UPG Committee Minutes


Northeastern State University
University Planning Group (UPG)
Minutes: September 25, 2009 Meeting


  • Review the Purpose and Process statement
  • Break-out sessions on the imperatives and “building a culture of statements”

Call to order: 3:07 pm

Actions Taken

  • The following proposal was approved (exhibit):
    • Incorporate the imperatives and culture statements presented by President Betz at the opening session of the fall semester into the strategic plan following the 7 step process outlined in the DRAFT Purpose and Process paper dated September 22.
    Members of the steering committee facilitated breakout sessions to articulate the imperatives and culture statements, and identify commonalities with the 2006/2007 Strategic Plan. Facilitators will document the results, receive feedback on the articulated statement and the links to the existing plan. The steering committee will meet to review the results on Wednesday, October 7 from 8-10 am. (NET621, SYNR220,BA-A215). Facilitators will follow-up with teams as required. Teams and team leaders are as follows:
    • Building a Culture of Learning and Discovery – Janet Bahr (team leader); Martin Venneman, Jym Brittain, Christee Jenlink (will not attend Sept 25 meeting), Tim Foutch, Sheila Collins, Joe Spence, Mark Giese.
    • Building sustainable communities – Mark Kinders (team leader); John Schleede, Kim Cherry, Christee Landsaw, April Adams (will not attend Sept 25 meeting), Michael Gibbons.
    • Building a Culture of Shared Leadership – Kay Grant (team leader); Craig Clifford, Martha Albin.
    • Building a Culture of Innovation; and Building a Culture of Creativity (imagination) – Ed Huckeby & Tom Jackson, (team leaders); Pamela Louderback, Phyllis Fife – (will meet in room NET 621 & BA-A215).
    • Building a Culture of Collaboration – Tim McElroy & Denise Deason-Toyne; (team leaders); Doug Penisten, Jeff Konya.
    • Building a Culture of Global Literacy/engagement – Chuck Ziehr (team leader); Andrew Vassar, Paul Westbrook (will not attend), Richard Carhart (will not attend UPG meetings).
    • Building a Culture of Civic Engagement (ADP) – Laura Boren (team leader); Randy Shelton.
    • Building a Culture Inclusion (both internal and external) – Dave Kern (team leader); Sue Catron, John Gyllin, Nancy Garber.

Meeting was adjourned approximately 3:30 pm to allow time for breakout sessions

Members in attendance: Martha Albin, Janet Bahr, Laura Boren, , Jym Brittain, Sue Catron Craig Clifford, Sheila Collins, Della Combs, Phyllis Fife, Tim Foutch, Nancy Garber, Michael Gibbons , Kay Grant , Tom Jackson, Dave Kern (chairperson), Christy Landsaw, Pamela Louderback , Doug Penisten, John Schleede, Joe Spence, Martin Venneman, Andrew Vassar, Chuck Ziehr, Denise Deason-Toyne, Mark Giese, John Gyllin, Mark Kinders.

Members absent: April Adams, Richard Carhart, Liz Cook (NSGA), Shu Nakai, , Kim Cherry, Ed Huckeby, Christee Jenlink, Randy Shelton , Tim McElroy, Jeff Konya, Kaylyn Handshy (NASA).

Exhibit: Seven Step Process: Charting the Second Century: 2010/2014, addressing the purpose and process for updating and enhancing the strategic plan.

DRAFT September 22

Charting the Second Century – 2010/2014: Purpose and Process

Strategic planning is a journey, not a destination

What has changed since we started this journey, December 11, 2008?

  • In December 2008, our initial priorities were defined as: 1. integrate the academic and administrative units into the process; 2. refine and simplify the Vision, Mission and Core Values; and 3. Define a process for prioritizing academic and administrative programs and services. These priorities have been substantially accomplished – a significant achievement!!!! The leadership and dedication of the small teams drove this process and made it possible.
  • The initial charge was to maintain a substantial level of consistency with the 2006/2007 Strategic Plan goals, sub-goals and action plans; however, the changes initiated by the UPG and the leadership of this university have substantially altered the landscape. The reframed Mission, Vision and Values, articulated in the Imperatives and “Building a Culture of” statements, require substantial additions to the plan.
  • Making Place Matter, a regent-level initiative, will have a major impact on the university.
  • Major initiatives are driving change at the university and at the unit level.
  • Many of us have learned a great deal along the way.
  • It is now almost three years since the 2006/2007 was completed. It is natural that changes would be required even without new leadership at the university level, financial crisis and declining financial support, and the acceleration of global, technical and socio-economic dynamics.

