administrative units growth and development plans and action reports (StratPlanGrid) - function leaders or representatives.

Future Meetings

  • Wednesday, July 22 at 9:00 a.m.
    • Academic Priorities task group update
    • Discuss update to Strategic Plan
  • August 28
  • September-December meetings: set parameters for finalizing by email.

No reports are expected from the Academic Priorities and Information/ Assessment/ Accountability task groups at the June meeting

8:59 AM Call to order

Actions Taken

  • Minutes from last meeting: Motion to accept, seconded, all in favor, with noted correction.
  • Proposal to approve and forward the final version of the Mission, Focused Mission, Vision and Values to the President and Cabinet to be adopted by Northeastern State University. Motion to accept, seconded, all in favor, none abstaining.
  • Proposal to provide formal commendation to the Mission/Vision/Values Task Group. Motion to accept, seconded, all in favor, none abstaining.
  • Proposal to add 7 members to the University Planning Group directed at increasing input from and communication with unit leaders: Motion to accept, seconded, all in favor, none abstaining. The proposed new members are Jeff Konya, John Schleede, Martha Albin, Paul Westbrook, Michael Gibbons, Randy Shelton and Phyllis Fife.

Notes on Discussions

  • Mission, Vision and Values: Christee Jenlink - Three proposals were sent for input, task group met and discussed and met with President's cabinet June 2nd for final proposal. Presented document is with feedback from that meeting, and was circulated to all UPG members requesting comments and input prior to this meeting. Only supporting comments were received. Seeking final approval for Mission statement, Vision and core values.
    • Christee Jenlink noted that the word empower had received a good deal of discussion relative to its mis-use by some corporations; however, the task group and cabinet agreed that empower is exactly what we seek to accomplish.
    • In the Vision statement, the task group recommended dropping the word "academic" in front of partner in the first phrase, recognizing that it was specifically addressed toward the end of the Vision statement.
    • There has been some discussion for employing the word "relationship" instead of partnership. The task group reviewed this in depth prior to this meeting, supporting the use of the word partnership. The task group supports using the word relationship more extensively in appropriate goals, sub-goals and action plans in the body of the updated strategic plan.

The discussion was opened with only supportive comments, and no concerns or issues stated. Kim Cherry specifically applauded the committee. The June 2 proposal was moved, seconded and approved unanimously. Tom Jackson moved that UPG provide formal commendation to task group from the President's office, seconded and all in favor.

Fall 2009 UPG priorities: Dave Kern introduced planning and priority information for the UPG to consider as the group prepares for the fall semester. See ATTACHMENT B for the handout titled "Status Report and Suggestion for Future Priorities", prepared by Dave with input from the Steering Committee.

The priorities identified by the steering committee are:

  1. Encourage integration of enhanced mission, vision and values in university life.
  2. Academic Priorities process
  3. Update and enhance the strategic plan

There was an extensive discussion on timing, process, content and structure associated with starting work on updating and enhancing the strategic plan. There was no discussion relating to the other two priorities. The Academic Priorities process will be a major focus of the July 22 UPG meeting. This discussion resulted in no consensus on an update process; consequently, the steering committee will review and discussion will continue at the next meeting.

The following provides some highlights of the discussion (and issues) concerning updating and enhancing the strategic plan. There was no consensus on actions to be taken. The following attempts to organize the discussion and input from the record of individual statements (this uncorrected document is available upon request). The discussion addressed the following issues:

  • Is this really the best time to start working on this? The units are still working on reports and/or plans. We have the SCUP (Society of College and University Planners) 3-day session in mid-June which takes time and could inform our process. Consider getting organized in August/September and schedule the heavy work for October/November.
  • What should be considered as input in updating the plan? Although the discussion centered around the unit reports and plans (the StratPlanGrid and the Growth/Development plans), other potential sources were discussed including priorities identified by the President and cabinet, input received through the communication and feedback of the strategic plan, and discussions at UPG meetings.
  • What is the UPG role in monitoring/reviewing unit reports and plans relative to the role of units, the Administration function and the Academic Affairs function? One approach involves the UPG in the review to incorporate the information in evaluating and updating the plan. This approach involves gathering information that would help evaluate the current plan and suggest changes - not to critique the plans themselves. Another approach is to encourage major functions (Administration, Academic Affairs) to take the lead in this process. There was a good deal of discussion centered around defining UPG, cabinet, function and unit roles.
  • How does updating the plan fit with the Academic Priorities Process, which is scheduled for review at the next meeting?
  • Should the structure of the strategic plan be altered? One approach is to focus on goals, sub-goals and a very limited number of priorities for the university level plan, while encouraging and recognizing the importance of function and unit level goals, sub-goals and action plans. (The recent SCUP program provides an approach to evaluating the structure of goals employing the SMART approach.)
  • How should we address the adequacy of the goals and sub-goals? Some unit leaders are concerned that the university plan does not address their priorities, and that the goals and sub-goals may not be complete. We also need to consider globalization, sustainability and leadership emphasis.
  • Do we have a documented SWOT, competitive analysis and list of Critical Issues? Should this be addressed prior to starting on reviewing goals and priorities? These planning steps are identified in most planning processes and in the HLC literature. (Also suggested in the SCUP session.)
  • To what extent can the Branding program provide input and information? What information from the last plan should be used?
  • How should the UPG organize to ensure consistency, efficiency and effectiveness? The steering committee had considered a core group of 12 or so who would perform the initial review and provide leadership and consistency as the review expanded to include more members of the UPG, always with open discussions and input from the whole UPG. Another approach suggested engaging the Steering Committee as the coordinating group. There was some discussion that either or both approaches be supplemented by full review sessions of the UPG (which would involve longer sessions) and multiple meetings with stakeholder groups providing broad input and communication in the process. How best to integrate efforts with Academic Priorities and HLC? (Note: members of the Steering Committee are Dave Kern, Craig Clifford, Chuck Ziehr, Kay Grant, Janet Bahr, Tim Foutch, Liz Cook - group rotates).

Next Meetings:

  • Wednesday, July 22nd meeting, 9 AM in ITV rooms NET 621 and BA-B226 (have not been able to arrange a room in Muskogee at this time)
  • Friday, August 28th, 9 AM

Meeting was adjourned 10:38 AM

Members in attendance: April Adams, Martha Albin, Janet Bahr, Laura Boren, Sue Catron, Kim Cherry, Craig Clifford, Sheila Collins, Della Combs, Tim Foutch, Nancy Garber, Michael Gibbons, Kay Grant, Ed Huckeby, Tom Jackson, Christee Jenlink, Dave Kern (chairperson), Christy Landsaw, Pamela Louderback,Tim McElroy, Doug Penisten, Scott Pettus, John Schleede, Randy Shelton, Joe Spence, Martin Venneman

Members absent:Dalton Bigbee, Jym Brittain, Richard Carhart, Liz Cook (NSGA), Denise Deason-Toyne, Mark Giese, John Gyllin, Mark Kinders, Shu Nakai, Andrew Vassar, Chuck Ziehr