Conclusion: Making modest enhancements to the 2006/2007 plan is neither practical nor desirable. A more significant effort is essential. At the same time, the 2006/2007 strategic plan provides the foundation for Charting the Second Century: 2010/2014.

What are we trying to accomplish by updating and enhancing the Strategic Plan?

The objective of “Charting the Second Century – 2010/2014” is to provide effective direction for the university in total and each of the academic and administrative units. We begin with the 2006/2007 Strategic Plan as our foundation. The new plan must be guided by our renewed and reframed Mission, Vision and Values, and reflect significant changes in the external and internal environment. Charting the Second Century – 2010/2014 will guide all major decisions at all levels of the organization. The process will recognize the challenges of changes in the external environment, and the opportunities created by new leadership.

How do the overarching imperatives reflect and support the Mission, Vision and Values?

The Mission and Vision inspire two overarching imperatives: building a culture of learning and discovery, and developing sustainable communities. These imperatives do not stand alone, but support and complement each other. They represent primary strategic direction for the university for the next 5 years and beyond.

How do the “Building a Culture of … “ statements fit with Mission, Vision and Values and the Overarching Imperatives?

The imperatives are driven by the Mission and Vision, and are supported by a series of “culture” statements that incorporate our values in:

  • ….. how we go about achieving our ultimate goals;
  • ….. describing who we are at Northeastern State University and why we exist;
  • ….. how we are to make a difference in the lives of students and our communities.

The word “culture” is used intentionally to indicate the norms, behaviors and attitudes that permeate the university. The values of leadership, creativity, and collaboration are directly identified in specific culture statements. The culture of creativity and innovation embraces the Mission’s call for discovery, and supports the values of creativity and excellence. Civic engagement is central to the challenge of developing sustainable communities. A culture of inclusion reflects our mission of empowering socially responsible, global citizens and our commitment to human dignity and fairness. The values of integrity and excellence are necessarily imbedded in all our efforts and plans.

  • Building a Culture of Shared Leadership
  • Building a Culture of Creativity (imagination)
  • Building a Culture of Innovation
  • Building a Culture of Collaboration
  • Building a Culture of Global Literacy/engagement
  • Building a Culture of Civic Engagement (ADP)
  • Building a Culture of Inclusion (both internal and external)

How does “Making Place Matter” fit in to the equation?

“Making Place Matter” is an initiative proposed at the state/regent level. The objective is to encourage Oklahoma institutions of higher education to make a difference in the lives of the people and communities that they serve. This initiative is fully consistent with the Mission, Vision and Values of Northeastern State University. We will be in the forefront of developing strategies and programs that embody the spirit of “Making Place Matter”.

As a regional institution we have the unique opportunity and responsibility to the “place” we serve. Northeastern State University is committed to “Making Place Matter” and being good stewards of this place we call eastern Oklahoma and the surrounding region. Making Place Matter touches all aspects of social, economic, health, educational, and cultural well-being of the area. In partnership with the communities, we will change lives for the better and make a lasting imprint for future generations to follow. With a small modification, implementing Making Place Matter involves a shift in emphases -- teaching and learning, research and innovation; service and shared leadership.

For more information on the regent-level initiative, go to http://www.okhighered.org/admin-fac/making-place-matter/. This site includes a presentation on Making Place Matter, which provides a good overview. An in-depth report is available titled “Tools and Insights for Universities called to Regional Stewardship”, which provides greater depth and many important ideas about how to address our imperatives and culture statements. This is a “must read” for anyone involved in NSU planning.

How will we deal with initiatives and issues not clearly covered in the culture statements?

The Steering Committee will discuss these issues and provide guidance to teams where the initiatives are most logically located. Where there is no match, additional strategic goals will be included from the current plan or developed for review by the UPG.

What model will we use to enhance the plan and guide the process?

We are proposing adapting the SCUP structure and process to our situation and needs at Northeastern State University. Central to the SCUP model are well defined Mission, Vision and Values, followed by establishing Strategic Goals and Strategic Outcomes, employing the SMART goal model. Once goals and outcomes are established, the work turns to establishing priorities, responsibilities, measures and timetables. University priorities are the responsibility of the NSU leadership team; however, they welcome and encourage bottom-up ideas and initiatives. Strategies, measures and timetables are to be defined primarily at the functional, unit and sub-unit level.

We are proposing some adaptations to the basic SCUP model. The first is to fully articulate the Strategic Goals, which is particularly important for communicating and setting direction for the Imperatives and Cultures (reference Smeal College of Business strategic plan for good examples of this approach). The emphasis is on behavior, attitudes and the way we act, which can be accomplished through the full articulation of the imperatives and cultures.

The second adaptation or clarification involves limiting university level priorities and giving greater responsibility to the operating units in defining specific strategies and actions, measurements and timetables.

What does the process involve?

The most critical work has already been completed in reframing and enhancing the Mission, Vision and Values. As we move forward, the role of the UPG is to establish the overall framework, strategic goals/outcomes, and to identify organizations that will champion, support and develop strategies/action plans, measurements and timetables.

Step 1 – Mission, Vision and Values

Completed. The imperatives and culture statements provide a framework for integrating the mission, vision and values into the strategic plan. Each of the imperatives and culture statements tie directly to mission, vision and/or values.

Step 2 – Culture Descriptors; Identifying Future Position (scheduled for the Sept 25 UPG meeting break-out teams)

The statements of imperatives and cultures establish a framework for identifying where we want to go as a university – the preliminary work in establishing strategic goals and outcomes. The statements must be fleshed out and clearly defined in order to provide clear direction for achieving the Northeastern State University Mission and Vision. The UPG Steering Committed will initiate this process. The UPG will contribute through break-out teams. Individual members have been assigned to different “cultures” with leadership and integration provided by members of the Steering Committee. At the September 25 UPG meeting, each team will:

  • brainstorm an articulation of the imperative or value,
  • identify links to the mission/vision/values and the current plan;
  • take the first step in identifying organizations that will take leadership and supporting roles in refining outcomes, and defining measurements, strategies and actions.

Step 3 – Review of Strategic Position/Gap Analysis

This process is designed to identify where we stand in terms of strengths and weaknesses, integrated with an environmental scan of threats and opportunities. The two imperatives represent the heart of our mission and vision, requiring a comprehensive review of strategic position (e.g., SWOT) integrating efforts by the small groups and the steering committee. The process for identifying strategic position/gaps for the culture statements will be determined by the steering committee after reviewing the results of step 2. In most cases the break-out teams should be prepared to complete a “review of strategic position” for the imperatives and the culture statements.

The steering committee will coordinate the process, promote consistency, deal with overlaps among teams, address gaps/omission, and provide overall direction for structure and terminology. Team leaders for the culture statements will continue to engage their small teams in the process. Information available from the recent branding exercise should be employed by each team. This will involve individual team meetings and break-out sessions in UPG sessions. Teams will engage key stakeholders whenever possible.

Step 4: Convert Strategic-Position to Strategic Goals/ Outcomes (SMART), Establish responsibilities at the function, unit and organization level. Identify University Level Priorities

Members of the Steering Committee will prepare the initial set of strategic goals and outcomes, incorporating input and feedback from the teams. University leadership will be engaged to identify an initial set of priorities. Organizations and units that will lead and contribute to achievement of outcomes will be engaged to review strategic goals/outcomes. Ultimately, these organizations and units will develop operational objectives, strategies, action plans, measurements and timing for strategic goals.

The steering committee will coordinate the process and integrate the efforts of the teams. Teams will be engaged throughout the process, and monitor processes as we proceed.

Step 5: Refine and publish to the full University Planning Group for feedback and input.

Present to the full UPG for review and approval. Revise and review. Present to the Cabinet for preliminary approval. Resolve any issues.

Step 6: Communicate and Feedback

Publish the process/preliminary findings and provide various communication forums to communicate Charting the Second Century – 2010/2014 (e.g. University Assembly, open internet forum, President’s Council, faculty, administrative colleagues, and students). (Note that this does not preclude small team interaction with the NSU community throughout the previous “Steps”.)

Step 7: Integrate Input/Proposal to the Cabinet

Steering Committee reviews feedback, and prepares recommended changes for review and approval by the UPG. Present final UPG proposal to the Cabinet. Implementation is to be directed by the cabinet, and monitored by the UPG.

What happens next?

Effective strategic plans have often been presented with words like “living and breathing”. The inference is that they grow, change, adapt over time, but more importantly, that they are fully utilized in guiding the life of a university community, a society. Functions, units and organizations will address their responsibilities in operational plans.

We will use the strategic plan to guide our actions over the next five years, with special emphasis on the next 12-24 months. Each year, progress toward our goals will be assessed at the unit and university level. Adjustments will be made where circumstances require a change. We will celebrate the achievements, and re-evaluate where we have fallen short.

All units will incorporate the enhanced Mission, Vision and Values, and Charting the Second Century: 2010/2014 in updating their plans in the Spring & Summer, 2010. Each year, each unit and the university in total will report on progress toward the plan, and make appropriate adjustments. The University Planning Group will continue to monitor the planning process.

Strategic planning is a journey, not a destination.